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Tony Grist

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Aesthetic Choices [Jan. 1st, 2012|10:34 am]
Tony Grist
The sea battle at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 lasts an age- which is good if you like that sort of thing. And apparently I do. Seems I can't get enough of broadsides and boarding parties and Bill Nighy emoting behind his octopus mask.  I particularly enjoy the bit where Tom Hollander slowly descends from the poop deck- untouched- as the ship flies into smithereens around him. 

I finished the last of the Brigadier Gerard stories. They're very simple tales, but Conan Doyle has the knack of making you want to find out what happens next.  File under "Master Story-teller". 

I had meant to wallow in Christmas TV, but there was nothing on worth bothering with. I caught the Dr Who Christmas Special a day late and it was far too twinkly for me. I think it would be good for the national soul if we Brits stopped telling ourselves heart-warming stories about World War II.

I haven't finished with Barrie yet. I read The Little White Bird over Christmas. It's the book the critics quote from- selectively- to prove that Barrie was a paedophile. Actually it proves the opposite.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-01-01 01:25 pm (UTC)
Don't all little boys love pirates and broadsides? I really enjoyed, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for much the same reasons.

How does, The Little White Bird, prove that Barrie was not a paedophile?
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2012-01-01 03:07 pm (UTC)
Well, it's actually impossible to prove a negative, but I am usually very sensitive to tone and nuances in a novel and there was absolutely nothing icky in The Little White Bird. I think all the accusations of paedophilia say more about our own society and obsessions than they do about Barrie.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-01-01 03:18 pm (UTC)
I wholly agree.

I get quite cross at the way Barrie has been maligned. The Little White Bird is a strange, weird, fascinating little book that deserves to be better known.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-01-01 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you and I agree on the significance of such accusations.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-01-01 03:13 pm (UTC)
The narrator of The Little White Bird is a man who has given up on life. He gets back into it by taking an interest in a young couple- and because he is too inhibited to approach them directly he goes at it obliquely by befriending their small son. There's one notorious passage that taken out of context reads like a paedophile gloating over his prey. Put it back into context and it's not about sex at all.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-01-01 04:01 pm (UTC)
Okay, many thanks for the synopsis.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-01-01 06:17 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for much the same reasons.

Seconding Master and Commander; I like it both as a film on its own merits and it finally got me to read Patrick O'Brian.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-01-02 12:22 pm (UTC)
The review I saw of Master and Commander suggested that, if you have a little boy in your life, of whatever age, do something nice and take him to see a movie that he will love. I did and I did.

I haven't read O'Brian and suspect that I should. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: jenny_evergreen
2012-01-01 03:02 pm (UTC)
Much as I, unsurprisingly, enjoyed the twinkly episode, I have to agree with your last point there, even as an outsider.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-01-01 03:15 pm (UTC)
We're hung up on how marvellous we were during the war- and it's stopping us from moving on. Britain is a different country now.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-01-01 06:12 pm (UTC)
Seems I can't get enough of broadsides and boarding parties and Bill Nighy emoting behind his octopus mask.

I love everything to do with the Flying Dutchman in those films. The series still could have used a tighter, less spot-written third film, but whenever Calypso or Davy Jones or his sea-changed crew are onscreen, I'm just happy.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-01-01 07:32 pm (UTC)
I love how weird and mythic the third film is. Who cares if it doesn't make sense!
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-01-05 04:18 pm (UTC)
I love how weird and mythic the third film is. Who cares if it doesn't make sense!

It has the star-ridden river of the dead. Who does that sort of thing anymore?
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2012-01-01 08:38 pm (UTC)
Bill Nighy emoting behind his octopus mask.

A case of cgi working exceptionally well.

I think it would be good for the national soul if we Brits stopped telling ourselves heart-warming stories about World War II.

For the international soul, even, I would argue for fewer heart-warming stories about anything. I did like a few isolated bits from the Christmas special but, yeah, too twinkly is a good way of putting it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-01-01 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think I know why the Xmas special was a bit rubbish. Moffat has been putting all his energy into Sherlock. I've just seem the first episode of the new season and it's fabulous.
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[User Picture]From: setsuled
2012-01-01 11:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool. I'll probably watch that to-night if I can get it.
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[User Picture]From: all_unnecessary
2012-01-02 01:30 am (UTC)
Oo. Sherlock!
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