Friday, August 28, 2009

CUUmbaya commits blasphemy

Peacebang started quite a donnybrook by using the word "blasphemy". There's little I can add to the controversy, but it does make me want to confess to my own blasphemy.

This blasphemy was the result of accepting a trial membership in Netflix. The first DVD I got was the 2003 remake of "The Lion In Winter", starring Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. Here is the blasphemy: it's better than the 1968 original.
Now, my heresy doesn't go so far as to deny the divinity of O'Toole and Hepburn; let's all agree to say that the difference lies in the director's vision. In the 1968 version, Henry and Eleanor are played as archetypes, demigods- one can admire them, but not feel for them. But Stewart and Close made them human beings, real people who may live larger than you and me, but not larger than life.

The boys, too, are more effective in this remake. I can't say that any one performance is better than their '68 counterparts, but somehow they convey the dynamic of a bunch of brothers much better. I know, I was #2 of 4 in such a bunch.

As deeply heretical as this may be, if someone who has never seen the play or movie asked for a recommendation, I'd have to recommend the remake.


Desmond Ravenstone said...

Hate to be picky but...

Heresy refers to any belief which goes against doctrinal correctness.

Blasphemy is any statement which speaks ill of divinity or articles of faith.

So while you're right that saying the new version of the movie is heretical, you'd only be guilty of blasphemy if you said the '68 version sucked like donkey poop.

Just sayin'...

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Sorry, correction ... saying that the new version is better is heretical.

Mea culpa!

Joel Monka said...

Well, in many of the old communist regimes, complimenting a foreign product was considered an implied criticism of the people's product, which was actionable. By that logic, since I recognized the divinity of O'Toole and Hepburn, my praise of Stewart and Close could be blasphemy.

Scott Wells said...

I'm speechless. Speechless, I tell you.

Or to paraphrase La Hepburn in the One True Lion in Winter: "Of course he [John] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 2009, and we're all barbarians."

Chalicechick said...

Get the torches.