Friday, December 23, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Leila and I went to go to a movie yesterday, since we are in Seattle and we have free babysitting from Nana, Grandad, Anna, or Blake at any time. It has been nice. It is almost like dating again, except I am not sleeping out on the couch by myself. Now all four of us are sharing twin beds along the back of the pit. We can touch heads at night and all talk.

When I saw the opening credits and saw the distributor, Disney, I felt nervous and worried that somehow this would be so disneyfied like Pocahontas or something. For once, they left the beauty of the original story alone. The few modifications do not detract, nor do they change the spirit of the tale. In one case, with Edmund in prison meeting Mr. Tumnus as the witch informs Mr. Tumnus of Edmunds betrayal, it adds to the weight of his actions. Aslan and the rest are magical, but the special effects do not come at the cost of the story or meaning. The makers of this movie loved the books.

I think this is the best movie of the year. I hope everyone goes to see it so that they will make Prince Caspian, The Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair while Edmund and Lucy are still young. The Horse and His Boy could be made later as well as The Magician's Aprentice.

C. S. Lewis had an insight into Christianity as well as children. That period in England after World War II was a magical time for literature. It is hard to believe that J.R.R. Tolkein and him worked and wrote together in England. Maybe the combination of the trials and horror of the war along with the depression and the hope of the recovery was necessary. I really would like to study some more to see the effect on other writers. I wonder if our tragedies are enough to inspire such art.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cover of the Life of Pi.  Posted by Picasa

The life of Pi

I just finished this book.

The plot is odd in itself. The main character is travelling across the ocean with his family and the animals from their zoo, when the boat sinks. The boy, Pi Patel, is thrown into a life boat along with a hyena, a zebra, an orangatang, and a bengal tiger. The boat quickly sinks and they are left the only survivors. The zebra's leg was broken in the fall and is already injured. As the only prey in a boat full of predators he is quickly attacked by the hyena. The hyena kills the zebra slowly and then tries to attack the orangatang. The orangatang holds its own for a while, but as the days go on and on without rescue, the hyena overcomes it and consumes it. The hyena is then eaten by the tiger. Leaving Pi alone in the boat with a full grown tiger.

He manages to establish himself as dominant by providing food and blowing fiercely on his whistle while rocking the boat enough to induce sea sickness in the tiger. Like a lion tamer in the ring, he tames the tiger enough to survive 227 days on the raft until he runs into Mexico. Meanwhile they run into a blind frenchman in a similar life raft, both blinded by the sun and poor nutritien. They also find a carnivorous island inhabited by thousands of meerkats and a very complex algae.

The problem is that I don't believe it. I don't believe any of it, and I don't think that the character does either. There is another version of events told in the end, but how true is that account. What does it all mean? What is the island? What symbology is he pulling from and why include it? The story at the end explains everything, almost, except the island. Which makes me think that it is as fabricated. But why? Why start the book by explaining that this is a story to make you believe in God? If anything it shows how in the face of necessity even the most civilized, Pi Patel is an ideal vegetarian religious example, will become as feral as a tiger. But I think I am missing something. Any ideas?

Friday, December 02, 2005

My dad, back in high school. I don't remember him like this at all. I haven't seen him for 15 years; he might be living in Hawaii. Last time I saw him he had a beard and put on a lot of weight. He also wore these darkish glasses. I was only 12 or 13 at the time and so my memory is not clear. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas photo outtakes.

Don't we look prettty Posted by Picasa

Christmas photos  Posted by Picasa