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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Over Sea, Under Stone is Rising

I've already gone awry on my Read Your Own Books challenge by checking Over Sea, Under Stone out of the library. It's the first in the Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. So far it's entertaining but a rather more conventional juvie tale than Dark, lacking the rich interplay between legend and modernity that helps make Dark so compelling.

Speaking of which, I decided years ago not to sacrifice two hours of my life to The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, the movie nominally based on the novel. A glance at the Hollywood-by-the-yard trailer was enough to shape that decision, but one early indicator that the film would probably suck was the screenwriter's avowal in pre-release interviews that Will Stanton, the hero of the tale, would be an outsider in the film, rather than a local. Midway down this article is a representative quote to that effect.

The problem with such a change is that Dark is about learning hidden layers of significance about familiar people and places. Continually Will is discovering that folks and locations he's grown up with and thought to be utterly ordinary have a deeper significance than he could have guessed. As a child I found this inspiring; the idea that subterranean streams of history and significance lay beneath the surface of one's humdrum neighbors and neighborhood was inspiring, and helped me appreciate my suburban town more than I might have otherwise. To rob the story of this element of learning deeper truths about one's familiar life is to rob it of the element that made it resonate with me all these years.

Also got my first taste of this Battlestar Galactica all my nerdbuddies are crazy about. I came in late so I can't pretend to evaluate the story beyond it's being a Dark Knight style consideration of W-Presidency issues in a genre context. I liked the acting, camerawork and spaceships though. It looks like a Stephen Youll painting come to life. Big Love is more my speed, though.

I have an audition tomorrow night, and if it goes well I may have something besides entertainment to post about soon.

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