Monday, February 13, 2023

Back to Gont


Because Reasons, it seems to have taken me sixteen years to get around to Goro Miyazaki's TALES FROM EARTHSEA. Despite its deliberate slow pace (and it is sometimes VERY slow) I thought it was Kind of a Masterpiece -- especially for a first-time director. I was a little bit shocked afterward to discover how badly the critics savaged it, and by how wide a mark they missed the whole point of the thing. I was a little bit less surprised to learn of Ursula Le Guin's disappointment with it, although reading her full comments I could at least understand why she felt that way.
A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA was one of the first fantasy novels I read as a young teenager, and it made a big impression on me: although I was not smart enough to grasp all the implications of Le Guin's themes, I could at least see and understand that she was dealing with Big Stuff: like, quite literally in this case, coming to grips with one's own mortality. It remains a favorite, although I never went on to any of the other Earthsea stories that Le Guin wrote later. To some extent I afraid of being disappointed; and Ged's story was complete in this one volume; I didn't feel a need for continuation. I feel differently now, and suspect I'll headed back to this realm after all.
Because it was a joy to see Ged turn up forty years later, very well realized on film. Some of his story was given to another character, but despite the author's disappointment I very much felt her presence in this picture.
I was forced to watch this in the English dub, which is NEVER my choice for foreign language movies; but this is a better than average job with a good cast.
I say the critics and the author are both wrong here! This is a very good (though slow and measured!) film fantasy, and MUCH more thoughtful than the average.

-- Thorn.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...