I went to see The Spirit of the Beehive tonight. When Eliot reminded me about the screening he was thinking that I had told him it was a favorite movie of mine, but I had never seen it before. The funny thing is, I think it might really end up being one of my favorite films, though I feel like I'd need to see it again to really be sure. I'm not very good at describing movies right after I've seen them, it makes me feel weird. But the Guardian article gives a really good description of what's special about it.
Last night I stayed up later than I should have watching something very different. Masterpiece Theater was being re-run at 3 a.m. and I got sucked into it because this week's show was based on a Philip Pullman book (The Ruby in the Smoke) and starred Billie Piper from Doctor Who. (Mary Jessica, if it had not been three in the morning I would have called you to make sure you knew it was on TV.) Anyways, it wasn't a new favorite thing like the movie I saw tonight, but it was worth staying up way too late for. It's amazing I made it through, really, after getting very little sleep the night of Brandi and Toto's party.
It was an interesting weekend. The aforementioned party was good. I brought some cupcakes and some bourbon. There were nice encounters with lots of different people, including some I hadn't seen in a while. By the end of the evening we were considering starting a game of "Strip Cranium" but that never actually happened, which is probably for the best. it's probably more fun in my imagination than it would have been in reality.
I also finally played Capture the Flag, but not for long, since before the first round was over somebody got a serious injury for the second time in recent Capture the Flag history--Clarke collided with Dave and broke his nose. Luckily he seemed to be doing ok when we saw him later than evening and his prognosis sounded good. Personally, even during the partial round I played, I took a pretty serious spill. I didn't hurt myself too bad, though, I just ended up with grass-burn on my palms, a grass stain on my pants, and some leg-bruises. But it was worth it to feel all tough and sporty, two qualities I don't often see in myself.
On that note, I'm going to go eat a pot pie.
a) spirit of the beehive is a really great film. i watched it recently, and i was equally at a loss of things to say about it for a time afterward. the next day i tried telling my sister about it, and i think all i could say was "it is about these sisters, and they are very creepy. in different ways. and frankenstein." luckily my sister understands me when i say things like that.
b) that was ruby in the smoke?? i love philip pullman (er, at least i love the his dark materials trilogy, and i've read a couple of short stories that i didn't like as much, but never picked up the series ruby is a part of, no one i know has read it or has anything to say about it). i was watching that for a few minutes, because it looked 19th century-ish and i seem to have developed a taste for 19th century tales as of late. but i couldn't get into it, but now i'm sad i didn't watch! hopefully they will release it on dvd, maybe.
Even though it is a difficult movie to describe, your account of it was a big part of my reason for going to see it. So, thanks! I'm really glad I went.
I bet they'll show The Ruby in the Smoke again--a lot of stuff on Masterpiece Theater comes back sooner or later. It is on dvd, too--they had one of those little things at the end about how you could buy a copy. The BBC are supposed to be putting out the next story in the series sometime this year, too.
I couldn't help comparing the two films. They have a similar historical setting and a lot of the same themes. But they're also really different. I liked Pan's Labyrinth a whole lot, and it has its advantages over The Spirit of the Beehive--its meaning is a lot clearer, it's a lot more plot-driven and exciting and stuff. The richness of the fantasy scenes are really effective at conveying a kid's imaginative life. But TSotB seems like it's really going to stick with me in a way Pan's Labyrinth hasn't. It's subtle, even confusing at times. Its pace feels really slow when you're used to standard Hollywood movies, though I think it's integral to the way the film works. And it's incredibly sparing with its fantasy sequences (one incredibly brief one, the only special effect being a little makeup). As much as I love the amazing detail of the fantasy scenes in Pan's Labyrinth, the portrayal of the little girl's inner world in The Spirit of the Beehive resonated a lot more for me.
Obviously, they're very related in some ways, but trying to do very different things in others. And here's a quote I found from Guillermo Del Toro about just that:
Guillermo: It is and I think that in THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, what is beautiful about it, is that it’s sedate, the tone of it is much more sedate. Mine is furiously symbolistic, if you want. That is sort of everyday life and then there is only one fantastic element echoing at the end of the movie. Such brilliance. Mine is you know, far more baroque.
Strip Cranium! Hilarious! Sounds like a wonderful and violent party to be sure. If you run into B or T again, feel free to send my regards, if it seems appropriate. RUBY IN THE SMOKE! You are sweet to think of me! I love Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series but haven't read any of the Sally Lockhart stuff. Maybe I should. I'm finally getting around to watching the last season of Doctor Who as a friend made a DVD for us (Just finished the Impossible Planet/Satan Pit two-parter, and holy crap it was scary!!!!), and I am surprising myself by how much I am enjoying Billie Piper in it. It will be interesting to see her range in other roles - I'll be on the lookout for "The Ruby in the Smoke."
If I don't talk to them sooner, I'll definitely give B and T your regards at the Woozyhelmet show tomorrow night.
I hadn't read any Sally Lockhart stuff before I saw The Ruby in the Smoke. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much if I had been familiar with the book--maybe it would have seemed like a letdown or something. As it was, I wasn't totally blown away or anything, but it was a solid, enjoyable piece of work.
I probably would have just forgotten about Strip Cranium if everybody wasn't validating the idea so much. It's interesting the things that I get positive feedback about on livejournal. Knitted synthesizers, wearable blankets, Strip Cranium...I guess it says something about my friends list. :P