saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Obama 08)
I hadn't seen this until just now: A few weeks ago, Christopher Hope's blog at the Daily Telegraph site considered the ways in which this year's U.S. presidential election is recapitulating the last couple seasons of the West Wing.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (quijote2)
OK. I know how pathetic this sounds, but I'm positively beside myself with glee at the prospect of staying home to watch a
documentary about medieval Spain, tonight.

I mean it. Beside myself. With glee. It's like they filmed it just for me ...

Ciao, Roma

Apr. 7th, 2007 05:48 pm
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (bored)
HBO's Rome wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and I was already missing it, the next day. The series' finale was rushed, as the financial plug had been pulled and there were so many loose ends to sort out before we reached the series' logical/historical conclusion. Still, I have to say that I was immensely pleased with the two years we got of this show, which provided the most compelling dramatic interpretations of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra I've seen (yeah, I'm talking about you, Bard of Avon: your Caesar was never so shrewd or passionate; your Antony and Cleopatra never so magnificently dissolute). The meticulous recreation of the details of Roman life always impressed, too: from political intrigues of the Senate chamber to the brutal street life of the Aventine.

A note for others of you who have gotten to or who get to the end of Rome jonesing for more lusty ancient depravity and backstabbing: If you haven't already done so, you absolutely must check out the BBC's '70s adaptation of Robert Graves' I, Claudius. Conveniently, this series begins about a dozen years after Rome's finale. You might find Brian Blessed's older, seemingly more genial Caesar Augustus hard to adjust to compared to Simon Woods' icy, calculating Octavian, but Livia, Agrippa and other characters will seem quite familiar. Plus, you'll get to meet several more generations of power-hungry Julio-Claudians (from Tiberius through Nero), all viewed from the standpoint of Derek Jacobi's frequently-underestimated Claudius--well worth it, trust me on this.

Those of us who've already seen I, Claudius will of course have to be contented with the modern depravity and backstabbing that will be on view in that familiar Sunday-night spot again starting tomorrow, when the final half-season of The Sopranos gets underway.

Speaking of The Sopranos, fans who haven't checked out 7 Years of The Sopranos in 7 Minutes (and who aren't afraid of spoilers) should get clicking, right now; it's a great summary, and excellent preparation for tomorrow night.
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (fits)
As [ profile] marginalia has posted elsewhere, a few of us went out to see Pan's Labyrinth on Friday. We had to trek out into the wilds of unincorporated King County to find a late showing that wasn't sold out, but it was well worth the drive: Hey, kids! Literary references inside! )

On Saturday, I ventured out into the uncharacteristically Arctic night air we're experieicing in Seattle again to see Casino Royale a second time. You Know My Name )

Sunday night, [ profile] ryuusama hosted the premier episode of HBO's Rome, which shall we say paralleled events in Act III, Scene II of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Not To Praise Him )
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (wirewear)
No one else I know will admit to watching HBO's Big Love, but I have to say that I zipped through the first season like nothing else I've seen since ... well, HBO's Rome. Which is pretty high praise, in that Rome is just about the most consistently fascinating television series I've ever seen.

Echoing HBO's first major hit drama, The Sopranos (yes, yes, I watch a lot of HBO--just on DVD, mind), Big Love portrays a family who are in a whole lot of ways just like the network's demographic--suburban, relatively affluent--except not. The message seems to be something like: look, they're like you, but nothing like you, their family values are not yours. Or even close.

Rather than being mobbed up, however, the family on Big Love, if you haven't heard, are polygamists. The Angel Moroni Goes to Suburbia )

Also, kudos to the show's producers for choosing a brilliantly counterintuitive musical theme for the title sequence: the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" ...
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (bob evil)
Mind you, my TV's just a DVD monitor, so I'm not all that up-to-date on what's on the tube, these days. Apparently, I more than made up for that in years past, though:

Couldn't Take My Eyes Off of You ... )
saavedra77: Doc from Deadwood has a dark turn of mind .. (dark)
I'm drawn to Deadwood by the same morbid curiosity that's kept me watching The Sopranos, all this time: it's a sort of frontier gangster drama, and, beneath that, a theater of human failings.

As I'm coming to the end of Season One, I'm also developing an appreciation for the dialogue's idiosyncratic mix of Victorian elocution and frontier twang. The language is generally profane, unfailingly pithy (as when Cochran swears "Well, if this is His [i.e., God's] will, He's a son of a bitch!") and even occasionally veers toward genuine eloquence (as when Sol ventures that "People have made good lives out of borrowed ones, before").

Also, I can't help noticing by how much Deadwood's resource-extraction/prostitution-based economy resembles Bill Speidel's accounts of early Seattle ...
saavedra77: Al Swearingen from Deadwood raises a glass, say "Cheers" wistfully. (cheers)
Talking to [ profile] verbicide about Deadwood and the handful of Westerns I've ever taken a liking to inspired me to watch Walter Hill's The Long Riders, again, the other day. My favorite exchange in the film goes like this: Cole Younger and Sam Starr are about to fight over Belle -

Cole Younger: What does the winner get?
Belle Starr: Nothin' both of you ain't already had.
Cole Younger: Don't hardly seem worth it.
Belle Starr: It ain't. You're both crazy, but you do keep me amused. I am having a real good time.


Oct. 16th, 2005 05:54 pm
saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (bestdayever)

I know a lot of people on my flist got into Firefly a long time ago, and have been eagerly anticipating the premiere of Serenity for eons.  My situation is a little different: I actually saw the entire Firefly series (thanks, [ profile] verbicide!) and the movie during the past three weeks.

If any of you actually still haven't seen Serenity, yet, beware of spoilers ... )

saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (bestdayever)
I've been listening to people I know mutter Firefly this, Serenity that for some time now, having (I must confess) no idea what y'all were talking about. Well, this weekend, I noticed the first disc of Firefly at the video store, and decided to see what the fuss was all about.

OK, I get it: the "wagon train to the stars" aspect was perhaps a mite overdone (I'm thinking especially of the 19th-century American frontier slang, the retro guns, the ... horses), but I liked the storytelling style, the dialogue, the visuals, the characters (I think--depends on what they do with them, beyond episode 3 ...). Also, I really love the "You can't take the sky from me" theme (yes, wailing fiddles and Waylon Jennings-style vocals and all).

So, it turns out that these discs are really, really hard to come by, at the moment. Anyone have a copy of disc two that I can borrow, before I shell out the money to see Serenity? :)


saavedra77: Back to the byte mines ... (Default)
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