I didn't have internet all weekend. I am sorry. Ender's Game was very good, and it has an important lesson for us all, especially someone like myself. I am working on it but here is the newest, extended trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug; if you haven't read The Hobbit, please, for your own sake, DO SO, it is truly one of the greatest books ever written (especially if you are a Christian) and it will help you to enjoy the film that much more. We rare say this, but in its own right, I think the completed trilogy of The Hobbit film will stand on its own merit against the book's merit,... that's saying something, especially given that you couldn't pay me to watch Peter Jackson's The Lord Of the Rings again. So here is the trailer:
It's not a bad thing when a film decides to "expand upon" characters or events not found in the original source material; in fact, it has the potential to make an exceptional story for two reasons: first, there are always particular features of a medium of art (books tell their story differently than a painting, there are things you can do in music that you cannot do in poetry, you can do something in a play that absolutely will not work in a film, but what you can do in a film won't work in a novel, etc.). When the artists--in this case, the film makers--have examined the book and have gone to "translate" that story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to the screen, they have understood the virtues of film making sufficiently to harnass those strengths and employ them to DEEPEN the story, not expand it, which leads us to our second point: depth.
This isn't just art, it's philosophy, it's life itself, when film makers can take a story and give us EVEN MORE of a character--still consistent with the original character laid out, mind you!--and increase the audience bond with them and the whole story rather than just aim for something entertaining. What is being mined in depth (forgive the pun on the dwarfs' behalf) is that of Thorin Oakenshield's destiny, the prophecy of what he is to do and the doom that will bring about,.... the thing is, prophecy is a tricky old beast in and of itself, because the very one trying to stop Thorin from fulfilling his destiny is Bard (Luke Evans) and HERE is a beautiful aspect of the story JRR Tolkien doesn't enter into the way the film is: unless Thorin fulfills his destiny, Bard will not be able to fulfill his. From the ashes comes new life, and that is what Bard neglects to see but what we have all ready seen in another great film this year, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea Of Monsters.
We have to fight the battles life brings us to. Unless we fight those battles, evil reigns and those battles are anything from fighting the dragon under the mountain to fighting the dragon within our own selves, the dragon that rears its head when someone recklessly cuts in front of us in traffic and we want to curse them for it, or we are blamed for something we didn't do, etc. The "epic" battles we see in art aren't generally the kinds of battles we are called to fight in our daily lives, but they do inspire us to be good, and to fight the good fight to become better and not permit ourselves to be taken over by evil. We have all ready seen in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey why Thorin is not going to make it (we will discuss it before the second film comes out) but it's not just why Thorin ruins himself, it's also why Bilbo and even Gandalf succeed and achieve their destinies and their purpose, which is far greater than either ever concieved of doing
Why, IF IF IF the prophecy is correct about brining all this ruin, would Gandalf consent to leading Thorin and the other dwarfs--and dragging Bilbo (whom he hadn't seen since he was just a boy)--into this perilous journey if there was nothing good to be gained from it other than "an adventure" they would enjoy? No. For those who have read the book, we know Gandalf is a figure symbolizing the Holy Spirit, the One who leads us where we do not want to go, the One who knows the difficult terrain we must pass over in order for the greatest Good to be derived for ourselves and others (i.e., for us to fulfill our destiny). So, we KNOW because Gandalf is very much the author of this journey, that only good is going to come of it. This is why Smaug the dragon--even the very Devil himself--is so important to the film and to our own lives,....
The devil shows us himself living in us: our bad habits, our sins, our weakness. If we didn't fight battles like the battles being fought in The Hobbit, we would lose our soul to the devil and that's really all there is to it. By rising up and fighting, in essence, revolting against the devil--the exact opposite of the revolt of Adam and Eve against God in the Garden of Eden when they ate the forbidden fruit--by revolting against the devil, we get back into God's good Grace, a bit at a time, more surely each time, but it's a constant battle, and the greater a person's destiny, the deeper the wisdom God wants to impart to them--like Gandalf--the more and harder are the battles they have to fight. This is it for NOW on The Hobbit, but we will review the book and the first installment of the film before the second film comes out December 13.
Okay, quick break, this trailer,... I can't help but laugh, this will be fun, at least, Batman will be fun,....
In the news,...
You might have read about 1,500 pieces of artwork being discovered in an apartment in Germany a few days ago, valued at around $1.5 billion. Why is this artwork so important? For three reasons, at least. First, so justice can hopefully be carried out and art can be returned to rightful owners/descendants. Secondly, in the case that can't be established, it will ultimately poor hundred of millions of dollars into the art market, which will poor money into the economy at large (probably in Europe, mostly) but this is good, "natural" capitalist stimulus money Europe desperately needs--although it will probably take years--maybe even decades--to trace owners, then release artworks onto the market and, thirdly, it will give art historians new work to do,...
There are likely works in this trove which can literally re-write aspects of the history of art; that might not seem like a big deal to most people--who cares, right? But the history of art is very much the history of culture's consciousness, it's self-awareness, especially given that most of these works were going to be thrown away by the Nazi regime because they were deemed "degenerate," which will not only effect art, but shed even more light onto how the Nazis were operating and fundamentally altering society in Germany which contributed to World War II and shaped the modern world. You can read the entire article at this link.
|One of the pieces being documented, I am pretty sure it's a Picasso.|
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner