воскресенье, 22 ноября 2015 г.

On the "Odyssey" 1991-1992 Canadian TV series (season 1)

   It was in 2008 when the "Odyssey" fans including myself asked Paul Vitols (one of the scriptwriters of the first season) to write about the making of the film, which he did quite generously on his blog: http://www.paulvitols.com/the-odyssey/the-odyssey-odyssey/ (posts tagged 'the odyssey odyssey').
   I waited for a new post at the time and printed it on paper for comfortable reading. As I writer Paul Vitols gives the details and the background to the story. He tells about the choice of actors and inspirations, the collaboration of the crew up to the ready first pilot episode. (This is an engaging reading, which I recommend to all who wish to improve their language skills.) The shorter version of the "Odyssey" story is on this blog.  http://www.paulvitols.com/the-odyssey/the-odyssey-odyssey/
   In addition to this, there's another present for the fans of the fantasy adveture series: in 2013 the talk with the author was recorded, here's the audio http://www.rewatchability.com/2013/01/24/episode-75-the-odyssey/ In this sort of interview the scriptwriter himself reveals some details of creating the story https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/76984266/Episode%2075-%20THE%20ODYSSEY.mp3 from min. 17:40 to min. 31:40.

     I think the alternative ending are possible from fan fiction writers,  because  the film has neither developped nor been completed the right way,  as the original authors had been able to have it the way they saw it.
   There's one more "present" I'd like to share because I think it would be interesting for the fans. In 2008 I e-mailed to Paul Vitols asking him some questions bout the "Odyssey" and also giving some of my ideas.

суббота, 21 ноября 2015 г.

Starting to read Charlotte Bronte's 'Shirley'

   I had only covered four and a half chapters when I put the book aside. But perhaps I'll continue, after having read the introduction in the Wordsworth Classics edition. The ideas are interesting, I have learned about the main story lines from the introduction. However, not all is interesting.
  The novel is very long, ,longer than 'Jan Eyre'.
  The language is good, but there are a lot of details and lingerings. Instead of watching TV series people read long books in the past. The stories don't start: you read and read, and nothing much really happens.
  But the psychological portraits are good.
  There are many characters. The first impressions are remindful of Dicken's style, the sort of humour in describing people, and partly that of L. Tolstoy's "The War and Peace" (or "The War and The World") novel.

'Král Drozdia Brada' (1984)

  'Král Drozdia Brada' (1984) is now available to watch online on youtube. 
  But I have downloaded it from the Czech website. This version has two original audio tracks in Czech and Slovak. http://www.uloz.to/xXEKS4Ub/kral-drozdia-brada-cz-dabing-avi (In order to download I signed up and chose the non-premium slow download -- the window on the right).
   The two audios do not seem so very different, regarding the language
  The first track seems to sound more natural, more blended into the surronding backround of sounds and air.

Tolkien as a Christian writer: the Elves impress Sam

   As J.R.R.Tolkien himself was a Christian, he was trying to get across certain messages (concerning moral principles and values) to the non-believing (non-religious) world. And I think he was also sharing some of his own experience of feeling. (In a way he showed that sincere faith and religion is something natural and not remote.)
   In the famous book there can be traced some parallels and sometimes allusions to the Christian experience and some events in the Gospels. However they are just parallels and symbols (Tolkien was not preaching straightly), though indicative of sincere feelings and faith, "The Lord of the Rings" is a fantasy world of fantasy creatures and humans (people) reflecting something of reality and expressing some of the ideas and values Tolkien appreciated the most.
  In this post I am going to present and comment on the extracts from chapters 3 and 4 of the second volume, that is "The Fellowship of the Ring".
   Who are the elves in Tolkien's world? What do they mean in terms of Christian-related imagery? 

суббота, 14 ноября 2015 г.

