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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Of films, and curly-whirlys, and sealing wax...

In the last few days I have got to see The Chronicles and Narnia and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Two lush, epic films in one week, what bliss! I love a really richly visual film (and not all films are, or at least not to my taste). I love films where I am craning my neck to see every detail of the sets and the costumes as well as enjoying the story, and these two certainly fulfilled all that.

Narnia - I was apprehensive about this because it would have had to be pretty special to gain approval from someone who knows every word of those books backwards. And it matched up surprisingly well. I don;t know that the beginning shots of the war in London were necessary, but they didn't harm it. I disliked a couple of the voices - the wolf chief of police and the centaur general didn't sound quite right and I think they were a sop to the American audiences. Other than that, I loved it. I admit I cried during most of the film. The Narnia books were something that held me together during a not always happy childhood, helping me imagine being an empowered child in a fantasy universe. To see that come to life was pretty powerful.

I must say I was surprised it got a PG rating, I thought it warranted an M rating. The scenes of Aslan's death and the final battle scene were not remotely suitable for young children. I would still have taken my kids to see it with an M rating (they are 9 and 12) because I allow certain, carefully picked M rated films, and prepare myself for suitable discussions about them. But there were really little kids in the audience and I think their parents need their heads read. Having said that, I read the book for the first time when I was six and I have never forgotten the impact that Aslan's death scene and the girls' lonely night vigil over him had on me.

Harry Potter - also with an M rating, justifiably. The big problem with the Harry Potter films is that they started off three hours long when the books were comparatively short, and now the books are getting longer and longer, the films can;t be made commensureably longer otherwise no-one would sit through them. So a lot of the endearing details that makes the books so lovely to read is lost in the translation. But I still thought it was pretty mindblowing and loved it. It is great to see the same actors actually growing older, and I hope they manage to keep them contracted for all the films! Is it my imagination or does Michael Gambon try to sound Irish from time to time? Is it deliberate or is he chanelling the late lamented Richard Harris?

The climax was as shocking as it was when I read the book. Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen it still affected me the same way.

The merfolk were every bit as creepy as I hoped they would be. I have always found mermaids and mermen creepy, never cute and cuddley as they are often portrayed, and for once they were shown as I always think of them!

As unexpected bonus was David Tennant - Ok, so he was a bad guy, but I confess to being rather taken with the latest Doctor Who. When he transformed back to himself from Old Man Moody I half expected him to say 'New teeth!' like he does when he transforms from Christopher Eccleston.

There are still films that the kids want to see over the summer and I will probably take them to, but nothing to beat these two films.

Now curly-whirlys - I had a sudden urge to make one last night. I thought it might be something I could do with the stuff that my SIL gave me for Christmas that I had dyed. So I grabbed a crochet hook and started. Well, the stuff is not suitable for actual wearing, I'm afraid, it is coarse and not very lovely to work with. So I think it will be used for art projects, of which there will be many over the next three years while I am at college! I found three balls of a soft, light, bulky acrylic that I thought would be a nice scarf and started on that. Well, it is crocheting beautifully and feels like a nice light cloud, but goodness those things eat yarn! There won;t be enough to make it as wide as I wanted. I am considering adding another yarn as well but I only have single balls of suitable candidates and I specifically wanted it to be a stashbuster so I am not buying anything for it. I might add a row of plain double crochet on the short side, I think I have enough of something suitable for that, and just have it as a narrow curly-whirly. I think I will make some more, I have a number of patterns for sundry variations of this type of thing and I like to wear scarves as accessories in the winter.

Sealing wax - I was just being silly there!


Leeanne said...

I too saw and read Narnia (actually have one last chapter to go) and I thought the book was way better then the film. I've attempted to watch the film 3 times but sleep through it as it is the only time the kids are quiet. Though I have seen the ending 3 times...
Happy crafting.

jussi said...

I saw Narnia on saturday, the costumes were awesome, lots of beautiful vintage knits! I too read the books inside out and read them to my girls, and I was quite amazed at the feelings that welled up inside me...I too remember the escapism the books afforded, so the scene when Lucy took her first step into Narnia, and slowly looked around her...saw me burst into tears.

PJ said...

Hi..found your blog through the ABC ring! I'm assuming your "M rating' is our PG-13 rating? I TOTALLY AGREE!!! I see these little kids I just wonder what the parents are thinking (or NOT thinking) We are going to see Narnia end of the month when our military base gets it..we can't wait! Totally agree with the HP movie...boy! the length!