Friday, December 23, 2005

DVD Watching

Watched two DVD’s last night.

Serenity was good. Neat, in media res action writing, good acting (especially by the heavy). The writing was everything the recent Star Wars movies were not: crisp, clever and full of conflict.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, from the novel by Nora Zeale Hurston, produced by Oprah Winfrey and starring Halle Barry, was not so good. I wanted to like it. The milieu of Eatonville and poor southern life in the early 20th century is interesting. I could not get through the movie because the story lacked the essential ingredient of a plot: conflict.

Instead, they went for symbolism. The heroine puts a caterpillar on her nose; she is a caterpillar, not a butterfly. When she makes life changes she jumps in water; she is washing the old life away. When she is with her husband, no one plays the piano, but after her husband dies, her new lover teaches her to play a few chords; he is initiating her to fulfilling sex.

Symbolism by itself is bullshit. It is good only when integrated into a story that has a plot with plenty of conflict. Focusing on symbolism instead of conflict makes for a disaster -- a pretentious disaster that only sophomore English lit majors could love.


Well, this is my third post today. Can you tell I’m on vacation? Today I’ve walked around my apartment, gone out to the back porch, looked at the palm trees…

The cats are worried.


Jennifer Snow said...

If you're like most busy people I know, you find it oppressive to try and maintain an hobby at the same time as your work, so when you do actually get a vacation, you're at loose ends.

I'm sort of the other way around: my hobbies are my principle work and that other thing just puts food on the table, so when I'm on vacation from it I have no trouble filling the time.

If you like computer games at all I highly recommend Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, unless you were just kidding about being bored, in which case all I have to say is :P

Myrhaf said...

My main problem is that I'm thrown off my automotized routine. I'm just used to sitting at my desk in my bedroom and working. It's not a serious problem -- which is why I can joke about it!

I did play Gemstone III (now Gemstone IV) for a year in the '90s. I found myself wasting an unbelievable amount of time. I quit that game because it was not good for me. Almost an addiction.

Jennifer Snow said...

That's why I prefer RPG games--they actually end.