Introduction to Strider (Aragorn): "All that is gold does not glitter"

  Quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" "The Fellowship of the Ring" (book 1, volume two), chapter 10 "Strider".
   Strider says about himself:
   "I have hunted many wild and wary things and I can usually avoid being seen, if I wish."
    The following extracts, from which a reader learns about Strider's character and appeaance.
  " 'No, I don't think any harm of old Butterbur. Only he does not altogether like mysterious vagabonds of my sort.' Frodo gave him a puzzled look. 'Well, I have rather a rascally look, have I not?' said Strider with a curl of his lip and a queer gleam in his eye. 'But I hope we shall get to know one another better. ... ' "
   " ' ... You can do as you like about my reward: take me as a guide or not. But I maysay that I know all the lands between the Shire and the Misty Mountains, fo I have wandered over them for many years. I am older than I look. I might prove useful. ...' "
   Frodo got a letter from Gandalf (which had been delivered by Mr Butterbur).
  "... You can trust the landlord (Butterbur). You may meet a friend of mine on the road: a Man, lean, dark, tall, by some called Strider. He knows our business and will help you. ...
 PPS. Make sure that it is the real Strider. There are many strange men on the roads. His true name is Aragorn.
  All that is gold does not glitter,
  Not all those who wander are lost;
  The old that is strong does not wither,
  Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
  From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
  A light from the shadows shall spring,
  Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
  The crownless again shall be king. "

  Frodo and his friends had some doubts, and Strider's answer was this.
  Frodo's word were:
 '... I think one of his spies would -- well, seem fairer and feel fouler., if you understand.'
 'I see," laughed Strider. "I look foul and feel fair. Is that it? All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.'
  'Did the verses apply to you then?' asked Frodo. 'I couldn't make out what they wer about. But how did you know that they were in Gandalf's letter, if you have never seen it?'
  'I did not know,' he answered. 'But I am Aragorn, and those verses go with that name.' He drew out his sword , and they saw that the blade was indeed broken a foot below the hilt. 'Not much use is it, Sam?' said Strider. 'But the time is near when it shall be forged anew.' "

суббота, 7 ноября 2015 г.

Samwise Gamgee gets caught by Gandalf 'eavesdropping" (extract) -- The friendship theme in the "LOTR"

