Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three movies and a novel...

Yes, that should about do it and then I can...

Oh, this is a blog entry, not that little fantasy I have. Well now, where was I?

Three movies seen recently, "Avatar" being the first. It swept the world, even if it did cause concern in some higher ecclesiastical circles. I believe it was even called "bland" and "rather harmless". I suppose you could take that view.

I mean, it's the standard hero journey, with some romance and a little of the Pinocchio story thrown in. And no small number of explosions.

This really serves to underscore a thought I have, that there are about six good ideas in the world. Ah, but it's the telling of the tale where the art lies. And to this, far from humble one regrets to say, viewer's eye, this tale was told well.

The characters, as envisioned by the director, as rendered by the, really rather cool, technology, as given life by the actors (Sigourney Weaver - I mean, how can you go wrong?), created a story that I had little difficulty becoming lost in. Bland? I beg to differ.

Staying with an ecclesiastical theme, in some small way, we viewed "Into Temptation" recently. Again, we are dealing here with my fondness for artists - and so we have Kristin Chenoweth. Few lines. None of them "zingers" - other than one of the early ones. The rest - acted, silently and deeply. A powerfully told story.

"The Other Man". Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas. Need I say more? Whether I need to or not, I will. This and the previous movie are worth studying from the perspective of storytelling. They are carefully constructed plots, well-built, designed to take viewer through the experience without spoonfeeding them. And it's just a blast to watch people, good at what they do, doing it.

The novel? "Songs of Distant Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke. I found it in a second-hand bookstore in Kansas City, over Christmas. That and several others.

Elegiac is the word that comes to mind for me. But then, I have a substantial dose of Celtic melancholy about me. This would explain the appeal - of the book. The last and greatest starship of Earth, stopping off at one of the first "seed colonies" before going on its way, bringing the last humans ever to spring from our solar system to a new home.

Hard science fiction because Clarke, as he mentions in an "Author's Note", did not believe we would "warp factor n" our way around the galaxy. Ah but, again, it's what the storyteller does with the ideas that's of importance. And Clarke is a favorite storyteller of mine.


  1. I was waffling as to whether to see 'Avatar' or not. I guess I will. :)
    I, too, enjoy Clarke but haven't read that one. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Enjoy the movie, Laura. And enjoy the book also, should you find it.

    Sorry that I didn't get to post a #fridayflash this week. Up 'way too early on Friday for work travel.

  3. Songs of Distant Earth... read that eons ago and loved it, one of my faves of his. Movies? Ack! Only see kiddie flicks at the theatre, then by the time they go to bed I'm too bushed... maybe I'll see Avatar by 2020... Peace, Linda