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Author Topic: Troy!
Briguy
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posted 10 December 2003 11:35 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Saw the trailer last night, before the Marathon (I'm in a Hellenic mood) known as The Fellowship of The Ring. I'm excited. I love Greek tragedies, what more can I say? I suspect that no matter the quality of the movie, I will heap uncritical glowing praise upon it. Be forewarned.

Excuse me, I need to dust off the old copy of The Iliad that's lying around my apartment somewhere.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 10 December 2003 11:37 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You went to that 11 hour LOTR thing? I'd have lost my mind

I saw the preview for Troy before some other movie, though, and it gave me chills.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alix
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posted 10 December 2003 11:49 AM      Profile for Alix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I enjoyed the trailer, but was kind of annoyed that I had to hit the IMDb to find out that Brad Pitt was Achilles, for example. I'd've guessed Agamemnon from the trailer, since he looks like the leader.

Still, I'm very much looking forward to it.


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Briguy
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posted 10 December 2003 12:01 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Audra - fear not for my sanity, or that of other Haligonians. The Bayer's Lake googleplex had the good sense to break the Marathon into three separate races. The first stage is/was this week (ending tomorrow) with showings of the extended version of Fellowship. That's an easy four hours of movie watching. The second leg starts Friday, when they will begin showing the extended version of The Two Towers (another four hours), and ends next Thursday. The final stage begins upon the release of the third movie.

I'm still a little pissed that the scouring of the Shire is being left out, BTW. Ptui. But I'll still enjoy the rest of the film.

Back to the topic of Troy: The launching of the thousand boats looks very cool. By my math, I count 80 oarsmen per boat (2 per oar, 20 oars per side). That's 80,000 oarsmen. That makes for a lot of extras!


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tackaberry
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posted 10 December 2003 01:08 PM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah it does look good. Pitt should do well I think.
IM pretty sure most scenes wil be CG dude.

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Briguy
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posted 10 December 2003 01:30 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Tackaberry, you've just dashed the dreams of many a woman (and some men, I'd bet) who were picturing 80,000 swarthy, shirtless oarsmen.

Come to think of it, 80,000 swarthy men in one (film) location probably would've drawn the attention of the USian authorities. Without CG, this film would never have been allowed to happen.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tackaberry
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posted 10 December 2003 08:53 PM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ahh Im sorry.
If youre looking for 80000 sweaty and swarthy men I recomend a british soccer game. Hope this helps.

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Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 December 2003 03:05 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Excuse me, I need to dust off the old copy of The Iliad that's lying around my apartment somewhere.


Given the Hollywood track record, you might want to not set yourself up for disapointment that way. If you told them Homer wrote the Iliad, they'd tell you not to be stupid, he's a cartoon character.


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Pogo
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posted 11 December 2003 03:56 AM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I definitely will reread this before I watch it. If it flies the Aeneid can't be far behind.
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Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 December 2003 04:47 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Should be quite the literary odyssey.

Or literal Odyssey.

'sall Greek to me.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 11 December 2003 04:49 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*snork*


Here's a line from "Troy"

Achilles: (To Agamemnon) "We'll always have Paris."

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


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Rebecca West
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posted 11 December 2003 10:48 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*groan*
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skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 10:58 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

But Achilles is supposed to be a hothead. Do you think of Brad Pitt as a hothead?

You got me interested, though.

Gee, if Hollywood gets started on the Greeks, this could be a long wave. There is a lot of material there. Gore, sex, monsters -- whee.


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lagatta
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posted 11 December 2003 11:03 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nope, not only is Brad Pitt not a hothead, he is not nearly swarthy enough. Too Aryan for the role. Haven't we got any hot Mediterranean types around?

As for soccer matches, the D.O.L. fraction of BWAGA very much advocates them in terms of male beauty, be it swarthy, ebony, golden or fair.

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 11:18 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
psst, lagatta: what is the DOL fraction?

I am treasurer. I'm sure they're behind in their dues. I need to know how to find them. BWAGA is broke.


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lagatta
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posted 11 December 2003 11:24 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dirty Old Lady, natürlich. Has its own cheerging section at many a football pitch.

BWAGA is broke by definition. So you thought "not getting any" only referred to sex ?


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skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 11:29 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Shucks, here I am, senior DOL, and I didn't even know!


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audra trower williams
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posted 11 December 2003 11:56 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Helen doesn't look very Greek to me.

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: audra estrones ]


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 11 December 2003 12:10 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Diane Kruger plays Helen. This movie is all Aryan, isn't it? Still, I won't let you nasty nay-sayers ruin my glee! I'll wait for the movie to do that.

Photo of Diane Kruger

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: Sarcasmobri ]


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 12:25 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I counted the oars. I count 20 oars per side.

Oh. I see you said that. So how can you tell there are two oarsmen per oar?


