the_islander: (revolution)
"... but I tell you that there have been times, when the mist comes down from the high moors, when I have more than half expected to see the lost Legion come marching home."


I am suffering. They made a movie of my Most Favourite Book Ever (TM). And they FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAILED!

If you don't believe me, watch this trailer.

[Spoiler alert:]
And I always thought the whole point about the book was that Esca was not Marcus' slave (at least not any more when they set out on their journey north)? That people can be friends or at least treat each other with respect even if they belong to different cultures? Or did I miss anything when I read it for like twenty times and do now have to be enlightened by some stupid Hollywood playwright? 

Besides, stupid people on the IMDB-boards - in the book there is a lovestory of sorts, just too subtle for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic, that's why they cut it out. Bet they also cut out Cub. And Marcus is so out of character even in the trailer (apart from the fact that he is - apparently - also not faking to be a Greek oculist, which basically breaks the whole logic of the plot to pieces).
Funny though that they gave the Romans American accents ;-)

No way I'm going to watch that movie.

(On the upside - it has Jamie Bell in it)

[EDIT: ] I think the director of that movie read a different book than I did. Honestly, where did you get that from:

"At the heart of it, the film is really about a son's quest to clear his father's name. Is that the way you saw it and what were some of the other themes in the movie that you were excited to play with as a director?

I guess that is really the main theme at the heart of the movie. Marcus, Tatum's character is a guy who is really taunted at school
(which school?) because everyone knows that his father humiliated Rome. (Nope. His father was merely a Centurion, not the commander of that Legion. That blame falls to someone else.) People talk about him behind his back all the time and that has turned him into an angry person. Someone who always feels that he is on the outside, which is how I saw it. Really in order, I suppose, to find out who he is and feel good about himself, he needs to find out what happened to his father. Did he die as a coward or not? What really happened to him? (NO, NO, NO, dammit. No one in the whole book ever talks about him behind his back, and he only goes running after his father when he has no other options left and is pretty much bored to death.) So that is for Marcus the through-line on the surface but we then layered in the relationship between him and Esca. That is something that has been radically changed from the book. Esca, the Jamie Bell character, exists but he is not quite the same. He becomes the slave and then he becomes this loyal servant who is loyal all the way through. There is no question of, is he going to betray him? There is no resentment from the underdog towards the superior individual. (Yes there is. Wanna have me cite pages?) So I felt that in the '50s, when the book was written, you could do that. You could have a character that is just a loyal servant and that would be a great thing. Because if you were middle class in America then (may I point out that Rosemary Sutcliff, the author of that book you're mutilating, is in fact BRITISH? And I very much doubt that it was written solely with an American audience in mind), you probably had servants and that attitude was still prevalent. Where is today with the idea of someone being from a country that has been occupied, our references immediately go to Iraq or Afghanistan. They feel resentment and like, can we trust these people? The idea that they don't want to have our culture thrust upon them and how do they feel about us being there and occupying their country. (Yes, and that is pretty much obvious in the book as well, if you only stuck to it.)
the_islander: (ladies)
Sometimes, when I have a lot of free time at hand, I get bored with myself very easily, and instead of spending that treasured bit of free time on something useful, I stay on the internet far too long and wait for something to happen. Which it doesn't.
I need to get a grip on myself.
the_islander: (meeting)
In her fairy-tale world she's a lost soul singing - in a sad voice nobody hears.
She waits in her castle of make-believe for her white knight to appear.


Why are there songs and stories that cut deep to the heart, and others that just don't? 
the_islander: (bird)
Currently reading: Otherland I - City of Golden Shadows
(Snagged that idea from [livejournal.com profile] apple_garden )

Another one of my favourites: 

Wild Mountain Thyme

Oh, the summer time is coming,
And the trees are blooming,
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather.

Will you go, lassie, will you go?
And we'll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather,
Will you go, lassie, go?

I will build my love a bower
By yon clear and crystal fountain,
And all around the bower,
I'll pile flowers from the mountain.

If my true love, she won't have me,
I will surely find another
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.

Oh, the summertime is coming
And thre trees are blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather.


(And no, it's not traditional - 1957, more likely - but beautiful nonetheless)
the_islander: (poet)
... and the Writer is even more so. But let me explain.

I read a lot of books on writing lately, and some of them were quite good, actually. The uni library seems pretty well stocked on that topic, perhaps because they need to encourage all these English Literature students who - except for becoming a writer - don't know how to get a job... Well, back to the topic.
Most books I laid my hands on where more or less writing manuals (How to construct plots, create credible characters, and all that stuff), and thus only partly interesting to me. I do know all the theory about writing, I've been studying literature - called reading when I was not yet at uni -  long enough. I am able to decide whether a plot is fascinating or whether all books by one author are - essentially - the same (good example: Hohlbein). 
What I am not able to do properly is to commit myself to a more or less regular writing pattern, and to keep up the same motivation and inspiration for a longer period of time. Yet.
Funny thing: Two of the books I read came up with very convincing (and very similar) explanations.

The theory is as follows: 
Each writer combines in him/herself two essentially different "personalities" (not quite the right word, though...), that of the creator and that of the editor. While the creator needs spontanity, sensitiveness and an almost childlike openness to old and new things alike in order to produce some sort of art, the editor is rational, selective and critical (and everything else that is craft-like in writing). It is obvious that those two parts are not only both essential for writing effectively, but also must be in constant conflict with each other. [I do see that in myself, by the way. Whenever I'm writing something I just stop somewhere in the middle and start criticising and correcting instead of just finishing the scene and do the editing part later on]. The point is then, to try and keep the two apart while writing - write first and edit afterwards -, and that is also what I'm trying to work on, recently.
I think simply knowing about this fact already helps (or so I feel), but I do think I should need more practice.

By the way: Another point of advice in one of the books was not to read too much while writing because the style of the author influences your own one - which you need to find first, before improving it by the right kind of influence. I can see that even in this post... language seems somewhat old-fashioned... Whyever. ^^


---------------
Just another point: I do wonder how there can be sooo much truth in a book of about 70 pages...(and I'm not talking about the book on writing ^^).

[EDIT] And yes, this was another procrastination entry (though I wanted to cover the topic for quite some time). Case paper: 500/2500 words. Bah.

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April 2011

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