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The Golden Compass (Merged
Posted: 14 December 2007 10:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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What’s so hot about Nicole Kidman? She’s too formulaic, too cliche in her beauty.
But one look at Eva Green as the Serafina Pekkala and I’m bewitched (plus she does appear naked in The Dreamers, and not as a penguin).

Anyway, perfect casting throughout.

I should add that I watch movies a dozen times a year, so I’m easily impressed, but I enjoyed it a great deal. But I did order the books right away and have started re-reading volume one. BTW, the library has hopelessly many reservations for it smile

As for the movie’s anti-religious aspect: The ubiquitous church’s aim is to inoculate the youth against the dangers of heresy by mental castration so they’ll peacefully settle into the ordained societal order prescribed for them by the church.
And (different from the book) a church official tries to poison Lord Asriel so he can’t procede with his heretical research.

Actually, I’m going to see it a second time!

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Posted: 15 December 2007 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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I do agree Eva Green has more character in this one than Kidman, though I guess that’s as much the parts they’re playing as the actresses. I wouldn’t turn down a dinner invitation from either of them!

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Posted: 17 December 2007 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Occam - 09 December 2007 09:08 PM

I haven’t read any of the books, and I don’t plan to.  From the write-ups here and on the movie review websites (even those that liked the movie), I’ve decided to respect and accept George’s evaluation and not waste my time seing it. 

I have a feeling that its sole saving grace would be the same as the last movie I saw - Enchanted.  Thank goodness for Nicole Kidman.  She, in her filmy, clinging gowns made that movie almost bearable. 

Occam

I think I confused that with another similar movie I saw recently.  The actor here was Amy Adams, I believe.

My evaluation of Amy Adams, however, was still just as positive.  :grin:

Sorry,

Occam

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Posted: 19 December 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Vatican Blasts Golden Compass

The more of this I read, the more I wish I liked the books better. wink

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Posted: 23 December 2007 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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I saw the film, and wish that I had liked it more.  I, like George, thought it lacked coherency and was just hard to pin down any main point or theme.  Is it bad to separate kids from their demons?  What are demons, like souls?  I just found it a bit confusing, and disjointed.  But it has such awesome concepts - i thought there were great ideas there and wished they would have done more with them.  Maybe the books do this - but even so, most have not read the books, and on it’s own, I didn’t get the movie in many ways.

There are a lot of movies that drive the point about free thinking home a lot better - but do not link the authorities or powers that be in the films with religion - but I still find them inspiring in ways I thought I would have found TGC to be. 
“Aeon Flux’ is one of my favorites, as well as the entire Stargate SG-1 series which deals with a lot of different topics regarding freedoms and tolerance.

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Posted: 24 December 2007 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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I haven’t read the book but I have seen the movie. The movie was ok but it did get boring in the middle part of the story.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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J Free - 23 December 2007 02:33 PM

But it has such awesome concepts - i thought there were great ideas there and wished they would have done more with them.  Maybe the books do this….

If they do, I didn’t notice.  That’s the reason I started this thread.  What concept did you find so fascinating?

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Posted: 27 December 2007 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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The daemons are a confusing idea for an atheist to posit, no?

If they’re wholly derived from us, then they aren’t really *guides* except in some hippy-dippy, ‘believe the Force within you’ kind of way. If they have independent knowledge or wisdom or powers, then they’re effectively supernatural - at least, a very different order of being from humans - and that’s not very atheistic. (True, daemons are visible in a way that gods or moral facts are not, but that’s acceptable literary fiction.)

So, no three cheers for the daemons, if they’re meant to be polemical stand-ins for our rationality. (Are they?)

kirk

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Posted: 27 December 2007 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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inthegobi - 27 December 2007 08:10 AM

The daemons are a confusing idea for an atheist to posit, no?

If they’re wholly derived from us, then they aren’t really *guides* except in some hippy-dippy, ‘believe the Force within you’ kind of way. If they have independent knowledge or wisdom or powers, then they’re effectively supernatural - at least, a very different order of being from humans - and that’s not very atheistic. (True, daemons are visible in a way that gods or moral facts are not, but that’s acceptable literary fiction.)

So, no three cheers for the daemons, if they’re meant to be polemical stand-ins for our rationality. (Are they?)

kirk

Remember that the characters in the film were in a parallel universe. I saw the daemons as being a person’s character or state of mind. In their universe, ones state of mind could be seen outside of themselves. Adults are often set in their ways; and their mind is filled with their own opinions and expectations of how they believe the world operates, so their daemon becomes static and doesn’t change.  A child’s state of mind is still open, imaginative, and developing, so their daemon changes form according to their state of mind. They are less restricted by the pollution our minds acquire as we get older.

In the movie, the Magisterial (representing religion/church) wants to sever the children daemon away from them. I saw this as an act of trying to take away a person’s “free thinking” ability. They want to condition them to believe whatever the Magisterial wants them to believe. They want to in a sense control people.

Everything in the movie represented something that I could relate to in the real world. I thought there was a lot of meaning in the movie.

