aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Feb. 24th, 2008 05:47 pm)
"It's never over with you," I think Jack said to Daniel in an episode; I don't remember which.

It's never over with me either, nor, apparently, Canada's Globe and Mail, which features this late-breaking review of Beowulf, complete with some suggestions for an encore for Robert Zemeckis, a few other classic works of literature and how he could update them. My one beef against the journalist is that he places all the blame on Robert Zemeckis, when Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary wasted parts of ten years of their lives on this mess, and Gaiman, at least, knows better. I should read Anansi Boys to get the bad taste out of my head. The review is funny, and worth reading, I think, even if you haven't seen the movie.

I still wish I hadn't seen the movie, but it may come in handy next time I teach the poem. At least this time I'll know where some of the bizarre stuff some student is sure to start spouting originated. (Note to self: still ought to watch Christopher Lambert's "techno-feudal version"; might have better laughs than the Gaiman-Avary effort.)
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aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Feb. 24th, 2008 05:47 pm)
"It's never over with you," I think Jack said to Daniel in an episode; I don't remember which.

It's never over with me either, nor, apparently, Canada's Globe and Mail, which features this late-breaking review of Beowulf, complete with some suggestions for an encore for Robert Zemeckis, a few other classic works of literature and how he could update them. My one beef against the journalist is that he places all the blame on Robert Zemeckis, when Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary wasted parts of ten years of their lives on this mess, and Gaiman, at least, knows better. I should read Anansi Boys to get the bad taste out of my head. The review is funny, and worth reading, I think, even if you haven't seen the movie.

I still wish I hadn't seen the movie, but it may come in handy next time I teach the poem. At least this time I'll know where some of the bizarre stuff some student is sure to start spouting originated. (Note to self: still ought to watch Christopher Lambert's "techno-feudal version"; might have better laughs than the Gaiman-Avary effort.)
Tags:
aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:52 pm)
Saturn nominations are listed here. It's nice to see some of my favorite shows. Brilliant Husband and I have been arguing Kevin McKidd versus Lee Pace. BH said, "Why isn't John Barrowman here?", but I think the acting noms are for North American shows only. If John Barrowman was on that list, we wouldn't be arguing anything. (I saw John Barrowman quoted as saying he didn't want people to like Jack. Gee, I'm sorry: that's the one way in which you've failed. I like Jack in spite of you, in spite of myself--how can we not like Jack? He can be cold, vicious, callous--but he can also care deeply, and try really hard to do the right thing, and suffer greatly to help others. And, well, he's the most gorgeous man on television, which doesn't hurt, but I swear that's not my main consideration here.)

I have one whopping big complaint: why the frell does Beowulf get nominations, and Avary and Gaiman for screenplay? That was dreadful! The screenplay was awful! The Thirteenth Warrior did more interesting things with the story, for heaven's sake! (My review of the movie is here, if you haven't read it.)

If you want a better version of Beowulf, go here. It looks like Old English, but really, it's not. Don't be intimidated. Read it out loud. Enjoy it. Share it with your friends.
aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:52 pm)
Saturn nominations are listed here. It's nice to see some of my favorite shows. Brilliant Husband and I have been arguing Kevin McKidd versus Lee Pace. BH said, "Why isn't John Barrowman here?", but I think the acting noms are for North American shows only. If John Barrowman was on that list, we wouldn't be arguing anything. (I saw John Barrowman quoted as saying he didn't want people to like Jack. Gee, I'm sorry: that's the one way in which you've failed. I like Jack in spite of you, in spite of myself--how can we not like Jack? He can be cold, vicious, callous--but he can also care deeply, and try really hard to do the right thing, and suffer greatly to help others. And, well, he's the most gorgeous man on television, which doesn't hurt, but I swear that's not my main consideration here.)

I have one whopping big complaint: why the frell does Beowulf get nominations, and Avary and Gaiman for screenplay? That was dreadful! The screenplay was awful! The Thirteenth Warrior did more interesting things with the story, for heaven's sake! (My review of the movie is here, if you haven't read it.)

If you want a better version of Beowulf, go here. It looks like Old English, but really, it's not. Don't be intimidated. Read it out loud. Enjoy it. Share it with your friends.
Legos first: [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris posted a link to a Stargate Lego set-up.

