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deep magic

There's not much good that can be said about the writing yesterday. No, that's not true. There's nothing good that can be said about the writing yesterday. I struggled with Secret Project B. I did hear from Ted Naifeh. That was nice. He says he'll probably have the illustrations for Alabaster, the Dancy Flammarion collection, finished by January 15th. And I'm getting ready to begin writing the last story for the book, "Bainbridge."

You're likely to have heard already, but Robert Sheckley died on Friday. My first editor at Vertigo was his daughter, Alisa Kwitney, who worked with me on much of The Dreaming. The world is truly a poorer place for the loss of his wit and talent. I'm sorry that we never had the opportunity to meet.

Spooky and I made the 4 p.m. matinee of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe yesterday, and I am very, very pleased to say that I was in no way disappointed. I went in with high expectations. Like The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, Lewis' Narnia books, especially the first three, were particularly important to me as a child and teenager. The film is just shy of perfect. I even liked the bit added onto the beginning, the bombing of London as prologue. The casting was superb, especially Georgie Henley as Lucy and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch. As always, I am in awe of Tilda Swinton. I've been in awe of her since Orlando (1992). Her presence in Constantine went a long way towards making up for Keanu Reeves. And now I will probably never be able to see anyone else as the White Witch. She was beautiful and terrible, especially in the climactic battle sequences. Oh, and Jim Broadbent, who can generally do no wrong, was a perfect choice for the Professor. The creature effects were very good (and I'd had my doubts about fauns and centaurs on the big screen), thanks to Weta. The score was magnificent. I know that in this Age of Irony and Affected Indifference, gushing is generally frowned upon. But I really don't care. This film warrants gushing. I have very few complaints, and they're all fairly minor. Liam Neeson did a decent enough job with Aslan, but I couldn't help but think a deeper, more resounding voice was called for and that perhaps Aslan might have been a little larger. Anyway, yes, if you're a fan of the novel, do see the film. I doubt you'll be disappointed. But do not go expecting an adult fantasy. This is a film for children, as it should be, and for admirers of the novel. If you hate children, it will likely drive you mad, which is fine, as it wasn't made for you. Even Lewis' rather heavy Xtian allegory, which I've long since outgrown, was only a very minor distraction. In the end, I think the film comes off as something concerned with far greater and grander things than the doctrine of any one religion. Okay. Enough gushing for the moment.

I should probably be working. Take a moment, please, to look over the current eBay auctions. You might find something you'd like. Also, both the Candles for Elizabeth and Aberrations #27 auctions will be ending today.

Comments

( 9 comments — Have your say! )
mastadge
Dec. 10th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
People keep comparing it to LotR. I think it's much more comparable to the recent Peter Pan. I'd also recommend reading the book first, because this movie works far better as a companion to the novel than as a movie on its own terms, I think. I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it much had I not read the book already.
mcdolemite
Dec. 10th, 2005 08:47 pm (UTC)
It bemuses me to see the Evangelicals (well, some of them) rallying behind this film, as not too long ago they were trying to get Lewis's books (along with Tolkien's and Baum's) pulled from school libraries. But then, while there are aspects of Lewis's theology that can be offputting to us non-Christians (see Neil's "The Problem of Susan" in whatever that big fat fantasy anthology of a few years ago was), there are ALSO aspects of his theology that prove upsetting to fundies, and by that I don't just mean his fondness for fantasy and classical paganism.
spimby
Dec. 10th, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
"It bemuses me to see the Evangelicals (well, some of them) rallying behind this film, as not too long ago they were trying to get Lewis's books"

You're talking about two different groups of American Christians, not one big "them." Evangelicals, by and large, are Lewis fans. Fundamentalists are divided on the subject, the same way they are about, say, Halloween or Harry Potter. (Evangelicals may also be opposed to both of the latter, but there's a lot less of that than in Fundamentalism.)

Charismatics, since they're basically Christian witches, themselves, tend to skew pretty heavily toward any other magic being bad, although some Charismatics like Lewis, too.
setsuled
Dec. 10th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
I am very, very pleased to say that I was in no way disappointed.

Well, that's good. I've had a bad feeling about this movie for a long time and I very much want to be wrong.

Liam Neeson did a decent enough job with Aslan, but I couldn't help but think a deeper, more resounding voice was called for

When I heard it was Liam Neeson doing the voice, I remember thinking, "That's not bad, but couldn't they have gotten James Earl Jones . . . ?" And then I remembered The Lion King. I think Mufasa's been stealing Aslan's cinematic thunder longer than people've been conscious of.

This is a film for children, as it should be, and for admirers of the novel. If you hate children, it will likely drive you mad, which is fine, as it wasn't made for you.

Hmm. I hate children, but I love the books. Actually, I often like fictional children, such as the ones in the books. Maybe I can still enjoy the movie.

Really, why can kids like those exist? And Emmie Silvey, too. She doesn't seem so bad.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 10th, 2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I hate children, but I love the books. Actually, I often like fictional children, such as the ones in the books. Maybe I can still enjoy the movie.

I, too, am a great admirer of fictional children.
lou_sytsma
Dec. 11th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC)
Point of clarification - Weta only did the practical effects ie armour, weaponry etc. The visual effects were handled by a variety of SFX houses.
greygirlbeast
Dec. 11th, 2005 04:03 am (UTC)
The visual effects were handled by a variety of SFX houses.

Oh. Well. There you are, then.

They did a very good job.
stonescorpion
Dec. 11th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
CGI
I usually don't like CGI, it never looks as real as a model or puppet would. The shadows just don't look right. I loved the look of the original Star Wars Triology and think Lucas should have stuck with that expensive process because to me it looked more realisitic than the TONS of CGI and digital creatures/scenes he created.

As for Narnia though, I was impressed by the CGI too. There were very few moments I looked as Aslan and thought 'it's not real.' The child actors looked related, which brothers and sisters SHOULD. The only possible subsititue for Tilda Swinton might be Cate Blanchett, but that's too obvious a choice. The actor who played Lucy was an perfect choice I agree.

BTW if you haven't seen Swinton in the movie Young Adam go out and rent it immeadiately. It's a great great murder mystery sex film.

And finally for a Disney film, they did a great job with the battle scenes. No blood, but lots of action.

I wonder if they'll make the rest of the books into movies? Prince Caspian would be doable, same actors afterall.

Scorp
greygirlbeast
Dec. 11th, 2005 03:05 pm (UTC)
Re: CGI
I usually don't like CGI, it never looks as real as a model or puppet would.

Generally, I disagree. In the Lord of the Rings films, for example, I don't think that there's any way many the creatures effects could have been adequately achieved without CGI. The oliphants and Shelob, for instance. I think one reason we have this current Golden Age of Fantasy Films is that fimmakers finally have the technology to begin to catch up to writers. And in the last ten years, improvements have been dramatic. Compare in giant sabre-toothed cat in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (stop motion; 1977) with the lion in Jumanji (1995; CGI) with Aslan (2005). Clearly, the ability to create a giant lionlike cat has improved dramatically.

BTW if you haven't seen Swinton in the movie Young Adam

I haven't, but now I shall. Thanks!

I wonder if they'll make the rest of the books into movies?

I've not heard. I'm hoping we get the next two books, at least. Probably, it depends in part of how the film does at the bo this weekend.
( 9 comments — Have your say! )