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The Garden of Live Flowers

About Mostly Inadvertent Offences

Previous Entry The Garden of Live Flowers Jun. 3rd, 2011 @ 05:14 pm Next Entry

'I only wanted to see what the garden was like, your Majesty—'

'That's right,' said the Queen, patting her on the head, which Alice didn't like at all, 'though, when you say "garden,"—I'VE seen gardens, compared with which this would be a wilderness.'

Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: '—and I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill—'

'When you say "hill,"' the Queen interrupted, 'I could show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley.'

'No, I shouldn't,' said Alice, surprised into contradicting her at last: 'a hill CAN'T be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense—'

The Red Queen shook her head, 'You may call it "nonsense" if you like,' she said, 'but I'VE heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!'

Lewis Carroll could almost be lampooning modern day hipsters with this exchange.

Last night in Second Life I took part in The Black Butler Hunt--hunts in Second Life are promotional events where several shops work together to create scavenger hunts for freebies in their sims. In this case, each shop participating has a stuffed white rabbit hidden somewhere on the premises containing a bunch of freebies and a landmark to the next location in the hunt. The obvious Alice in Wonderland homage couldn't fail to appeal to me--I've barely looked at all the freebies I picked up, I kind of just enjoyed the hunt itself. Anyway, it was a nice opportunity for my avatar to wear this Alice outfit I got from Wishbox some time ago;

My favourite part is the pockets of prim goodies;

Though I guess, like the Tim Burton movie, this outfit seems like it might be inspired more by American McGee's Alice than the original Alice books. I can't say I mind--I enjoy a good pastiche. I like the 1951 animated film, despite the fact that it fails at capturing the character of Alice. I can still appreciate the aesthetics, the humour, and the performances.

I see Caitlin was talking about Tim Burton's Alice film to-day. I've pretty thoroughly covered my own feelings about the film, but I'm curious as to how Caitlin doesn't find Burton's film a little depressing for expressing practically the opposite philosophy to Carroll's books. Burton's version is like Alice via Ayn Rand. Or Gandhi via "Weird Al" Yankovic.

After watching the entire television series twice, I finally got around to watching the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie last night. I can see now there was no need for me to rush--the movie is vastly inferior to the television series.

Rather than being a continuation of the show's storyline, the movie seeks to retell the thirty nine episode story in one hour and twenty four minutes. This leads to a diminished effect in many ways--ideas represented entirely by symbols on the show are directly stated, characters have less time to develop, there's less richness to the story as it's forced to maintain single notes of melodrama that had previously been broken up by lower key development and comedy.

Obviously it has much better animation, and a lot of the visuals are still quite beautiful as it continues the series' obsession with roses. But the last act of the film even fails in this department, and in a lot of other ways, by having Utena turn into a car. A voiceless car, too. A really ugly pink voiceless car that Anthy drives to some kind of metaphorical freedom from her repressed memories of murder and sexual assault--something else dealt with far better on the show. It's funny, the show actually seemed a lot less muddled despite refraining from having characters constantly shout exposition and explanations of symbols at each other.

About the only thing in which the movie betters the show is that we actually get to see Utena and Anthy kiss a few times, whereas the show tended go just short of all the way with their lesbianism. Though it lacks some impact here from the fact that Anthy's character is far less subtle, far less interesting.

Current Location: A chessboard
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: "The Mero" - The Dubliners
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