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It's always a strange thing when a sound from outside merges perfectly with the music you're playing; it's that feeling I get sometimes (do you too?) of being on a film set. It's called diegetic music if the characters in the film are causing or able to percieve the soundtrack; the sort of shot where someone switches on a CD player and the music swells out of scene and then changes in tone and tenor to be part of the soundtrack - apparently that's then extra-diegetic.

So many words, so little time. I sometimes feel like Delirium, when she asks her elder brother "what's the word for that?" except that instead of Morpheus, I have Google - I think the answers are suitably gnomic either way.

Police sirens seem to merge best; perhaps that says more about the sort of music I listen to? Currently it's a drum and bass remix of Tubular Bells by one of the Planet Angel DJs that's causing me to connect the world up in strange ways; that, a police siren and the sound of the rain on the window are, quite frankly, making pictures on the insides of my eyelids that I've rarely seen without walking in slow motion at a club at 4am.

Shame I'm supposed to be at work both physically and mentally.

Of course, the reverse also causes problems; there's a Black Eye Peas track that has, for some reason I can't fathom, a UK police car siren as part of the soundscape; it's caused me to slow down and look around when I've been driving and that's come onto the stereo.

Livejournal, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn't have a Current Mood: Diegetic as a default choice.

Perhaps I should ask them to add it?
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I've just been watching an animated film called 'Sita sings the blues' - a version of the story of Sita and Rama from the Ramayana, set to 1920's jazz music.

Unusually, the creator of the film has just released it, in its entirety as a Creative Commons licensed film, which means you can watch it for free at http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ - you can even show it for profit if you'd like (though it would be polite to pass some of that profit back; the creator, Nina Paley, has had to pay $50,000 to use the songs she has included, even though these songs were recorded in the 1920s, and the original writers and singer of these songs will not receive any of the money still being collected ostensibly in their names.

Watch the film; it's sweet, sad, poignant - Paley intersperses the story of her own marital breakup with the story of Sita and Rama, and there's even a very MST3K appearance by three Indonesian shadow puppets who explain (and sometimes mess up) the theology of the story.

Highly recommended.


Aug. 8th, 2007 03:26 pm
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Only in silence the word,

only in dark the light,

only in dying life :

bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.

A ship out at sea in a storm. Dragons flying and fighting overhead. Magic failing. A dragon dying.

It's a good start.

So, Tales from Earthsea.

I can see why Le Guin said "It's a good film. It's not a film of my story, but it's a good film" to the director.

It was like watching fan fiction. Well written, about familiar(ish) characters, but not quite as good as the original. The story is a mixture of The Farthest Shore and Tehanu with some flashbacks / homages to A Wizard of Earthsea and a few new additions that don't quite work, but which aren't bad.

The animation style is standard Studio Ghibli, without the (often overplayed, in my opinion) whimsy - the only cute animal is Arren's horse (which looks more like a llama) and that's acceptable. It's quite 'old' Ghibli, if that makes sense - having recently watched Nausicca and the Valley of the Winds it was more like that than Spirited Away - the colours were more muted, and there didn't feel to be such a wide pallete. But for a story where magic is draining out of the world, that's not a bad choice to make.

The story is slow, which is strange given that there's potentially two books of plot to cover. But, as [livejournal.com profile] toripink commented in my previous post, the relationships between the characters are touching; both between Ged and Arren, and  with their relationships with Tenar and Tehanu.

It's not a great film; it's especially not a great Earthsea story; but it is a good film.

And given how bad it could have been, I'm willing to be happy with that.
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Other than the fact he wrote Jerusalem, which is a fantastic song.

So I ask the gathered wisdom of my friendslist.

When someone says William Blake, is your first thought Ray Winstone?
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2001: A Space Odyssey
A Bout de Souffle
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
All About Eve

Apartment, The
Apocalypse Now
Black Narcissus
Boyz N the Hood
Breakfast Club, The
City of God
Come and See
Dawn of the Dead
Donnie Darko
Erin Brockovich
Fanny and Alexander
Fight Club
Heavenly Creatures
Ipcress File, The

King of Comedy, The

Ladykillers, The
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Lost in Translation
Mulholland Drive
Night at the Opera
North by Northwest
Pink Flamingos
Player, The
Princess Mononoke
Pulp Fiction
Raising Arizona
Royal Tenenbaums, The
Searchers, The
Secrets and Lies
Sexy Beast
Shawshank Redemption, The
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This Sporting Life
Three Colours Blue
Touch of Evil

23/50 - assuming three score years and ten, I'm a little behind schedule. I'm disappointed that of my top 5 movies, only one of them (The Shawshank Redemption) is in there - no Some Like It Hot? No Seven Samurai?

I'll be interested in reading the justification for these choices. Lists are always a funny thing - they're either a popularity contest (and popularity is only one measure of value) or they're an increasingly idiosyncratic and individual choice. 

Anyway - if I can be bothered to follow the imperative 'you must see before you die' - I now have some choices ahead of me.

I take it with the FilmFour tie in, I'll be given the chance to see many of these over the coming months. 
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In that synchronous way that it sometimes does, my iPod started playing the Adagio in G Minor by Thomaso Albioni as I walked across to lunch, and the phrase ‘Death in Venice’ swam across my mind. It may have something to do with the fact I’m reading a Venitian murder mystery at present, but there was the strongest sense of place I’ve had from a piece of music for a long time. The music is not used in that film – it’s in Rollerball and Gallipoli. But Wikipedia tells me that Thomaso was born, lived and died Vèneto. I didn’t know.

