chani: (medieval demons)
The Pilars of The Earth tv series (I vaguely remember reading the books a long time ago) isn't flawless but I try to switch off the medievalist in me when watching it. Besides Rufus Sewell is totally shaggable; Matthew MacFayden isn't a bad prior Philip; Sarah Parish plays a Regan Hamleigh whose plots and incestuous relation with her son make the Cersei from Game of Thrones look like an angel,  and seeing Al Swearingen Ian McShane play the villainous bishop Waleran Bigod cracks me up.

Too bad it is showed on FRANCE 3 and therefore in a dubbed version...


Sep. 30th, 2011 10:52 pm
chani: (Default)
Tonight ARTE showed Occupation, the BBC drama starring James Nesbitt in which he plays one of the three Biritsh soldiers whose lives undergo major changes after experiencing Iraq war. Great 3 hours of television.

I hadn't seen Nesbitt since Moffat's Jekyll and he delievered here a fine performance as MIke (he was fun to watch in Jekyll but he's better when he doesn't overact). And I was happy to see Lubna Azabal, the Belgian actress who was so unforgettable in that wonderful Canadian film, Incendies.

That said it's Stephen Graham, who plays Danny, who stole the show.

Anyway, kuddos to the Beeb.

chani: (Default)
Peter Falk died today. I know I should mention Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, but to me he will always be Columbo!

I loved the show, and how fun it was to watch only to see the way Columbo would get the bad guy for we knew who-did-it from the beginning. He was a bit of a sadist (and a scrounger)and it was very formulaic but it worked.

Ah Columbo's invisible wife (the spin-off was a bad idea!) and French car, and his "just one more thing" when he was toying with the murderer like a cat with a mouse!

Good old times...

I watched many bad tv shows in my youth, especially in the Sci-Fi genre, but neither "Columbo" nor "Magnum P.I" were bad. Of course, I didn't love Magnum for the same reasons...

ETA: Just heard that Christine Desroches Noblecourt died today too...

Pet peeves

Sep. 12th, 2010 01:41 pm
chani: (Default)
It's beyond my control, seeing words being misused makes me cringe and makes me want to write rants and groan. Maybe it's the teacher in me or maybe it's just my love for language ––unless it's merely a character trait –– but I get bothered by things that most people would just overlook.

It isn't that I want to denounce "cuistres" and "pédants", and I know that language evolves and that the meaning of words slips over the time, but I can't help it, I just hate it when words are debased.

I try not to say it on LJ, because it often happens there and  I don't want to sound too picky or hurt my flist, but the frequent (mis) use of "meta" (as "analysis" or "essay on")annoys the hell out of me.

Lately I've been irritated by the use of "science fiction" label that can be seen in many Internet polls or lists around. Everything is science fiction now!

How many times have I seen Buffy The Vampires Slayer show up in a list about sci-fi tv shows*? I'm sorry but Buffy was never a sci-fi series. BSG, Caprica, Farscape, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek, Fringe are sci-fi, not BtVS! Twin Peaks wasn't sci-fi either.

Lost does have a few science fiction elements in it (mostly thanks to Daniel Faraday and Dharma's experiences on time travel) yet I wouldn't call the show sci-fi and its finale, although I didn't like it, pointed it out.

Bram Stocker's Dracula has nothing to do with science fiction (if anything, the character of count Dracula precisely represents a world prior to the XIXth century's science); Stevenson's short story about Dr Jekyll isn't sci-fi either even though it's chemistry (the potion) that brings Mr Hyde out. By the way of contrast, H. G. Wells' books belong to the science fiction category. Nowadays we tend to put all fictional stories that contain or are based on imaginary stuff –– either beings or technologies or alternate universes or dystopia or supernatural elements–– in the same bag.

So what's next? Will Carroll's Alice's Adeventures in Wonderland or More's  Utopia or Homer's The Odyssey be labeled sci-fi some day? What about The Bible?

As you can see, I strongly disagree with Nabokov when he said that Shakespeare's The Tempest should be termed science fiction.

Voltaire's Micromégas was a philosophical tale AND science fiction but Zadig, by the same author, wasn't science fiction, and neither were Charles Perrault's fairy tales, yet they all deal with stuff that did not exist.

Finally, it seems to me that, when we decide to mix-up various genres that contain imaginary stuff, we forget, in the process, that, by definition, everything in a fictional work is the product of imagination, the characters to begin with. In every book or movie or tv show, it's a whole universe that is made up. Art is the science of fiction, but not necessarily science fiction.

But it isn't only a matter of misused words and books or tv shows. I think we live a time of "confusion des genres". It's a plague in our western societies and my biggest pet peeve.

I see it all the time in my job. People mix-up History and Remembrance (and there begins the battle between memories, and the clash of lobbies ensues) or History and Commemoration. Sometimes it's just laziness and ignorance, sometimes it's pure manipulation.

Not only it annoys me, but also I believe it can be dangerous.

*PS: Once more David Lavery's blog shows that I am not alone. That said, The X-Files was a show that did mix up genres, covering its tracks, to the point that it's very difficult to label it. Some episodes were pure sci-fi, others pure fantasy, others pure thriller. As a whole, the series navigated by the stars between sci-fi ocean and conspiracy waters (can I make up a word like conspira-sea?). But its parents, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, started with the genre mix-up. Perhaps it's the tv version of the American Melting-Pot.

A must read

Sep. 6th, 2010 10:50 pm
chani: (medieval demons)
David Lavery studies Breaking Bad's qualities.

Read and you'll understand why this is the best series on tv. Besides its aesthetic and intellectual qualities BB is also a show that makes you laugh and cry and keeps you on the edge of your seat grabbing anything at reach!

And to think that we'll have to wait until July 2011 to see season 4!


chani: (Default)

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