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paxamillion
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posted 11 December 2003 12:31 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Could you pull one of those suckers yourself in rough seas? Not me.
From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 11 December 2003 12:34 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
the official site of the movie.

I didn't realize it was by the same director as A Perfect Storm. That dude loves his boats.


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HeywoodFloyd
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posted 11 December 2003 12:35 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You'd have to have two oarsmen per oar. If one drops, the other can at least keep the oar windmilling so it doesn't foul the ones around it.
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 11 December 2003 12:38 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My two oarsman-per-oar assumption is apparantly a common misperception.

This link has the skinny on swarthy Greek oarsmen.

quote:
Greater controversy exists involving the oarsmen of the Greek trireme. Put to use in the sixth century B.C., the trireme became the standard by which warship design was based in the Mediterranean for centuries. There are two main schools of thought involving the placement of oarsmen on the trireme.

The first is that the oars were worked from three separate levels, and to each oar, a single oarsman. We know from naval inventory records found in Piraeus that each trireme carried one hundred-seventy oars (excluding spare oars), therefore a ship of this design would carry one hundred-seventy oarsmen, eighty-five per side. This number seems well within reason, and would create a powerful and well maneuverable vessel.

The second school of thought involves a ship not of three levels, but a single level ship with three men to an oar. A ship such as this would need to be quite long to accommodate the two rows of eighty-five oars, as well as very heavy having to hold five hundred-ten oarsmen (three men per oar, 170 oars). This ship would be very difficult to maneuver. For these reasons, the former theory is becoming increasingly popular.


There you have it: either 170 oarsmen or 510! My initial estimate was actually low. Assuming all those ships were triremes, of course.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 11 December 2003 12:42 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And who was doing the job of rowing? Greeks? Slaves?
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bittersweet
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posted 11 December 2003 12:49 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Brad Pitt was a fine hothead in the thriller, Se7en, which was set in a rainy Hell.

On the "thousand boats" image: when I see images like that these days, which are meant to stir up a sense of awe, what I sense instead, is CGI. I know the image is impossible, and I usually don't suspend disbelief. CGI worked for me in the first Jurassic Park, and only on occasion since. When it does convince me, it's usually a night scene, when images aren't so distinct (a lot of LOR's CGI action takes place at night, I notice. Gollum is a wonderful exception. And much of The Matrix is shot in the gloom).

I've also noticed the tendency, because CGI can fill the screen, for directors to...fill the screen. The technique of starting a shot with a limited perspective, often focused on a single object (like a boat), broadens to include a vast horizon filled with the same. That formerly powerful technique, used judiciously in the past due to cost (and, perhaps, to greater artistry), has become a cliche. Which means that even when it doesn't involve CGI, the technique, to me, is now almost completely predictable. It's harder to set the audience up for an awesome experience. At any rate, as soon as I see a single object in narrow perspective, I know I'm about to see a thousand of them in a moment, and the whole thing accompanied by a similar progression of music, from a single flute to a full, no doubt synth orchestra (the better to load up every instrument known to man--because you can).

Scorcese still managed to succeed with this kind of shot in Kundun, when, in a dream sequence, he pulled back from the young Dalai Lama to reveal a multitude of slaughtered Tibetans, all extras. But it was perhaps 100 of them--not an overdose of a thousand. He did the same with the crucifixion scene in The Last Temptation of Christ. (I'm also thinking of a scene in The Killing Fields where the protagonist falls into a mass grave--had CGI been employed, chances are the grave would have been portrayed as limitless, rather than a fairly large pit. For me, I doubt the horror would have been any greater.) I don't know if we will ever see the likes of the shot in Gone With The Wind that begins tight on Scarlett's appalled expression (reality finally getting through to her) and slowly widens to reveal an endless field of mortally wounded extras as she wanders helplessly among them.

A screen full of images, backed up by full scale music, may not always be the best way to fill the audience with awe, dread, etc. CGI has been used, and perhaps has even been designed, with a bias toward the grand scale. The general urge seems to be toward images of an overwhelming multitude. Directors are obviously finding it easy to create scenes of spectacle, but not necessarily of the accompanying awe they ought to inspire. (An egregious example for me was Gladiator. Again, I note that Ridley Scott's much more visually effective Bladerunner was shot mostly in dim, rainy settings. The limitation of having less sophisticated CGI produced better work--it's sexier to keep at least some clothing on.) In the process, directors often neglect more discrete means at their disposal. I think of Lawrence, white scarf trailing, racing his camel across the vast desert toward his friend, a black speck in the heat haze. One camera, two actors, great score. Awesome.


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 03:05 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You could hear the gasps from LoA's first audiences, repeatedly. Wonderful memory.

bittersweet, I would welcome your reading of the moment in The Longest Day (I know, I know) when the German look-out peers through his peep-hole for the umpteenth time, for a moment sees nothing, or sees fuzzy, rubs his eyes -- and then sees the armada.