That reminds me of one of the greatest Lego creations I have ever seen: Amy Hughes's Abston Church of Christ. It's amazing. Go through the galleries. Thanks to my brother, who put me on to this years ago; I have been sharing it ever since.

I am also grateful to that same brother for pointing me to Beowulf vs. Grendel. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger one. His favorite bit and mine is in the upper right-hand corner of the first photo; I think you'll know which one.

Academic geekery after the cut )
Legos first: [livejournal.com profile] loriel_eris posted a link to a Stargate Lego set-up.

That reminds me of one of the greatest Lego creations I have ever seen: Amy Hughes's Abston Church of Christ. It's amazing. Go through the galleries. Thanks to my brother, who put me on to this years ago; I have been sharing it ever since.

I am also grateful to that same brother for pointing me to Beowulf vs. Grendel. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger one. His favorite bit and mine is in the upper right-hand corner of the first photo; I think you'll know which one.

Academic geekery after the cut )
A few links of interest:

First, two more reviews of the recent movie Beowulf, as much to keep track of them for myself as for anyone else who is interested:
Richard North, Professor at University College London, in Time Out London
John V. Fleming, distinguished medievalist and Professor Emeritus of Princeton, in The National Review

Even more exciting: a new find at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, in a Roman cemetary! A stone sarcophagus preserved the bones, and the leather shoes, of a mother and child buried together in the second or third century AD (or CE, if you prefer):
A news item at Wessex Archaeology
News blog at Wessex Archaeology, with a twelve-minute video of opening the sarcophagus

Here's an exhibition I would pay a lot to see, but, sadly, not the $1000 or so the planet ticket would cost on top of the £5 admission: "Alfred the Great: Warfare, Wealth + Wisdom" at the Winchester Discovery Centre! They say they will have seven æstels! (That is, of course, assuming that the jewels that seem to belong at the ends of rods are in fact æstels or part of æstels; "book pointer" is only one possible sense of the rare word.) They're bringing the Alfred Jewel in from the Ashmolean! I love the Alfred Jewel. It's gorgeous. I have seen it a few times in Oxford. I don't see listed on the site, but I have been told, that the Fuller Brooch and at least two ninth-century manuscripts will also be featured: the Hatton Pastoral Care and the Tollemache Orosius. There's just no way I'll make it to England before April 27! Please, someone on my flist, go! Take pictures for me! (assuming they're allowed). I would so love to see it, but I'm stuck in Florida! Aaauuugggghhhhh!

ETA: I went looking to see if I could find images of the Hatton Pastoral Care and the Tollemache Orosius; I had no luck, but I found that they've got Turning the Pages finally working at the British Library, even for Mac users (although I have to click on the bar; I can't drag covers or pages as PC users apparently can). Go there! Look at the Lindisfarne Gospels or the Luttrell Psalter!
A few links of interest:

First, two more reviews of the recent movie Beowulf, as much to keep track of them for myself as for anyone else who is interested:
Richard North, Professor at University College London, in Time Out London
John V. Fleming, distinguished medievalist and Professor Emeritus of Princeton, in The National Review

Even more exciting: a new find at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, in a Roman cemetary! A stone sarcophagus preserved the bones, and the leather shoes, of a mother and child buried together in the second or third century AD (or CE, if you prefer):
A news item at Wessex Archaeology
News blog at Wessex Archaeology, with a twelve-minute video of opening the sarcophagus

Here's an exhibition I would pay a lot to see, but, sadly, not the $1000 or so the planet ticket would cost on top of the £5 admission: "Alfred the Great: Warfare, Wealth + Wisdom" at the Winchester Discovery Centre! They say they will have seven æstels! (That is, of course, assuming that the jewels that seem to belong at the ends of rods are in fact æstels or part of æstels; "book pointer" is only one possible sense of the rare word.) They're bringing the Alfred Jewel in from the Ashmolean! I love the Alfred Jewel. It's gorgeous. I have seen it a few times in Oxford. I don't see listed on the site, but I have been told, that the Fuller Brooch and at least two ninth-century manuscripts will also be featured: the Hatton Pastoral Care and the Tollemache Orosius. There's just no way I'll make it to England before April 27! Please, someone on my flist, go! Take pictures for me! (assuming they're allowed). I would so love to see it, but I'm stuck in Florida! Aaauuugggghhhhh!

