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Movies Wot I Have Seen Recently II: THE REVENGE OF THE WOTSIT!

29 November 200904:16PMreview


Moving on from my ridiculous title, a certain lack of school has left me with time. Loads and loads, and loads, and loads and loads. So I've been watching some movies, a couple which I'd always meant to get around to watching, and some new ones I haven't seen yet, and... oh yeah, Star Trek again. That just never gets old, seriously.

Actually I watched 2 the other night. ABC2 was running some kind of sci-fi wet dream, Fahrenheit 451 (that is really difficult to spell...) and Slaughterhouse-Five back to back. I missed the first half an hour of Fahrenheit 451, but it was fairly straightforward if you know the book. If you don't, well, it's basically a dystopian future where 'firemen' go out and burn books, and literacy is considered evil.

First off, it was a really well made film, and I actually enjoyed watching it. Second was how scary it seemed. Maybe it's because I'm a bibliophile, but the thought of that many books just being destroyed was... well, yeah, scary. And the really scary thing about it was how easily the characters rationalised it. Books waste time - why bother reading about someone else's life when you could do something with yours? They create inequality, too- I think the example they used was Plato and philosophy - "How could anyone who reads Plato not think himself better than someone who doesn't?" They record other people's pointless thoughts, or life stories, and it doesn't matter because none of that is important to here and now. And you can imagine people rationalising their own ignorance using much the same methods, discarding books as irrelevant or too time consuming and not realising what there is to be learned from being able to experience the thoughts of others.

The printed word is still the greatest method of information dissemination we have. It can expose you unlike anything else to something outside of yourself, something apart from the everyday, something you'd never have known, or experienced, or even thought about, something new and amazing and wonderful which could make your day or change your life (the scene in the movie/book where a woman is overcome with emotion just from hearing Montag read a few lines, saying "I'd forgotten how those feelings felt" or something to that effect).

Even on a more practical level, print provides the ability to learn and communicate, which, funnily enough, the characters somewhat lack, being happy to sit in front of their huuuuuuuge TV (another scary fact... the size of the TV must have seemed obscene in the 60s, but now it's actually a fairly normal size) and gossip about nothings. I guess what I'm trying to say here is, hoo boy does this film have an agenda, but it's an important one, and a scary one, and one people shouldn't forget in a hurry.

Moving on to Slaughterhouse-Five... Ungh. My head asplode. Non linear storytelling taken to its extreme, seemingly for no reason other than to just see if you could... but I just thought of something else. What if it wasn't trying to actually tell a story (it did, of course, it just spread it out all over) but was trying to build a character? By the end of the film, you've seen all of Billy's major life events, they've been tied together non-linearly but thematically (I think... I was kinda half asleep for some of it) and you know Billy inside out, which in the end works much better for the film's purposes than just writing a story about how War is Bad and Destructive and Ruins Lives, and how Society is Hollow, and other such weighty themes.

And then there's the whole seeing the future/knowing the future/time travel determinism/free will thing with him pretty much stating the moment he's going to die, while simultaneously existing at all other points of his life and in Another Place (the planet of Tralfanadore, which is millions of light years away yet still inexplicably in orbit around Jupiter...). It's interesting stuff, and I liked it, but I think I'll watch it again later when it's not midnight and I'm not semi-conscious and I'm not distracted by laptop and sleep and the cat jumping on me.

And then the fun one, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Not anywhere near as intellectual, although certain websites coughMugglenetcough would disagree. So instead of any kind of thinking, I'm just going to state that actually, the movies aren't half bad, and the books were pretty damn awesome, and one day they may well be considered Literature (unlike a certain teen vampire saga) and were almost single-handedly responsible for bringing fantasy to an entire generation and opening minds to new ideas and exciting that vague idea that everyone has that there's a bit more to the world than it seems... because if there's one thing that really, truly stands out about Harry Potter it's the world building. It's weird and it's magical and it has a distinct style, and you can get totally lost in it and I won't let this turn into another rant on how awesome books are, because then I'd sound scarily like a librarian. Anyway, kudos to the Harry Potter books, and to J.K. Rowling, and to the various film directors, for creating an entire freaking world. [/end fanboy rant... tee hee.]

So, coming up next on the list if our bandwidth isn't maxed out by the morning:

2010 (the sequel to 2001, which is fantastic but trippy) Alien Robocop TRON The Matrix (which I've never actually seen :S)

And that's probably enough for one post, which my word processor somewhat reliably informs me is just shy of 1000 words... though that was back before this sentence, so it might have gone over since then... Nope, it hasn't. I'd better leave before it does, and you move into boredom territory.

Enjoy your holidays everyone!


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