Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: The High Aesthetic Line

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  • Mark Graham,

    What I love is the criticism as adults, movies that are really aimed at kids. We all loved the first series – we were young. Then we became old and the second series sucked. I go back to Craig’s earlier comment about entertainment and the second series, for all their flaws entertained.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    You people are making it very difficult for me to maintain the illusion that I live in a universe where the prequels were never made. Lalalalalalala can't heeeeerrrreeeeee yooooooooouu.

    This guy says it better than I can

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Star Wars targeted at children? I thought wide age appeal is one reason it made so much money

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Humans. Just when you think we can't get more awesome.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 174 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    ZOMG Bea Arthur was in it!!

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 174 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The workers who would liberate us all from our sexual repressions and life denying neurosis in the works of Lawrence and Forster should be considered as human Higgs bosons – their existence is entirely theoretical, but they explain absolutely everything. More or less.

    The Seven Pillars of Wisdom? Oh, sorry, wrong Lawrence.

    As Frank Laurence Lucas (just to tie it all together) said of missive writing;

    A man can make himself put down what comes, even if it seems nauseating nonsense; tomorrow some of it may not seem wholly nonsense at all.

    We live in hope.

    PS. Am I trying too hard? Where CR’s High Aesthetic is concerned, is that even possible?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I have never seen any of the SW prequels and, short of it becoming a prerequisite for receiving a vital organ transplant, I can say with a certain assuredness that I never will.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Mark Graham,

    the second series, for all their flaws entertained

    I... do not believe that to be a defensible assessment. (Except for that one part where Yoda kicked some ass. I'll give you that.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    friend's theory is that despite the patent silliness of the first three movies, the actors played it straight

    Despite at least one of them being high as a kite at the time.

    I was 5 when Star Wars came out and it totally blew me away. 5-year-olds impress easily, and I'd certainly seen nothing like it before. I mean, it sure wasn't Mary Poppins.

    And re-viewing Star Wars years later, it was still good fun. I think those original movies worked because they didn't take themselves so seriously, and they didn't try to do tragedy. The whole Anakin-turns-evil and Padme-dies-of-shame or whatever it was, frankly works better as back-story than something you actually have to sit through in all its embarrassing detail.

    As Lucy says, though, it's a story about boyz. If you're a girl playing Star Wars, there is only Leia. I don't think Star Wars would pass the Bechdel Test.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Sacha,

    Steve is very well read, so he likely has, and knows all about the author.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Oh and I liked the book of Nights in the Gardens of Spain, but I'm unfamiliar with its literary precedents/antecedents. I see the tv adaptation is there On Demand, just off to watch that now....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Oh and I meant to say, yay for your new column Craig! And yay for more arty-farty-ness on PA! :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to BenWilson,

    Not as farcical as Ewoks, mind.

    Ah, the Ewoks: the Scrappy-Doo of the Star Wars franchise.

    Even as a kid watching Return of the Jedi I saw the flaws in the whole Ewok thing. I mean, we were meant to see it as a big deal that one Ewok got killed in the “big battle” that served as the climax to the this epic saga. Yet, in turn they had defeated the mighty, feared troops of the Empire and killed many/most of the Stormtroopers.

    What annoys me is I learned that Lucas was originally planning to have Wookies play that role. Now that would have made more sense, and it would just have been AWESOME. And that’s my inner child talking.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    As Lucy says, though, it's a story about boyz. If you're a girl playing Star Wars, there is only Leia. I don't think Star Wars would pass the Bechdel Test.

    I think Episode I would come closest - at least we have Amidala and her decoy. But not a pass, I don't remember them conversing. First time I've really thought about it, but the Jedi seemed extremely short on females - I can think of one outside of the younglings - a blue one who is shot in the back during Order 66.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Lilith __,

    I think those original movies worked because they didn’t take themselves so seriously, and they didn’t try to do tragedy.

    I'll give you the first part, but they did do tragedy. Just as they did comedy, and action, and adventure, humour, coming of age drama, revenge, buddy movie, family intrigue, sweeping saga...

    You get the picture: the emphasis was mostly on action and adventure, but it was all there. All done with a lightness of touch. But there was still angst & tragedy. They were just quickly moved on from. (It was great for a child's attention span.)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Happens in Episode III. The Wookie battle is actually quite cool.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Sigh. With contentment. I'm delighted that you will be posting here, Craig.

    I was 11 in 1977, and the thrilling, rumbling awe produced by the battle cruiser flying over my head still stounds me. It was absolutely marvellous, and nothing in movie special effects has matched it since. It was the shock wave of an entirely new approach to making movies.

    Hyperbole, I suppose. But it's hard to capture just how remarkable that first sequence in Starwars IV was. You young fullas have grown up with special effects, but for those of us who have four or more decades under our expanding belts, it was a revelation.

    Wednesday’s post is a joint review of The King’s Speech

    You will report on whether any shirts are removed, or decorative ponds swum through in frustration?

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Great to see you have a new spot, Craig. But where is David H these days?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Have you ever seen Craig and David in the same room? No? Me neither. Clearly this is very suspicious.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Deborah,

    the thrilling, rumbling awe produced by the battle cruiser flying over my head still stounds me. It was absolutely marvellous, and nothing in movie special effects has matched it since. It was the shock wave of an entirely new approach to making movies.

    Hyperbole, I suppose. But it's hard to capture just how remarkable that first sequence in Starwars IV was.

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Great to see you have a new spot, Craig. But where is David H these days?

    I suspect wee Bob has him pinned in a corner. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Deborah,

    You will report on whether any shirts are removed, or decorative ponds swum through in frustration?

    Putting aside his rather unfortunate foray into comic pseudo-science, Colin Firth is a rather interesting actor who isn’t afraid to under-play. And who would have guessed Helena Bonham-Carter’s Elizabeth is tender and rather moving – notes she’s not called on to hit very often. There’s a rather lovely small scene with her and Jennifer Ehle (almost unrecognisable as Myrtle Logue): The men mug, bluster and carry on. The women, as usual, just have to get on with it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I think this is a key part of the explanation; the actors were better in the first trilogy.

    This reminds me of what happened to Coupling when they took it to America; nearly the exact same scripts, different actors, total failure. It's really, really easy to underestimate how important good actors are to a film or TV program's success; the writing is important, but really good actors can take a basically mediocre script beyond itself. And, similarly, mediocre actors can make a very good script sag.

    If Anakin had been 20 at the time of Ep I, and 40ish around the time of Ep III, the actors playing him and Padme could have really mined the depths of the drama inherent in their relationship from the perspective of two adults whose relationship has crumbled under the strain of their conflicting roles in a dynamic political environment, instead of a highly unconvincing tanty by a teeenager with a metal hand.

    I like this, a lot. One suspects Lucas forgot that his target audience wasn't five anymore (or, really, that children are quite capable of enjoying and relating to stories about adults.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Deborah,

    You will report on whether any shirts are removed, or decorative ponds swum through in frustration?

    Please do, or there'll be no point me seeing it.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    YEah, but the weird thing is that Naboo has an elected monarchy -- with term-limits, no less.

    Darths and Droids provides a plausible explanation for this, and much else besides.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

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