ETA: I went looking to see if I could find images of the Hatton Pastoral Care and the Tollemache Orosius; I had no luck, but I found that they've got Turning the Pages finally working at the British Library, even for Mac users (although I have to click on the bar; I can't drag covers or pages as PC users apparently can). Go there! Look at the Lindisfarne Gospels or the Luttrell Psalter!
aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Nov. 19th, 2007 04:11 pm)
Or was it Beowulf: the first-person shooter? It looked like that a lot (I think; I don't actually play those games).

I'm going to steal a line from Roger Ebert's review (though I made the joke first in this entry, he says it better): "The movie uses the English epic poem, circa 700 A.D., as its starting point, and resembles the original in that it uses a lot of the same names." (By the way, the date is highly disputed; let's say ca. 700-1000, or even as late as 1050. Why, yes, that is like not knowing whether Shakespeare was working in 1400 or 1700 or somewhere in between.)

Well, some Anglo-Saxonists enjoyed it, and they all said to see it in 3D IMAX if possible, so I decided to do that. (A little voice in my head said, "If all the other Anglo-Saxonists were jumping off a cliff, would you do it?" This voice was superseded by a louder voice that said, "If all the other Anglo-Saxonists were late-dating Beowulf, would you do it?" Ha ha! Just a little Anglo-Saxonist humor there! Trust me, it's side-splitting.)

I may or may not be sick, my arm aches, and we had to wait over half an hour for them to get the movie running. Any or all of those may have affected my enjoyment of the movie--which was rather paltry enjoyment indeed. Detailed review )
aelfgyfu_mead: (helmet)
( Nov. 19th, 2007 04:11 pm)
Or was it Beowulf: the first-person shooter? It looked like that a lot (I think; I don't actually play those games).

I'm going to steal a line from Roger Ebert's review (though I made the joke first in this entry, he says it better): "The movie uses the English epic poem, circa 700 A.D., as its starting point, and resembles the original in that it uses a lot of the same names." (By the way, the date is highly disputed; let's say ca. 700-1000, or even as late as 1050. Why, yes, that is like not knowing whether Shakespeare was working in 1400 or 1700 or somewhere in between.)

Well, some Anglo-Saxonists enjoyed it, and they all said to see it in 3D IMAX if possible, so I decided to do that. (A little voice in my head said, "If all the other Anglo-Saxonists were jumping off a cliff, would you do it?" This voice was superseded by a louder voice that said, "If all the other Anglo-Saxonists were late-dating Beowulf, would you do it?" Ha ha! Just a little Anglo-Saxonist humor there! Trust me, it's side-splitting.)

I may or may not be sick, my arm aches, and we had to wait over half an hour for them to get the movie running. Any or all of those may have affected my enjoyment of the movie--which was rather paltry enjoyment indeed. Detailed review )
Pictures of Zachary Quinto as young Spock have appeared on JFX Online. The closer shots look odd to me--can't they afford a more convincing wig?--but the third thumbnail, at more of a distance, looks better (I hope that's not simply because of distance and graininess.)

I somehow can't get excited about this movie anymore, though I'm still following the news about it. Brilliant Husband and I disagree about Winona Ryder. I'm not seeing it. I remember Amanda as very vivacious and strong; perhaps I haven't seen Ryder in the right role, but I think of her more as fragile and anxious.

Beowulf opens Friday. Now everyone is asking me what I think about it. What can I say? Every time I read another snippet of interview, my opinion of Neil Gaiman drops just a little bit more. (Beowulf fought Grendel naked? Gee, I thought it said unarmed. Beowulf spent eight days at the bottom of the mere? Golly*, that's news to me! Gee, but I've only read it in Old English six or eight times; maybe they know more than I do! [snort]) I do mean to see it at some point--a matinee, surely, because I'm not paying full price for the experience.


*Ever since Sylar said, "Golly!" when poor stupid American told him about Maya and Alejandro, I've been finding myself saying "Golly!" an awful lot. I really need to kick this habit soon. I'm even annoying myself, and Small Child will doubtless pick it up if I continue.
Pictures of Zachary Quinto as young Spock have appeared on JFX Online. The closer shots look odd to me--can't they afford a more convincing wig?--but the third thumbnail, at more of a distance, looks better (I hope that's not simply because of distance and graininess.)

