sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Mar. 8th, 2008 03:11 pm)
I've only read one of the Earthsea books, The Tombs of Atuan, when I was nine, and haven't revisited it since. I don't remember very much about it beyond an awareness that the story didn't develop in a way that developed my enthusiasm. I therefore had no expectations of the Studio Ghibli Tales from Earthsea, watched with [livejournal.com profile] taruithorn last night.

I don't know very much of Japanese animation; unlike the present student generation, I didn't grow up with it, and of the films I've seen the only one which I've found really successful is Spirited Away. Tales from Earthsea's design and story included elements which seemed to me misunderstandings or misrepresentations of originals, from the mishmash of architectural details in the city to the characters, who seemed forced into off-the-peg sub-Joseph Campbell roles. I did like the castle at the end, which seemed to owe something to the present state of Tintagel, with its plunging wooden stairways and areas ready to collapse. The villain's (Lord Cob's) appearance seemed closely based on David Bowie, and certainly androgynous, reminding at least one other of Michael Jackson. Otherwise there seemed little that was greatly distinctive about the film, with the usual magical devices of 'true names' and shapeshifting being deployed without any substantial development.
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Excellent walk yesterday up Boars Hill. Although just to the south west of the Oxford conurbation, I've never explored it before. Some pictures can be found here. A couple of previews:

Warehouse at Osney Lock


A sphinx at South Hinksey
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sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Jun. 5th, 2007 10:56 pm)
I'd promised a review of The Krotons, hadn't I? It's not going to happen yet - I've been bogged down in other things and The Family of Blood was all I could manage this weekend - and even there the sentence structure was mislaid somewhere in the middle. I hope to resume normal service, perhaps next week after various multigenerational SocT-like events this weekend.
sir_guinglain: (arthurelaineletr)
( Feb. 11th, 2007 10:42 pm)
Well, that was very, very good indeed. Photographs are here for those interested.

I had been sceptical of the merits of moving the start time to as early a point as 5pm but it worked extremely well. The logistic problems encountered last year with the hall and the trolleys was overcome, and the increased numbers seemed to be taken by the organisers in their stride.
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Last night was SocT's AGM. After a lot of pre-chatter concerning Thursday night's play and subjects of broad and specific interest, the AGM was finally launched by CJ - and to my surprise and delight (old Doctor Who fans will have worrying intimations of Hawaiian shirts at this point) I was elected a Society Hero, following a nomination by [livejournal.com profile] footnotetoplato and a flattering speech by [livejournal.com profile] narahttbbs. [livejournal.com profile] cealdis will be president in 2007/8, [livejournal.com profile] osymandias secretary, and AG (no LJ) treasurer.

After the voting, and while food was being consumed (Many, many brownies, but not as many as I could have eaten...) I talked to Mrs [livejournal.com profile] exactlyhalf about Australian history in TGW, moving to Oxford and the problems and advantages of being on the fringes of the university without being quite of it, hovered for a little around the banquet planning group - what, they want to know, is [livejournal.com profile] pellegrina's lamb? - and discussed folk music with [livejournal.com profile] shanith, before walking back with [livejournal.com profile] aster_dw and [livejournal.com profile] colinbj. A good evening.
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sir_guinglain: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2007 12:56 am)
Such was the title of an enjoyable talk by Martin Barker, illustrated by Powerpoint because these cultural studies chaps do newfangled stuff like that. His study of the way audiences watched the Jackson films tells so much about the audience, and I'm glad that my laptop ended up being used as I now have a copy of the presentation on it, which I will mull when I am more awake. The ideas came quickly and my late nights were catching up with me, not that my typing this at the moment is doing much good.

"The Lord of the Rings and ‘Identification’: A Critical Encounter" in European Journal of Communication, 2005; 20: 353-378 was Barker's recommended article for those wanting to know more, but it turns out that Oxford, never particularly open to cultural studies, isn't presently subscribed to the online version (though it seems to have been once if the tag 'online' on the telnet OPAC is anything to go by) and the print version of the 2005 volume hasn't been barcoded yet. I've requested the volume anyway and will see if it actually gets to the Upper Reading Room.
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Well, this is another week's SocT meetings that I've missed for one reason or another; this week's being simply that after six hours spent in the office staring into a laptop with occasional diversions onto the internet to, for example, check e-mail and make a couple of earlier LJ posts, I needed to head back to Woodstock for a spot of recuperation, and I didn't fancy driving back into Oxford in this rain. I had one escape in the shape of an ultimately unsuccessful bid to pick up my new university card, which I now learn hasn't been applied for yet. En route I had a quick chat with [livejournal.com profile] dreiviertel and later 'hello' to ex-SocA president, Nimue III or IV, I forget which she was, deep in conversation with someone else on Parks Road.

However, I'm not ready to join SocT International just yet, and hope to be along to SocT later in term, even if it ends up only being for the Mathom Party. I need to apologise to CJ for not helping organise a speaker meeting, although I think that she is much better placed to arrange it than me; speakers are, I think, inclined to be more generous and accommodating to students. I should tell her this before publishing it here, though... (goes away to write e-mail)

(Returns)'tis done.

That's three posts today, which will please [livejournal.com profile] pennypaperbrain who has been kind enough to note my absence even though I didn't think that I had been away.
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