Another Day, Another Blog

June 27, 2007

The Lady cried, for she longed for a castle beside her tear-drop pool

Filed under: in for a penny, sci-fi — iamza @ 1:25 pm

I finally got around to watching M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water. Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) is the superintendent and general handyman for The Cove, an apartment building complex populated by some interesting people. One night, Cleveland falls into the pool, and stumbles across Story, a water sprite/narf on a mission to offer enlightenment to one man before flying home by way of a giant eagle escapee from one of the Lord of the Rings films. Unfortunately, Story’s nemesis, a giant grass-covered hyena, has also travelled to The Cove, and he’s determined to make Story miss her flight (rather like the train driver on my last trip to London Heathrow, when I think about it).

I think I’m growing away from M. Night Shyamalan’s stories. I loved The Sixth Sense, because I saw it early enough that I hadn’t been warned there was a twist at the end. I enjoyed Signs because I wasn’t expecting the water glasses to play such an important role. I thought Unbreakable was all right, and quite liked the idea of a supervillain struggling to find a superhero worthy of his attention. I hated The Village and, aside from Cleveland Heep, I didn’t really care about any of the characters in Lady in the Water.

Also watched Howl’s Moving Castle, directed by Hayao Miwazaki of Spirited Away fame. Hatmaker Sophie is cursed by the Wicked Witch of the West (I think), and transformed from her youthful self into a ninety-year-old woman. Terrified of what her mother will think, Sophie runs away from home, and finds a new life for herself in the magical moving castle of master magician, Howl. Along the way, Sophie collects some interesting companions, including: a bouncing scarecrow with an attitude problem; the fire demon, Calcifer, with whom Sophie strikes a deal; a shaggy dog with very short legs; and, of course, Howl, who is battling a curse of his own.

I loved Howl’s Moving Castle, though, as with most Japanese animated films, I walked away at the end wondering just how much of the film I’d missed. Japanese films and comics seem to me to rely on the reader/viewer grasping subtle complexities, and understanding what I regard as non-intuitive leaps in storytelling; I’m pretty sure I miss out on an awful lot.

Still, if you choose to watch one fairy-tale this week, I know which of the two I’d recommend…

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4 Comments »

  1. If you like fairy-tale stories have you tried reading any of the David Eddings books. There are quite a few books out now by the author and like the Lord of the Rings books its a continuing story throughout multiple books. I highly recommend the The Belgariad set of books they have some great characters in and are definitely worth a try. I find much of the magic of books is lost when they make their transition to film. Happy reading.

    Comment by used vans girl — July 19, 2007 @ 9:40 am

  2. I loved the Belgariad, and the Sparrowhawk trilogy (The Sapphire Rose, The Diamond Throne, and The Ruby Knight), and quite enjoyed his Belgarath and Polgara standalone novels. I was less keen on the Mallorean books, and have yet to read David and Leigh Eddings’ latest series (The Elder Gods? Sleeping Gods?). I love the wry sense of humour displayed by most of the characters in an Eddings tale, probably even more than I like the plot. :-)

    I do enjoy reading fairy tales, but, just at the moment, I’m more into contemporary settings. Have you ever read Emma Bull’s War of the Oaks?

    Comment by iamza — July 19, 2007 @ 10:49 am

  3. Hi Imaza I’m just finishing the “The Song of Albion” Trilogy by Steven Lawhead, a great set of books I think I will try more from this author in the future. Have just had a look at Emma Bull’s War of the Oaks it looks good and has some great reviews. It’s also available second hand on Amazon which is a big bonus. It gets quite expensive buying new books all the time especially if you can’t wait for the soft back edition to come out. I love the image you use for your header graphic its a very interesting choice.

    Comment by used vans girl — July 24, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

  4. I’ve not read The Song of Albion series by Lawhead, but I loved his Dragon King trilogy. I just had a quick look on Amazon to see what ‘The Song of Albion’ trilogy was about, and it sounds quite intriguing — sort of like Susan Cooper’s Under Sea, Over Stone books.

    In an ideal world, we’d all have free access to an amazon.com warehouse, where we could read any and all of the books that took our fancy. I’d never sleep again! :-)

    Thanks for the nice words about the header image — alas, it is the default image for this blog layout, created by Sadish, and is not one that I specially uploaded. That said, I love it too, which explains why it has not been changed. :-)

    Comment by iamza — July 30, 2007 @ 2:17 pm


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