I somehow can't get excited about this movie anymore, though I'm still following the news about it. Brilliant Husband and I disagree about Winona Ryder. I'm not seeing it. I remember Amanda as very vivacious and strong; perhaps I haven't seen Ryder in the right role, but I think of her more as fragile and anxious.

Beowulf opens Friday. Now everyone is asking me what I think about it. What can I say? Every time I read another snippet of interview, my opinion of Neil Gaiman drops just a little bit more. (Beowulf fought Grendel naked? Gee, I thought it said unarmed. Beowulf spent eight days at the bottom of the mere? Golly*, that's news to me! Gee, but I've only read it in Old English six or eight times; maybe they know more than I do! [snort]) I do mean to see it at some point--a matinee, surely, because I'm not paying full price for the experience.


*Ever since Sylar said, "Golly!" when poor stupid American told him about Maya and Alejandro, I've been finding myself saying "Golly!" an awful lot. I really need to kick this habit soon. I'm even annoying myself, and Small Child will doubtless pick it up if I continue.
Get a load of this: Beowulf action figures. Be sure to click on each photo for a close-up! Hoo, boy! I Googled for more and found places pre-selling them for about $16/each, which is a bit steep for something so silly (especially as I'm compulsive about completeness and would have to get all four).

The wonderfully bizarre figures and their descriptions have made for very lively conversation among medievalists. In exactly what way is Wiglaf like Boba Fett? Is that dragon fighting Beowulf over water? (I don't remember that bit of the poem.) Why does Grendel look like a refuge from a "Bodies" exhibit at a science museum? And why would anyone think Grendel's Mum is . . . whatever the heck that's supposed to be?

I want an Unferth action figure. He's the one who whines and complains and finally gives his sword to Beowulf for the fight in the mere, because Unferth sure as heck isn't going in that water. I think that character is the closest the poem has to me.
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Get a load of this: Beowulf action figures. Be sure to click on each photo for a close-up! Hoo, boy! I Googled for more and found places pre-selling them for about $16/each, which is a bit steep for something so silly (especially as I'm compulsive about completeness and would have to get all four).

The wonderfully bizarre figures and their descriptions have made for very lively conversation among medievalists. In exactly what way is Wiglaf like Boba Fett? Is that dragon fighting Beowulf over water? (I don't remember that bit of the poem.) Why does Grendel look like a refuge from a "Bodies" exhibit at a science museum? And why would anyone think Grendel's Mum is . . . whatever the heck that's supposed to be?

I want an Unferth action figure. He's the one who whines and complains and finally gives his sword to Beowulf for the fight in the mere, because Unferth sure as heck isn't going in that water. I think that character is the closest the poem has to me.
Tags:
aelfgyfu_mead: Aelfgyfu as a South Park-style cartoon (Default)
( Jul. 26th, 2007 08:14 pm)
A trailer is up for the Zemeckis Beowulf (screenplay by Neil Gaiman & Roger Avary):

You know, I once read a poem by that title, and its main character was named Beowulf, too. But this doesn't look anything like that poem.

In fact, I've read that poem many times, sometimes in the original Old English!

If you want to know what the poem is really like, you can see the text to the prologue and listen to Peter S. Baker reading it in Old English.

I like Neil Gaiman, really. I adored American Gods; Anansi Boys is on my Long List of Things to Read. I enjoyed Neverwhere, and I loved his short story "Baywulf." But I'm awfully fond of the original poem.

If it gets more students to read Old English, I won't complain . . . too much. But I'll complain some.
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aelfgyfu_mead: Aelfgyfu as a South Park-style cartoon (Default)
( Jul. 26th, 2007 08:14 pm)
A trailer is up for the Zemeckis Beowulf (screenplay by Neil Gaiman & Roger Avary):

You know, I once read a poem by that title, and its main character was named Beowulf, too. But this doesn't look anything like that poem.

In fact, I've read that poem many times, sometimes in the original Old English!

If you want to know what the poem is really like, you can see the text to the prologue and listen to Peter S. Baker reading it in Old English.

I like Neil Gaiman, really. I adored American Gods; Anansi Boys is on my Long List of Things to Read. I enjoyed Neverwhere, and I loved his short story "Baywulf." But I'm awfully fond of the original poem.

If it gets more students to read Old English, I won't complain . . . too much. But I'll complain some.
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