Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Visual and the Lexical

Some interesting points concerning my diploma thesis topic from the PhD thesis of A. Hall (The Meaning of Elf and Elves in Medieval England):

- Looking at the linguistic treatment of the word "aelf", they are not small and invisible
- Elves have sometimes been related to (fallen) angels. If you leave aside the "fallen" part, elves are related to holiness. This explains why Thomas Hardy, in Jude the Obsucre, compares the female main character twice with an elf or calls her elfin - thus stressing her purity.
- In the 8th century, aelf still connotated males only. It wasn't until the 11th century that the term could also denote females.


The cinemas in Linz seem to be overrun because a. it's vacation time and b. Avatar is on. It's seriously impossible to reserve a seat at the evening screenings, unless you want to sit in the first four rows. Despite this, I managed to see it (in the afternoon).
Avatar is awesome. I love it. Finally, after probably a year of bad films, one worth watching (except for Up and District 9, maybe). The creature design is so-so (in general, it's pretty obvious where the film drew its inspirations from, starting with the overall story down to most creature designs). The birds are neat. So are the winged frogs and the avatars/Na'vi. Most impressive of all is the landscape design. The beauty, colourfulness and richness of the plant life is sheer overwhelming (which is probably good and necessary, if you think about the gist of the story). The cinematography was good, too. I likefd how depth and perspective were used and played with, especially in the intitial sequence. That made the 3D effect even more impressive. Later it was used in a more subdued way, which I think I prefer when it comes to 3D. It just makes you feel at home with the technology, because it seems natural. When the technology is shoved into your face, it rather screams "Look at me. See how cool I am. The special effects are all you need to pay attention to. Ignore everything else."
The acting was very convincing. Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver did an outstanding job both as humans and in their avatars. Cameron has created a bunch of very likable characters (I'm thinking particularly of Trudy here).
-Minor spoiler warning. Don't read on if you haven't seen the film yet-
The story - yes, it was predictable and has been there before (multiple times). Does it matter? I think not. Most stories have parallels to stories that have been here before, because, well, we're all human and pretty much the same stuff makes us all tick. We write stories that we'd want to read ourselves, so it's clear that they have certain common denominators. The message of Avatar is an important one, and it hurts not to have it repeated.
For me, the film reminded me that I have wanted to read into various indigenous cultures for some time (too much stuff I want to read). Their culture, their belief system, their rites, and, most importantly, their place in today's globalised world. And not just the major, known ones, like the Native Americans or Aboriginees. Like with languages, there's a multitude of cultures out there which are dying every moment. I can only imagine the knowledge and individuality that has been lost in this process. To learn about and listen to them is, I believe, an enriching journey.


An awesome video of Eiga doing oji waza. My eyes are getting watery when I watch this.

Mit dem neuen Jahr kommt auch eine neue Ausgabe des vierteljährlich erscheinenden Fanzines für Spekulative Fiktion (Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Mystery) Specflash. 90 Seiten an Kurzgeschichten, Interviews, Artikeln und Rezensionen laden zum Lesen ein. Das Hauptthema der Ausgabe sind Vampire. Empfehlenswert ist vor allem Udo Eickenbergs Kurzgeschichte "Die letzte Prüfung", die auf die Entwicklung der Menschheit in den nächsten 150 Jahren blickt.

Ich koche ja gerne und oft, und probiere fast täglich neue Rezepte aus. Bei der Rezeptsuche und beim Foren-Lesen kommt man dabei stets über das beliebte Wort "lecker". Mittlerweile kann ich's nicht mehr sehen. So geht es wohl nicht nur mir, denn beim Stöbern in einem ausgezeichneten Koch-Blog, kam ich über diesen Eintrag. Viel Spaß beim Lexikon-Erweitern!


Neuromancer said...

Imho, there had been a lot more good movies you're missing: (the currious case of) Benjamin Button, Vantage Point (8 Blickwinkel), Der Knochenmann (my highlight), Gran Torino...
Those few just came to my mind (of those i've seen)...
And to me Avatar was very disapointing, it's a great (and very long) tech-demo, but nothing more, the story is almost nonexistant and exchangeable, there are no(!) twists and for a simple action movie the PR campaign was directed in the wrong direction...
Well, just my opinion, have fun with this years blockbusters and indy-pearls :)

Manuela said...

Thanks for the tipps! I haven't seen any of those films, but I'll check them out!

Neuromancer said...

ow, I missed Inglorious Basterds, maybe Tarentinos best movie