Avengers: Infinity War (No Spoilers) + A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ASL)

Video: https://youtu.be/u41bC3F-FXE

I know it’s been a while, but I just didn’t feel like making anything.

Today, I just want to quickly talk about two things, Avengers: Infinity War and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I will not be giving any spoilers, don’t worry.

Infinity War.jpgI saw Infinity War two days ago now. I still don’t really have full, cohesive, clear thoughts about it, but I will just say… It was interesting. It wasn’t terrible. …But it wasn’t great either. It was average to me. The graphics were beautiful, of course. The story… That was… Lacking. Really, there’s no plot development, no character development, nothing. The only person who got any character development was Thanos, which makes sense, I guess. All we’ve seen of him up until now is his brief appearances in the end credits, so… Yeah okay, I guess. But I didn’t really agree with or really like how they developed Thanos’ character. I’ve been seeing online that there’s a lot of people in tears and freaking out over certain events in this. I… Honestly, I didn’t feel it. Yes, there are deaths, I’m not telling you who, but you already know this. There will be deaths. But I didn’t feel that torn up about it for a few reasons. I won’t say why, but the stakes didn’t really feel that high. Don’t get me wrong though, I did enjoy the movie! I really liked seeing how they figured out how to connect all of the characters, how they were introduced to each other. Especially some certain pairings that I didn’t expect, but liked. Like Thor and the Guardians. A clip was released before the movie came out, so that’s not a spoiler. But yeah, I really liked their interactions, that was great. One thing that really frustrated me was that Infinity War had several characters that had no explanation. Now, this is as a movie watcher. I don’t really read comics in general. I’m definitely not up to date on all the Marvel comics and whatever. So… As a movie watcher, how do you expect me to know who those people are? In the trailer, you will see some new characters, one is a guy with a flat nose and an evil face, that one. His name is something Maw. They didn’t even say his name until way later in the movie, and had no explanation about who he is, other than a “Child of Thanos.” And all of the other Children of Thanos had no explanation. Really? Why am I supposed to care about them? I wasn’t really terrified by them because I knew nothing about them. It would’ve been nice if they at least gave a little bit background. Just a little bit. I want to add, I watched this with open captions, and I went with a group of my friends to watch. We talked about it a little after the movie, and one of them said something that I agree with. They said that it feels more foundational, less of a story. It’s more of setting you up for the next movie, or the next chapter of the Marvel Universe. Yeah, I guess it’s fine, just not what I was hoping for from Infinity War. Oh, there are a lot of great lines in this, just… Fantastic. Marvel has really been upping their humor lately, which I think is fantastic. I will just end here about that, because I still don’t really have clear thoughts on it. Yeah, it was average. It wasn’t the best Marvel movie, but it wasn’t the worst either so… I guess? Yeah. Let’s move on.

AMND.jpgThe other thing I wanted to talk about is A Midsummer Night’s Dream in ASL. I went and watched it last night. One, because duh! Why would I not want to see Shakespeare in ASL? Two, I have a close friend in the play, so of course I went to see her act. And watching it… Amazing. It’s amazing. This play was signed in ASL and spoken at the same time. How they did this was having a few deaf actors, some hearing actors that know sign, and having voice “interpreters.” It’s a mixed cast. The deaf actor will sign their lines while the hearing actor voices for them in parallel, making sure they match up. Sometimes the roles were reversed. An example of the reversal, the fairy king, Oberon, and the fairy queen, Titania, were acted by hearing actors, and they were the leads, speaking for themselves. They had a deaf “interpreter” that was a “lesser” fairy that follows them around and signs for them. I think this is really well-done. All of the fairies were voice/sign interpreters, so they could be on stage the whole time, either as an observer or an active participant. I really enjoyed watching this. I want to be clear, this play did not try to translate and keep the Old English. They just looked at the Shakespeare, and translated to what was the best translation in ASL. They did make sure some words were changed to match back then. For example, time. We sign time by tapping our index finger on our wrist. This is because of wristwatches. But back then… They didn’t have watches at all. So they changed the signs to noon, midnight, times of the day, or sunrise/set, moonlight. They used what would’ve been signed back then. Another example: window. We sign window with flat hands sliding up and down that looks like a window being opened and closed. That doesn’t work, this sign is because of the sash window. So what they did instead was signing as if pulling them on a hinge. For this play specifically, they added in some deaf culture dynamics, ASL jokes that you wouldn’t catch if you didn’t know ASL. One good example of including deaf culture in Shakespeare: In one scene, Helena (who is acted by my friend), and Demetrius, a hearing actor that knows sign (is a CODA), were having a fight about something in sign. Demetrius drops his sign, and starts talking only. Helena responds by tapping her ear and shaking her head no. Demetrius relents and starts signing and voicing at the same time, then eventually going back to sign only. (Demetrius signs only for most of the play.) I thought that was really great, Demetrius doing a kind of power play, trying to dominate her by speaking only when she doesn’t understand. There’s a lot of little things in the play like that that were really good. It’s really fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, and you’re in Seattle, grab the opportunity and go see it. They have shows this weekend and next weekend. Go if you can. I enjoyed it, it’s worth it.

That’s it for today, I think. I just wanted to talk about my thoughts on two things I saw recently. Let me know if you want to see Infinity War, or have no interest, or what you think of it. And if you plan on going to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or if you would like to go see it. Also, I know today is officially May, so I will be filming my book wrap up right after this. It’s coming! Maybe I’ll post it tomorrow, I don’t know. We’ll see.

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Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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