Sunday, May 12, 2013

And then there was Benedict Cumberbatch's voice...

I have a big list of things to do - BIG - so I went to the movies and saw Star Trek Into Darkness which I may need to see again for the purposes of quality control and I just watched the first two episodes of Parade's End back to back and it has all messed with my head and I am disinclined to do ANYTHING which means of course I am now posting on my blog. That Benedict Cumberbatch boy is a chameleon with a voice that could lure you off a precipice. I am worried his head will inflate till it explodes because everyone is going round saying he's amazing as Sherlock/Christopher Tietjens/John Harrison/insert latest role here. I'm sorry Benedict but this is unhealthy, you need to be crap at something so you can rejoin the real world.

I liked the new Star Trek. Good work J.J. Plenty of nods and referencing of earlier Star Trek episodes and movies in a reverential kind of way. It was fun telling my co-watcher (middle child) about the scenes that echoed scenes I'd seen in my youth. And yet these fitted seamlessly into the new narrative. I thought it built well on the first movie. And then there was Benedict Cumberbatch's voice. And some good humour, and some excellent running and a stunning spaceship crashing scene and the cleverness of dealing with a spaceship tumbling through space. And then Parade's End focusing on a man struggling to deal with the decline of the rural idyll (yes I am oversimplifying here - sorry). The countryside and the noble tilling of the soil and the sense of community might have been utopia for Tietjens but any society that views cuddling your own child after a nightmare as soft may deserve a little readjustment. All the manners, and the traditions and the contradictions are disturbing and fascinating. And then there's Benedict Cumberbatch's voice. Oh and there's a love triangle. The love triangle is fairly straightforward. One woman is the wife and the other woman is called Valentine. And then there's the man sticking pipes in the bushes so his landowner lord and master can grab one any time and have a smoke - people probably actually did that. I am enjoying it all. So yes I have been waylaid. Let's call it research.

And there has been a lot of sharing and discussion over the last few weeks of Maureen Johnson's gendered-book-cover experiment. You can see her fab article here if you haven't already caught it. I have discussed something similar before. Ms Johnson makes some fair points. It all reminds me of the comment this year in the NZ Post Children's Book Award judges' preface to the finalists. The judges lamented the lack of strong heroines in this year's batch of books. Last year or maybe the year before they probably lamented the lack of books specifically for boys.  I'm not sure why they mentioned it. As if children will falter in their social and gender development without a book this year with a fiesty female character. There is a whole NZ canon out there with heroines and heroes in a variety of genre catering to all readers. Good readers read widely. They can get their heroines and heroes from the wider cache of books from any year, not just this one. Please don't suggest writers should be going out of their way to fill a gap, they're too busy writing the best books about serious and compelling issues with the protagonists that demand their story be told. Or watching Star Trek.

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

Just returned from watching ST!!! OH. MY. EFFING.GOD! Well I for one am so glad the cast and crew kept schtum about the plot!!!! What an effing excellent film!!! I shall definitely be seeing it again (but it doesn't have to be in 3D imax!! The film was fab without such gimmicks!). Take care