October 7th, 2007

msauvage purple


One final thought on The Seeker, if only because I finally thought of a way to summarize my problem with the movie: It's not the presence of changes that made the movie bad. It's that the kind of changes they made indicate that they're not good filmmakers in the first place, or (at the very least) not the right filmmakers for the project. Someone who genuinely thinks that "Googling light and dark" or "buying a Sign from a mall kiosk" is a good idea is probably not going to make a very good movie, is all I'm saying. Look at my other pet example, Stardust : a number of changes were made, but they indicated an understanding of what people want from and enjoy in a movie (example: a less bittersweet ending. And subverting fantasy tropes with anticlimax is great and all, but in a movie, you really do need some kind of showdown with the witch) while keeping as much of the original story as possible. I'm not saying it was a perfect movie, but (in my opinion) the people involved seemed to both 1) like the original material and 2) know what they were doing. Whereas the Dark Is Rising people complained (with reason!) that the original book was very internal and introspective--but rather than find a way to translate those scenes into action, they had Will running around a mall. A MALL. Here's what malls and Googling gets you: Ben Stiller's grown-up comedy ''The Heartbreak Kid'' flops. Buried in the article: "The Kingdom held strong at No. 3 with $9.3 mil and Resident Evil: Extinction stayed alive in fourth place with $4.3 mil, while the fantasy flick The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (No. 5) flopped with a mere $3.7 mil." There's a lesson here. I just hope the studio figures out what it is.

Meanwhile, I spent yesterday reading Alcott's Rose in Bloom for fun (it's one of those favorite books I tend to go back to just for comfort, although you definitely have to suspend a modern perspective, or you'll start screaming when Collapse ) and a ton of documents at victorianlondon.org--I don't know why I ever doubt that that site will have exactly what I need, because it solved several problems I was having with hotel dining, dinner parties, servant duties, and Death in the Household, as one helpful article was called.

Two requests and a bunch of linkspam from y'all, from the Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse that is my inbox:

Fromstarlady42: "Cleo, if you get a chance, could you pimp http://www.asbrand.com/? This is a friend of mine who is trying to navigate the nightmare that is the US government's permanent resident (green card) process for his wife and daughter. All the details are on his site -- they've been jerked around by the bureaucracy several times already, and are running out of time and money. Any help would be greatly appreciated."

From golden_d: "I was wondering if you might be interested in Operation Find Don for your linkspam? Don appears most importantly in this essay written by Sarah Bunting of TWOP fame in mid-September 2001. It's the kind of thing that could really use some plugging. Thanks!" I actually want to say that I've linked to OFD before--way, way back in the day when Sars first posted about it. And she still hasn't found the guy? Wow.

From etherealshores: "Miss Cleo! I have found the most amazing Halloween-type music ever: www.noxarcana.com. Seriously, check these guys out. They are amazing."

From bandersnatch42: "Did you see Viggo Mortenson's surprise cameo on The Colbert Report? It was made of awesome."

From elendiari22: "I have a steampunk book I thought I'd recommend to you: The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. It's set in Victorian-esque London and it's really creepy and riveting."

From maetang: "No human sacrifice in term time, please. Glen David Gold on the impishness that inspired his novel Carter Beats the Devil."

From edda: "DID YOU KNOW THERE'S SUCH A THING AS A GOBLIN SHARK? BECAUSE THERE IS. Because I HAD to Google them from that link you gave me. Holy effin' snotballs, I'm gonna have nightmares now."

From rahrahmah: How to Write a Book. "Do not postpone other projects so that you can focus on the current one. It’s better to spread yourself so thin that you produce an evenly distributed amount of complete crap.... If you’ve gotten this far without a single technical foul-up, now’s a good time to download something viral.... If one of your cowriters is something of an optimist, shit in his hat."

Hmm. I think I'll save the linkspam proper for later, rather than overwhelm everyone now.

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