That is the scene I always watch for, and yet every time it seems to me to go by so fast, too fast. But maybe that's why I always watch for it, why I remember it as so exciting. It is huge, that expanse of boats, but you just barely see it before you're yanked away. It's a funny moment (as in funny-odd): the German look-out is semi-comic, rubbing his eyes; and yet you know exactly how astounded he must have been. Well, someone must have been -- someone must have been first. It must have been like that.


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bittersweet
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posted 11 December 2003 04:03 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl: Wonderful example. I note the use of a witness, in this case the German look-out, in combination with the very briefest glimpse of what he's seeing. In this case, awe is created by the actor, and by our imaginations filling in what we (almost) see. Beautiful simplicity! That technique is perhaps borrowed from thriller/horror genres. (M. Night Shymalan forgot to use it in Signs, to laughable effect after the first act.) With Lawrence--do I recall this correctly?--were there not close ups of O'Toole as he raced along, so that we shared his character's mounting giddiness? Giddiness and awe are related emotions, no?

John Cleese wrote that it's funny if you show someone slipping on a banana peel; it's sidesplitting if you put a witness at the scene. Now, maybe some of my trouble with CGI is that I rarely believe the actors reacting to it. It's not that I don't think they can pretend a blue screen is awesome; it's that I know that what they're reacting to is obviously CGI, which I rarely believe in in the first place. Interestingly, I'm more inclined to be swept away when it's not a mix of live action and CGI. I love Toy Story I and II and Finding Nemo ("Mine!"). And, maybe sometimes it's that the engineers who make these movies (the Warchowski bros. of Matrix fame), put average Jill's on the scene to look appropriately mortified every few minutes in case we've forgotten to note how awesome their effects are. Again, the urge seems to be multiplication. Good storytelling, discipline, whether on the page, or behind the lens, goes by the wayside.

To be fair: I felt a recent sense of CGI-inspired awe, a technique used just once, in The Pianist, when the hero scrambles over the demolished ghetto wall and encounters a limitless horizon of destruction. As if the world had been erased. Madness incarnate. It was brilliant. I completely lost it, then. Incredibly--believably--he finds one house, just one, still intact. And with a piano. What was that Shakespeare poem about the tree, not with no leaves, but with one, or several? Much bleaker than none. CGI fanatics would show us a clear-cut.

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 04:06 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
One teensy-weensy question, bittersweet: what is CGI?
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Albireo
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posted 11 December 2003 04:08 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CGI: computer generated images? Do I win?
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Timebandit
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posted 11 December 2003 04:09 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You do, albireo.

Edited to add: I agree with bittersweet on much of the CGI issue... Too many filmmakers get off on the technology without adequate thought to the larger picture (pun intended). They'd do well to remember the KISS principle.

CGI, for me, still lacks weight in some instances. The best CGI I've seen has been in the LOTR movies, but the larger CGI creatures still don't have that feeling of mass. Can't think how else to explain it.

[ 11 December 2003: Message edited by: Zoot Capri ]


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bittersweet
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posted 11 December 2003 04:09 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Computer Generated Imagery. (As poetic as Genetically Modified Organisms, ain't it?)
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skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 04:20 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is this it, bittersweet?

quote:

William Shakespeare

Sonnet LXXIII


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.


Which invites, for me:

quote:

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
Of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And I don't even like Wordsworth, except I do, as I am forced.


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bittersweet
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posted 11 December 2003 05:30 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bingo! (and thank you for the bit of Wordsworth, in spite of yourself.)
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'lance
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posted 11 December 2003 05:34 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Bingo!

Now, that's what I call thread tie-in!


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 December 2003 06:26 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Bare ruined choirs ..." -- the title of a beautiful book by the lovely American essayist Gary Wills, a writer whose brilliance springs at least partly from his having had his heart broken by the Catholic church, which of course cannot happen to one unless one has first been in love with the church, as he obviously was and still is. Et cetera.

I am living in a bare ruined choir at the moment, bittersweet, a beautiful place that used to resonate with life, that resonates now mainly because half of it is packed up or gone, and what's left is mainly in stolid boxes.

That's how I knew right away.

Y'know what bugs me about Wordsworth? He insists on closure; he really does; and that's what makes him so sing-songy-soggy. He writes something as wonderful as "splendour in the grass," and then he follows up with sheer sanctimony. That drives me bananas. To me, what follows just ruins the poem.

The earlier Willyum never ruins a poem that way. Is he not deserving of all the worship? He was a moment, more than a man, a moment. God be thanked.


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Krago
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posted 11 December 2003 10:12 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bittersweet:
I love Toy Story I and II and Finding Nemo ("Mine!").

Do you speak whale?


From: The Royal City | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 11 December 2003 10:29 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I'm a fluent blowhard!
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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