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Posted: 27 December 2007 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Well, I’m about halfway through the last book, and no question that while the assault on the Catholic Church and its version of God is pretty direct, there seems to be a great deal of supernaturalism in the book. Daemons seem to be, in some way, personified souls, but it is made clear that everyone has a soul even in the universes in which it doesn’t take daemon form. Death is personified, there’s a Charon figure for ferrying the dead to the afterlife, ghosts, etc. Now maybe this all wraps up in a way that isn’t really supernatural (it all turns out to be some wierd kind of quantum physics, or something). As I say, I haven’t finished the last book. But at least as metaphor, the supernatural is alive and well, and even if it is just a way of embodying physical laws it’s a lot more like supernaturalist mythology than in the real world. So while the book may be atheistic, I’m not sure it’s truly materialistic.

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Posted: 02 January 2008 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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mckenzievmd - 27 December 2007 10:47 AM

[1] . . . there seems to be a great deal of supernaturalism in the book. . . [2] Death is personified, there’s a Charon figure for ferrying the dead to the afterlife, ghosts, etc. . . . [3] [A]t least as metaphor, the supernatural is alive and well . . . While the book may be atheistic, I’m not sure it’s truly materialistic.

(1) If a metaphor is so useful that we cannot get rid of it, that seems at least a *little* evidence that it’s not merely a metaphor, but has some (some) real truth lurking under it. Otherwise it’s usefulness is ‘miraculous’ - it lacks an explanation.

(3) How is the book atheistic when there’s god-like beings? Maybe it’s better to say it’s not a-theistic, but anti-theistic: boo to any godlike authorities that may exist. One wonders then why the characters had to obey Death and Charon. Who died and put Death in charge? should be the question on Lyra’s lips. And if authorities suck wind so badly, why believe her guides?

(2) I dont’ mind absurdities in a story - ‘transporters’ are pretty nearly inconceivable given some forms of naturalism! - *but* if Pullman wants to push a certain world-view, he’s rather like that guy on Man versus Wild, who isn’t truly, *really* out on just his own w/ a pocket-knife and a roll of duct-tape.

Kirk

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Posted: 02 January 2008 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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1) I think it more likely that metaphor is ingrained in the nature of our brains and how we think, and so it’s indispensibility has more to do with our limitations than any underlying truth.

2) Sure, anti-theist is probably more apt. And anti-authoritarian. Clearly, Asriel is a Miltonian Satan figure and the book has as much to do with rejection of coercive authority, temproal and spiritual, as with rejection of deism, much less the supernatural.

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Posted: 02 January 2008 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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inthegobi - 02 January 2008 07:42 AM

(1) If a metaphor is so useful that we cannot get rid of it, that seems at least a *little* evidence that it’s not merely a metaphor, but has some (some) real truth lurking under it. Otherwise it’s usefulness is ‘miraculous’ - it lacks an explanation.

question

What is the “metaphor” in this case?

Supernatural thinking, in the guise of the pathetic fallacy has existed throughout human history. Our brains are very precocious agent detectors; as Dan Dennett has noted, it’s better to get lots of false positives than miss a false negative, especially when you are out in the wilds surrounded by hungry predators. So we are simply wired up to see agents everywhere, and assume that when things happen, it’s because there’s a mind behind them.

(Not a being without temporal properties, but a mind ...)

That’s the real truth lurking behind supernatural thinking. But I don’t see it as a metaphor for anything.

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Posted: 02 January 2008 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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morgantj - 27 December 2007 10:45 AM

I saw the daemons as being a person’s character or state of mind. In their universe, ones state of mind could be seen outside of themselves. Adults are often set in their ways; and their mind is filled with their own opinions and expectations of how they believe the world operates, so their daemon becomes static and doesn’t change.  A child’s state of mind is still open, imaginative, and developing, so their daemon changes form according to their state of mind. They are less restricted by the pollution our minds acquire as we get older.

Thank you.  One of things I didn’t like about the story was the daemons.  I couldn’t figure out what they were supposed to represent.  And the characters themselves were no help, because they grew up taking them for granted.

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Posted: 12 January 2008 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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advocatus - 26 December 2007 07:22 AM
J Free - 23 December 2007 02:33 PM

But it has such awesome concepts - i thought there were great ideas there and wished they would have done more with them.  Maybe the books do this….

If they do, I didn’t notice.  That’s the reason I started this thread.  What concept did you find so fascinating?

I really liked the daemon idea, and how it changed for children but not for adults.  I liked the idea about dust and the symbolism that could hold - like how in Genesis the serpent is cursed to feed on dust, and maybe there could be like a truth that in the movie that they would discover the dust is where the freedom is or something.  This would symbolize an authority telling you something is bad and then you discover that it is actually not bad, just keeping you easily controlled by the authority.  Like how eating from the wrong tree was presented as bad/sin in Genesis, but I would see it as a myth describing the moment when humans became human.  Does that make sense?
Just thought it could have been a really creative story using symbolism to tell the story of the evolution of skeptical thinking.

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