Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Last Straw

Saw  The Last Jedi, with little enthusiasm. Much smaller canvases are much better at doing the epic thing - Breaking Bad, say. I can see the difficulty of having a true epic sweep, which really involves a final gotterdammerung (sp), in a series that you can't afford to let ever come to an end, but still...

Not a good outing for Newton's laws of motion, either.  The rebel ships were being chased by bad guy warships, and the problem was said to be that the rebs were running out of fuel; which in space must surely mean that they were steadily accelerating, as they'd need almost no fuel to maintain a constant speed.
And what are the chances that their rate of acceleration would be identical to the pursuing warship, neither gaining not losing? 
and the following problem, that the rebel ship shed a number of transports to land on a small planet (well, earthsized, by the gravity) that would have had to expend enormous amounts of fuel to come to a stop, being as what they were travelling at the speed of the mothership. 

 Their fighters engaged with the warships at distances that would have been regarded as uncomfortably close at the time of Trafalgar.

And the rebel cruiser appeared to have shields, while the bombs that were dropped on the Bad Dreadnaught just dropped straight on without impediment.

Bah, humbug, to be seasonal. 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

PC Peter

Went to the National Theatre film of its Peter Pan, which was really even worse than the total shambles it made of Treasure Island last year.  They have absolutely no idea - no, they have ideas, deeply misguided ones, that they impose on the text, and absolutely refuse to allow the work to speak for itself.  They remove from Pan, for example, both the sentimentality and the viciousness.

When you come to think of it, the classic Pan, where Mr. Darling doubles Captain Hook, is a pretty close approximation to the Oedipus story; Peter kills the father (Hook) and marries the mother (Wendy).  But you have to leave the quirk in. The national had the mother as Hook, which would require a much more thorough rewrite; had Tinkerbell as a gay clown - can't imagine who clapped for her/him; had the father also double as a lost boy - in fact, they screwed with every carefully mined apposition - age, sex, class - that  make up the witches' brew that is Peter Pan (I find that nobody ever remembers that bit about Peter thinning out the lost boys if they started to grow; much more like the later vampire movie than the Disney).

OK, am I wrong? The Guardian review says
[The Director's] latest ruse is inspired by JM Barrie’s original concept for the staged version of Peter Pan, which first premiered in 1904, although Barrie didn’t publish a script until the late 1920s (because he kept altering it). Barrie always intended that the roles of Mrs Darling and Hook be played by the same person, even though he never achieved this in any of the productions he staged. “Barrie wanted the actress playing Mrs Darling to double up as Hook because Hook is Peter’s nemesis and his arch enemy is really the mother figure.”
“Peter was rejected as a tiny infant by his own mother. We learn about that in [the 1906 novel] Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. There’s a chapter where we find out that his nursery room has bars and he has been denied access to his mother. This provides the emotional essence of the story. If Hook is a man you don’t get that ‘mother figure’ theme running through the story, which is hugely important to the piece.” 
I'm going to have to check that.
The Independent mentions that 
there’s an interpolation from the later story Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens that goes some way towards explaining
Peter's dislike of mothers, and that I would certainly have accepted without demur. 
And then there's this:
There were odd stories about him; as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened. 
That would be quite a treatment. Rather like Gaiman's Death. 
Barrie contemplated naming the story "The Boy Who Hated Mothers", and tried to have the actress playing Mrs Darling double with Captain Hook (Barrie himself remarked, "There is the touch of the feminine in Hook, as in all the greatest pirates). In a remarkable moment in Peter and Wendy, the narrator declares that he despises Mrs Darling; a little later, he says that he likes her best of all. Out of such idiosyncratic, rapid switches of feeling, this classic draws its life.
All right, I have to buy The Annotated Peter Pan. 

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