catsidhe: (Default)
They hired some biologists for this, didn't they.

They also hired some linguists.

What does it say that I can watch this, and come out with grammar. (Na'Vi means "The People", and one of the first things I hear is Na'Vi'a, which is obviously the vocative case, and I wonder if Na' is the definite article.)

And yet... maybe they did too good a job. Because I notice patterns. The Na'Vi language is human... it can be pronounced by a human throat, it contains no alien sounds, no alien combinations, from the sounds of it a fairly normal human grammar. (It doesn't seem as alien as Klingon, or even Sindarin, for that matter.)

And then there are the Na'Vi themselves. There is a pattern with the body pattern: they are hexapedal, quad-ocular, their nostril analogues are where the chest and neck meet. And this is regular. Even the flying creatures have two sets of wings and a pair of legs.

Except the Na'Vi.

Are they mammals? The women have breasts. Or at least fleshy bumps in the right place. They have nostrils in the Earth-normal place. They have four limbs, and no signs of an even vestigial third pair. They gesture with their hands. They cover their groins. They smile and laugh like apes. And they have human teeth when they do.

They're tall blue monkeys.

And yet they have that neural connection tail thing. All I can wonder is if they are ret-connable as genetic constructs in the first place.

Because all the efforts they went to to make it biologically plausible combine with the necessities of making protagonists humanoid enough to empathise with to almost make it worse than if they hadn't gone to all that trouble.


That's not even going into all the "Corporations would burn the world for a profit", "Savage natives can only be saved by the Great White Hero" competing plots, pissing off the Left and the Right in almost equal measure.


But all that aside, it sure is very, very pretty.
catsidhe: (Default)


The adventures of a boy named Brendan, in a monastery called Kells, as he helps finish a certain book.

Amongst his companions are a wild girl in the forest named Aislinn, and his white cat: Pangur Bán. Anseo.

The Vikings are portrayed, not as they were, but as the Irish Christians saw them: wolves of the sea, destructive and rapacious as a storm or a fire.

Bar-barra, I will get my hands on this, and you and I must see it. Ar mhaith leat é sin?

Kinderstuff

Sep. 5th, 2009 09:57 pm
catsidhe: (Default)
Took the girls to see Up today. Both were very excited, both were well-behaved, both liked the movie. So did [livejournal.com profile] mimdancer and I. It's bittersweet, though. The start of the movie is the story of a life together... and how those childhood dreams got put off and put off... until it was too late. The kids were sad. The adults were quietly weeping.

But it's a Pixar movie, and therefore absolutely brilliant. Kevin the bird is not a human in a feathery suit: she's a bird. Doug the Dog is a dog, albeit one who can talk. But even being able to talk emphasised how much he is a dog. “I've just met you, and I love you— SQUIRREL!...”

Susi was quiet, laughing at all the right places, concerned at others. Abi was more actively involved in the story, leaping to her feet, standing in concern, occasionally shouting “No! Don't do that!”.




Earlier in the day Abi came in while I was putting my boots on and had a snuggle. She is looking forward to Father's day, as if it were Christmas day or my birthday or something. (She even woke this morning with a cry of “Susi! Tomorrow is Father's day!”)
As she was snuggling, she said “Daddy, you're the best father I've ever had.”
“I'm also the worst father you've ever had,” I pointed out.
She looked thoughtful for a moment. “Yeah,” she said matter-of-factly, “sometimes.”

Mouths of Babes.
catsidhe: (Default)
Mim and I went shopping last weekend.

We bought a DVD set. We couldn't resist. It called to both of us from deep in our childhoods.


The Mysterious Cities of Gold



6 DVDs containing all 39 episodes, including the little featurette after each one.

And watching the first few on Sunday, they were in a lot of ways really low-budget. The animation was competent, but not inspiring (the story, that's another thing...), and the audio -- listening with older ears, it has a Vangelis tribute for a soundtrack, and a fairly ordinary attempt to have sound effects. (On board ship, for instance, I was actively distracted listening in vain for creaking ropes and timbers, the slap of waves against the ship.)


And yet... Susi and Abi sat in rapture for four episodes straight. They love it.

And so another part of my childhood becomes part of that of my children.
catsidhe: (fire)
Well, I've just come home from V for Vendetta

You must see this film.

More thoughts -- spoiler free )

But beyond that, it helped crystallise some thoughts for me.

What I realised... )

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