November 18th, 2007

breaking bad

Cormac McCarthy

I'm annoyed that 'No Country for Old Men' the Coen Brothers' film adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, won't come to this country until January. I don't want to wait.

Here's an excellent Harper's magazine article on the novel and McCarthy in general.

I think McCarthy believes that slaughter and despoliation are the natural universal conditions of the human. But also, he thinks there is something particularly destructive and doomed about the present. Though these two points of view aren't really compatible.
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breaking bad

Raining and podcasts

Yes, it's raining hard today, which is why I'm posting so much. I've started putting spoken word on my iPod. I bought an e-book '50 top poems' or something from iTunes, just now I started listening to it at the gym - I did an hour on the rowing machine without even noticing, way more than I've ever managed before. I could have kept going.

Thanks to metafilter I find four podcast series from University of Warwick:

Symmetry. Shakespeare. Islamic medicine. Creative writing challenges.

I'm definitely going to check these out. That last one in particular might interest the writers on my f-list. And there are many many more.


I thought Beowulf was great fun. It's set in a fantasy world rather than an historical world, and so issues of accuracy don't really apply. I thought it was exciting and funny. The scene where Beowulf woke from a dream I thought was as frightening as any horror film I have seen.

CGI has its strengths and weaknesses. For some reason the eyes don't look right, and a couple of times it Harrihausened itself.

I'd say it was like a good Disney film - say Beauty and the Beast or Peter Pan - made more explicitly violent. And it has the backbone of - gosh, I don't know the word - I don't mean authenticity. But you know like a decent Disney film or fairy story makes you feel it had some purpose to it. It's not demeaning.

I think if you take it on that basis, with that expectation, you'll get a good two hours of entertainment.

And - you'll have to trust me, my voice is doing a brilliant Ray Winstone impression here, even if my typing can't quite match it - 'I'm Beowulf: I'm 'ere to kiww your monsta.'

ETA - may I recommend rozk's review of Beowulf at Strange Horizons.