Rollerball is, I think, one of the better films of the 70s. At the time it was released, I would have been 7. But I grew up in a rural district, and the nearest cinema was 8 miles away from home - 40 minutes on the circuitous route that the bus took. So instead, we had travelling cinemas - they would stick badly photocopied posters up in the bus shelters, turn up at community centres with an old projector and screen, lay the stacking chairs out in rows and charge 50p to watch a film. If you were lucky, they had a sweet stall. They sold orange juice in plastic cups with lids you struggled to punch the straw through. All cinemas did. And their films were never the ones on first release.

I remember seeing the posters for Rollerball - that stark image of Jonathan E. holding a steel globe in a spiked gauntlet, staring defiantly at the viewer. And I remember lying to my parents about what the film was so that I could go and see it - it had an AA certificate (which means I must have been no more than 12 or 13 when I went to see it - after that age, it would have had a 15).

What I remembered the first time through is the violence, of course. Motorbikes, spikes, roller skates, armour, and steel balls being fired out of cannon and the sickening crunch of what happens to someones head when it's left in the track of the ball. But also how exciting it was - how the violence was orchestrated to bring people to fever pitch. I didn't have nightmares about it, but I did question why I enjoyed such a violent film.

Now? Now the most sickening scene I can remember from the film isn't in the Rollerball arena - it's the scene where the aforementioned Adagio is playing. There has been a celebrity party to watch the television programme about Jonathan E, to mark his forced retirement from the game. No one man can be bigger than the game, after all. And a whole heap of liggers gather around to watch the show. When it's over, a group of them, obviously drunk or stoned or high or a combination of all three, go wandering off into the early morning mists with a flame gun - a little hand held pistol. And they start setting fire to trees, while this beautiful music plays, muffling the sound of the destruction.

Rollerball is about bread and circuses - it's about what do people do when they aren't being challenged, merely satiated.

To gloss over it as a violent film misses so much.
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There's an article in the Guardian today about video mashups, which lead me to this - Apocalypse Pooh - a mash up of Winnie the Pooh and Apocalypse Now from 1987 - well worth a look (though the video is quite jittery).

My Dad is Rich (and yours is dead!) - the latest song from Draco and the Malfoys - follow the links to Listen (with thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ldymusyc
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That's not a black and white photo ....

Spiderman 3 is scheduled for a May 2007 release.
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Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] serpentstar


"If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda,Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2."

Marvellous stuff :-)
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With the estimable [livejournal.com profile] forbinproject and [livejournal.com profile] westernind, I went to see V for Vendetta yesterday evening. To make sure my anger gland was full to the fullest fullity, I re-read the graphic novel on Sunday, and had a look at a couple of the websites where Alan Moore describes what Hollywood have done to his work.

And you know what?

It's a good film.

Not "It's okay, I guess." Not "it's about the best we could have hoped." Not "Well, it's better than League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".

It's a good film.

It simplifies the message of the graphic novel a little, but you know - having re-read it over the weekend, it could do with simplifying. The graphic novel is great, but Moore himself admits that it's written over the best part of a decade, and that the early sections don't gel particularly well with the later ones. And V's anarchistic ravings are ... well frankly, they're not the most coherent thing I've ever read.

A couple of spoiler free points:

  • The mask. No Judge Dredd moment here. The mask stays on all the time. And whoever was the lighting director deserves much kudos because between them and Hugo Weaving, the mask is animated - it changes expression without physically changing at all. Weaving acts with his body instead of his face, and that brings emotion to the mask.

  • The rampant Americanisms - didn't see them. The line "we call it eggy in a basket" comes across as incredibly corny written down, and many people, myself included, were quite scornful - that's an American breakfast, we said. No one in England would call it that. Well, unless they're Stephen Fry. Because when he says it, it suddenly becomes one of those breakfasts that upper class nannys fed to children destined for boarding school and buggery while their father reads the Times and mother worries about her roses. Fry injects whimsy into the line, and it works because of it. In a similar fashion, when Evey says (after V's first virtuoso vengeful monologue) "are you like a crazy person?" it doesn't come across as Valley Girl - her accent isn't perfect, but it's good enough that she sounds like a well bred English girl (most of the time - sometimes, she's a little bit Australian ...)

Definitely worth seeing, in my opinion.
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Borrowed the Battlestar Galactica boxed set from [livejournal.com profile] jimfer. This is generous of him and not the reason for the grrrr.

Putting Disc 1 of Series 1 in and hearing "Previously on Battlestar Galactica ..." is.

*sigh* Oh well - I'll watch something else and put off watching the series until I can borrow the miniseries that went before it from someone.
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Mirrormask is getting a UK cinema release - March 3rd!
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From the Guardian:

Sam Raimi, currently hard at work on Spider-Man 3, has been tapped to direct an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Wee Free Men as his first post-Spidey project. The 2003 book, part of Pratchett's immensely popular Discworld series of fantasy novels, centres on a nine-year-old girl's efforts, with the help of six-inch-tall sheep rustlers in kilts, to rescue her brother from the clutches of a fairy queen. If the picture is successful, Sony Pictures could be looking at a franchise goldmine - the Discworld series encompasses at least 35 novels and three children's books so far.

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