This holiday is going to be very sudious. I have to, otherwise my thesis will never progress. I rested for the last two days because I was truly exhausted. Also went to the opera on Saturday evening and saw Verdi's La Forza del Destino. The production was rather average and the singers weren't great, but Philippe Jordan was, as usual, terrific at directing the orchestra. He is an amazing conductor.
I have some free cable channels until January 7, including TCM, so apart from my Deadwood sessions I also watched or re-watched a few films.
I re-watched Cold Hand Luke, It's A Wonderful Life and Mr Smith Goes to Washington (they're having a Capra week!), and watched two French films that I didn't bother to see at the cinema when they were released: Demain Dès L'Aube and Le Concert. The latter was a big success in France at the time. It's one of those popular feel-good movies that aren't actually very good.
I'm also catching up on Downton Abbey's second series (only the first one has been showed on French tv). The strings are obvious and it's super melodramatical, but it's well-filmed, the dialogues are well done and the actors are good...I must admit that the characters have grown on me(I'm quite fond of his Lordship and Mr Bates). It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, like Merlin (well to be fair, it's better written than Merlin). By the way I can't wait for the finale of Merlin on Sunday!!!!! :- )
I've given up on Hell on Wheels (AMC has been so disappointing when it comes to new shows *sigh*) and I'm dropping Dexter for good. this season was an ordeal. I watched until the last episode because I hate to quit, but it was just awful. I don't think I have felt that embarrassed for the writers and the actors, especially during terrible episodes like "Get Gellar" (worst episode ever!!) or "Talk to the Hand". It's a sad thing to see a promising show (in its first two seasons at least, after that it mostly relied on the lead's acting skills and good villains played by great actors) turn into something so ridiculous, badly executed and poorly written (the supposed twist that everybody and their uncle saw coming from the first episode! *eyes roll*). It's actually become worse than House yet House jumped the shark a while back!
So now I'm waiting for the third season of Justified, Sherlock's second series and the return of The Good Wife and FRINGE. Not really looking forward to watching any other show (except for the final season of Breaking Bad of course, but there's still a long wait until that) but I know myself, I will probably watch The Waking Dead when it comes back (because you know...Daryl!) and, mostly out of curiosity, Game of Thrones' second season.
I realise that I haven't tried or liked many "new shows", but yes I'm picky, watching tv shows online isn't as easier as turning the telly on and using the remote control and I usually can guess what I will like or not. My best "finds" in 2011 were definitely Justified (thanks to shadowkat67), Boardwalk Empire and The Shadow Line (thanks to elisi ).
Still mourning Caprica, Terriers and Rubicon....
Just mix my obsession with Caprica with my love for opera and the fact that I saw Das Rheingold at the Opera Bastille on friday evening and that I have been listening to Wagner's music ever since, and you get this crazy post. Just imagine the specific connections I would have drawn if I had seen Die Walküre (I will in June though) the day before I watched "The Ghost in The Machine" and reviewed it!
Anyway, I do see a parallel between Daniel/Zoe and the beautiful finale of Die Walküre. Daniel is Wotan !
Both daughters are not only daughters but also convenient warriors: Brünnhilde is the chief of the Walkyries, Wotan's children, whom he's gathered in Valhalla as an army of warriors who will be able to defend him against Alberich's power; Zoe is the first Cylon, and the cylons have been designed for the defense of Caprica. Both fathers are merciless and loving at once; they can't really let their beloved daughter go. Both daughters were defiant to the father's authority and are doomed to loneliness, trapped. Both father use fire to control their daughters, to "protect" them!
At the end of the Die Walküre, Wotan plunges Brünnhilde into a profound sleep (Daniel apologized for shutting the U-87 down at the beginning of the episode!) and then summons the fire god, Loge, to the rock (the outside place in which Daniel set the U-87 on fire was rocky!) to surround the sleeping mortal , since she is a Valkyrie no more, with a ring of magic fire which only a hero "freer than the god" and who does not fear Wotan's spear can penetrate.
Caprica before the fall is the Walhalla before Götterdammerung....
I can't help putting in here a video of Wotan's farewell for it's probably the most moving thing Wagner ever composed.
Lohengrin isn't my favourite opera but the famous ouverture with the violins is sublime, and so is the prelude before the last Act. Also what I like is the fact it's based on a fake suspense and somewhat of a misunderstanding. The big secret of the Swan Knight that he reveals only in the end is his name...which happens to be the title of the opera!
Of course the secrecy that surrounds the Swan Knight, Elsa being saved by him but not being allowed to question him about his origins and her blind faith in her fiancé/husband is an allegory of Christian's faith since Lohengrin is Parsifal's son and the Knight of the Holy Grail.
Also the opera is more about Elsa and Ortrud than about Lohengrin himself. The two women mirror each other. One is mystical, quite hysterical actually, the other is a calculator, plotting her revenge. One is good and innocent, the other is evil. I can't help thinking of Shakespeare there. Ortrud is to Elsa what Iago is to Othello. She's perfidious but she may be there only to represent that part of Elsa that cannot die...the side that still calls upon the ancient gods (Wotan and Freia), that side that keeps doubting. Ortrud never gave up, she doesn't bow and she's still alive in the end.
What's the connection with Buffy? Well, when BTVS was on and I was posting on the BC&S spoiler board one of my hobby-horses was to seek and point out links to opera works. I found many and I may post someday, on LJ, a compendium of all the opera stuff that we can find on Buffy but until I get around to writing it...
According to Aristotle a tragedy is a form of drama characterized by seriousness and dignity, usually involving a conflict between a character and some higher power, such as the law, the gods, fate, or society.
In The Poetics, he also says that tragedy results in a catharsis of healing for the audience through their experience of these emotions in response to the suffering of the characters in the drama. That would be the goal of any tragedy. Therefore, a tragic show would be a kind of vaccination against passions
In Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche viewed tragedy as the art form of sensual acceptance of the terrors of reality and rejoicing in these terrors in love of fate (amor fati).
On Friday afternoon I saw Brokeback Mountain and yesterday I watched Battlestar Galactica 1x08 (interview with a cylon!) in the afternoon, then I spent a night at the opera (that was the title of a Queen's album, wasn't it?) and saw Madame Butterfly.
Did they fit in the definitions?
( Butterfly )