   At the beginning of the novel the reader learns about the world of Hobbiton and its inhabitants.
   Samwise Gamgee is the character in "The Lord of the Rings" whose faith, devotion and loyalty impresses in the story. And his quote: "Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee. And I do not mean to, I do not mean to." (And "Don't you leave him, Samwise Gamgee...)
   In the film there is an impression that it was Gandalf who told him so: though Gandalf let Sam be Frodo's companion in the book it was the elf called Gildor...
    Going back to Samwise Gamgee: the end of chapter 2: a moving and yet funny episode showing how deeply the friends were attached to each other.
      "Suddenly he stopped as if listening. Frodo became aware that all was very quiet, inside and outside. Gandalf crept to one side of the window. Then with a dart he sprang to the sill, and thrust a long arm out and downwards. There was a squawk, and up came Sam Gamgee’s curly head hauled by one ear.
‘Well, well, bless my beard!’ said Gandalf. ‘Sam Gamgee is it? Now what may you be doing?’
‘Lor bless you, Mr. Gandalf, sir!’ said Sam. ‘Nothing! Leastways I was just trimming the grass-border under the window, if you follow me.’ He picked up his shears and exhibited them as evidence.
‘I don’t,’ said Gandalf grimly. It is some time since I last heard the sound of your shears. How long have you been eavesdropping?’
‘Eavesdropping, sir? I don’t follow you, begging your pardon. There ain’t no eaves at Bag End, and that’s a fact.’ 
‘Don’t be a fool! What have you heard, and why did you listen?’ Gandalf’s eyes flashed and his brows stuck out like bristles.
‘Mr. Frodo, sir!’ cried Sam quaking. ‘Don’t let him hurt me, sir! Don’t let him turn me into anything unnatural! My old dad would take on so. I meant no harm, on my honour, sir!’
‘He won’t hurt you,’ said Frodo, hardly able to keep from laughing, although he was himself startled and rather puzzled. ‘He knows, as well as I do, that you mean no harm. But just you up and answer his questions straight away!’
‘Well, sir,’ said Sam dithering a little. ‘I heard a deal that I didn’t rightly understand, about an enemy, and rings, and Mr. Bilbo, sir, and dragons, and a fiery mountain, and - and Elves, sir. I listened because I couldn’t help myself, if you know what I mean. Lor bless me, sir, but I do love tales of that sort. And I believe them too, whatever Ted may say. Elves, sir! I would dearly love to see them. Couldn’t you take me to see Elves, sir, when you go?’
Suddenly Gandalf laughed. ‘Come inside!’ he shouted, and putting out both his arms he lifted the astonished Sam, shears, grass-clippings and all, right through the window and stood him on the floor. ‘Take you to see Elves, eh?’ he said, eyeing Sam closely, but with a smile flickering on his face. ‘So you heard that Mr. Frodo is going away?’
‘I did, sir. And that’s why I choked: which you heard seemingly. I tried not to, sir, but it burst out of me: I was so upset.’
‘It can’t be helped, Sam,’ said Frodo sadly. He had suddenly realized that flying from the Shire would mean more painful partings than merely saying farewell to the familiar comforts of Bag End. ‘I shall have to go. But’ - and here he looked hard at Sam - ‘if you really care about me, you will keep that dead secret. See? If you don’t, if you even breathe a word of what you’ve heard here, then I hope Gandalf will turn you into a spotted toad and fill the garden full of grass-snakes.’
Sam fell on his knees, trembling. ‘Get up, Sam!’ said Gandalf. I have thought of something better than that. Something to shut your mouth, and punish you properly for listening. You shall go away with Mr. Frodo!’
‘Me, sir!’ cried Sam, springing up like a dog invited for a walk. ‘Me go and see Elves and all! Hooray!’ he shouted, and then burst into tears."
 By the way, Sam's favourite (often used) words seem to be "if you follow me", "if you know what I mean" and the like.
   The book is so much about friendship.
  "The Lord of the Rings" is also interesting as it shows relationships between people of different backgrounds and social status but these distinctions kind of disappear: Frodo is Sam's master, Sam is his gardener, which do not stop them from being friends actually, the same is for Frodo and Aragorn (a simple hobbit and a patronising well-bred leader (king)), Gimly and Legolas. As for Frodo and Sam -- it is a continuation of the servant-master-friendship theme in literature, which is found, for example, in the "Puss in Boots" tale, Beaumarchais' "The Marriage of Figaro", P.G. Wodehouse's "Jeves and Wooster"stories.
   As it is told in Carpenter's biography of J.R.R Tolkien (if I remember rightly), the image of Samwise was partly drawn from or inpired by his orderly during World War I (in which the writer did not happen to fight because he had fallen ill). There is also a lot of curious information. Tolkien himself valued friends, there was the Inkling club.
   "The Lord of the Rings" book can be read online here http://www.ae-lib.org.ua/texts-c/tolkien__the_lord_of_the_rings_1__en.htm (including the author's foreword).

понедельник, 2 ноября 2015 г.

Tariq Anwar, Gabrielle Anwar (photos and screen captures)

  Tariq is a famous film editor. According to the Wikipedia: " Anwar was born in DelhiBritish India and was raised in Lahore and Bombay. His mother, Edith Reich, was an Austrian Jew, and his father was Indian film actor and director Rafiq Anwar. He moved with his mother to London after his parents divorced."
   Here's a short interview where he tells how he drifted into the film indusry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol1bIBTJjhQ His English is British and he produces an impressin of a humble unambitious person who loves his job and is good at it.
   Some tips of advice he gives (from http://filmmakermagazine.com/33460-tariq-anwar-on-the-art-of-postproduction/#.VjePDOafcZl).
 * Don’t cut arbitrarily; don’t cut just to cut.
* There are no rules for editing. “You just deal with the material you’ve got.”
* It’s impossible to assemble a montage without a temp music track. In The King’s Speech his temp music of Mozart and Beethoven even made it into the final film.
* Directors just need to get good coverage. That may sound cliché but it cannot be overemphasized.
* Editors should do whatever they can to get into a cutting room. You can’t learn by watching someone else edit. You have to edit yourself.