Well, the marking isn't quite finished, but last weekend I took some much needed R&R time and went off to see a few movies.
The first was Sex and the city. I was a fan of the television series, though it wasn't must-see television for me. Translation: I really enjoyed it and would watch it whenever I was home, but didn't tape it if I were going to be out. I'm not into fashion, but I loved that Carrie was a writer, and I loved that the show was bigger than life in the same way that "Desperate Housewives" is bigger than life. And that I kind of related to these girls. In "DH" I see myself as halfway between Susan the ditzy but loveable nutcase (not that I'm implying I'm loveable!) and Lynette, the harassed housewife, struggling to balance motherhood and career.
In Sex and the city I suppose I'm a blend of Carrie (but really only from the writing viewpoint), Charlotte (whom I feel I'm most like in a lot of ways -- except when she runs and when she's so anal. No scratch that. Anal editor person speaking here!) and Miranda. I'm least of all like Samantha. Not at all like Samantha. Are we even from the same planet?
So I enjoyed watching their characters interact, the ripostes from one to another. Such clever dialogue. (Though, going back to the TV series: why Carrie threw over Aidan for Big was always beyond me!)
I enjoyed the movie very much. And the surprise for me was Charlotte. I thought she had a couple of huge moments with Big -- considering one of the reviews I'd read said she (Kristin Davis) didn't really have to do any acting! I thought she was brilliant! Fans of the TV show will love the movie, because it's stayed true to the show. I've seen other TV shows made into movies and wondered how the writers could get it so wrong. (The first Star Trek movie was an example of this -- not a bad movie in its own right, but not true to the feel of the TV show for me. It was only the later ones that captured this.)
The beauty of Sex was that I went along with my mum and two of her friends, and of the three only one had ever watched the TV show, yet they all enjoyed the movie. That, IMHO, is great writing! It's like a poem where everyone can get something on an initial reading, but that some readers will draw further and deeper meanings from. (And it's why I never minded when actors from one show appeared in another playing their characters from the first -- as long as they "worked" in their own right.)
Movies can be great food for the writer's soul, and the second movie (all right, all right, I admit, I saw it twice in two days!) was one such movie for me. Prince Caspian, which I enjoyed so much more than The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Perhaps it helps having a character who reminds me physically of the main character of my novel. Yes, I'm always looking for him, even though I've settled on Tom Ward as the most likely candidate. But perhaps it's the grittier battles. I do love a gritty battle. The heavy thwacks of swords on metal. The grimness of stone walls. Ruins. Some beautiful coastal scenery. Horses. (Of course, horses. I'm far less fussed about lions who come along and save the day.) Men in armour.
Interesting to note how much cross-pollination was going on between Tolkien and Lewis, and one of those vagaries of being in a writing group together. I've never read the Narnia books. Probably a bit inexcusable for a fantasy writer, but then I came at Tolkien late (in my mid-twenties, and wondered about how I'd missed such a masterpiece!). The lion, the witch and the wardrobe didn't inspire me to read the book, but this one has. Though I'll probably only read that one unless I love it. If I love it I'll go back and start at the beginning and hope it's as good. That's not always the case.
I've got a book called The last legends of Earth by AA Attanasio, and it was one of the most amazing books I've ever read. If you like SF, and time travel, and disasters, and apocalyptic visions, go out and read it. Trouble was it was fifth in a series of linked books. I wouldn't usually start at number five but someone gave it to me, so then I had to go back and get number one and start from there. I hated number one. It was boring and didn't draw me in. I persisted, and it just never got better for me, and I didn't get that at all. How could that happen? So, yes, assuming all books in a series will be as good as each other can be quite fallacious. But I'm digressing. The blogosphere seems always to encourage me to do that. Friends write coherent posts, and mine ramble. But then I see this as a very different kind of writing (for me) than if I were writing, say, an article or a movie review. I'm perfectly happy to let it ramble!
But back to Prince Caspian... Highly recommended if you like battle scenes. Some violence but nothing to make you too squeamish. Others I'm looking forward to: Indiana Jones. And perhaps one or two of the new horror offerings. And Mongol, I think it's called! Seems like a few good movies coming up!