Monday, January 4, 2010

Et Cetera Update

Having some time extra about a month ago, I spent an hour browsing Barnes & Noble. Just the fiction section. I have plenty of books at home that I haven't gotten to reading yet; I was hence only planning on buying a book that stood apart. Author to three short, tiny, plain-covered books was Laura Wiess. The microscopic size intrigued me, as did the few words I skimmed in one or two of the books. The style seemed unique, so when I finally left the store, Leftovers came with me. As you must be gathering, I was in the mood for something different. Vastly different, on an opposite scope, yet still something I could enjoy for whatever reason. Nothing predictable. Amazingly, this book was the perfect choice for my mood. Told from the perspective of two teenage girls whose home lives are more than trying, it switches between third person and second. I'd have to check, but I think there is more second person than third. I never would have thought that would work so well; it doesn't make the narrative drag, only working to further the girls' perspective. The book's material can be a little depressing and isn't the sort of thing I seek out to read, yet the style is unique, as I had guessed. Refreshing even while depressing. Enough that I'd like to try out Laura Wiess's other books.

Then we have the audio drama for CS Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, starring Andy Serkis (aka Gollum) as Screwtape.
Since most of it is straight from the book, there was nothing new to me there, yet the listening was still well worth it. I don't
know how Andy Serkis does it, but he makes every line a pleasure to listen to. That is, as far as it is pleasurable to listen to a
senior demon describe how to tempt humanity . . . The additions of conversations on earth and between Screwtape and his
nephew make effective ways of drawing the audience into the audio as a story. I only wish the CD's weren't so pricey.
Twenty-six dollars at Amazon was the lowest price I could find, which was a little steep, I thought. Maybe not as far as audio
dramas go, but as far as I wanted to pay, yes.

And no, I'm not quite sick of Twilight and New Moon yet. A word on the latter's movie companion: I thought it was much better than the former's. The Twilight companion, for me, lacked the personal element I go to companion's for. I want to know what it was like for the cast and crew on set. The New Moon companion gives an abundance of quotes that satisfied my wants. Movie companions also describe some of the technology used; they can't go into too much detail lest readers get confused by technical descriptions, but after you read a couple of books, the brief info starts to repeat. Not so with this book. Sure, some processes I knew about, but I also learned a couple of things about moviemaking in general. I feel more satisfied with Mark Cotta Vaz's work as a companion writer now.
I think I mentioned that I'm a Disneyland fan? Naturally, I'm a sometimes mild fan of Disney in general. I was looking forward to Disney's "grand" return to hand-drawn animation with The Princess and the Frog last month. Probably I'm biased, but I don't usually like their more recent movies so much. Not that I went into the movie with too many expectations . . . I just didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was my minor reward to myself after my Latin final (and the end of the fall semester), and a rather nice reward it was. Color, artistry, movement, composition, these are the things I think animation has been lacking lately. We focus on how real animation looks instead of these aspects that make it so beautiful. Particularly with song sequences, it was a treat to see Disney remember how to use them. And a great job adapting a fairy tale as a fairy tale (aka with the happy, unrealistic ending we want to see), while adjusting it to a modern audience (Tiana's dream isn't a prince, and the prince is only half of her happy ending.)

That's it, I believe. Until next time.

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