Monday, March 26, 2012

Interviews, ARC Giveaways, Reviews, Perspective

In lieu of a post today, I'll link you to Cindy Pon's interview with me about Bitterblue, over at The Enchanted Inkpot. Cindy is running a Bitterblue ARC giveaway, so head over there if you're interested! Many thanks to Cindy, who asks really good questions :).

My 30-second Hunger Games movie review: I had to leave the theater around minute 90 because the camerawork was making me sick. If you're prone to motion sickness, consider taking your meds or whatever, and DO NOT sit close. The frustrating thing was that at the moment I left, they'd just entered the arena, and FINALLY there was some point to all the shaky cam, zooming, fast panning, quick cutting, deliberate unfocusedness, etc. Finally it was effective. But my body couldn't deal with it anymore at that point. Very disappointing. The one judgment I was able to form before succumbing to the horror of "Is the whole movie going to be shot like this? Oh NO," was that District 12 didn't seem all that hungry.

By the way, I don't just dislike that type of camerawork and editing because it makes me sick (it actually never has before, this was the first time I've ever had to leave a movie for that reason). I dislike it because I don't think it achieves what the filmmaker thinks it achieves. Edgar Allan Poe, writing about the mistake of confusing luminousness of form with luminousness of content, once said, "The error is one exactly analogous with that which leads the immature poet to think himself sublime wherever he is obscure, because obscurity is a source of the sublime -- thus confounding obscurity of expression with the expression of obscurity." What does that mean if we extend it to books and movies? Well, for example: If I'm trying to express that one of my characters is confused, it doesn't follow that I should do so by miring my readers in confusion. My job is to make it clear to the reader that my character is confused, not to confuse my reader! And if a filmmaker is trying to express that one of his characters has a sort of urgent, serpentine, destabilizing tunnel vision (whatever that means), it doesn't follow that he needs to provide the viewer with some sort of urgent, serpentine, destabilizing tunnel vision. What he needs to do is provide the viewer with the sense that the character has the urgent, serpentine, destabilizing tunnel vision. Certainly a more difficult task. But if he accomplishes that, then we as the viewers will be right there with the character, because humans have empathy and imagination.  You don't need to create our emotions for us, thank you very much! You just need to use your craft to call on them.

Enough ranting.

I'm happy to report that in contrast, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras' concert at Symphony Hall on Sunday (Brahms Requiem and other things) was beautiful. BYSO, you were the stars of my weekend.

And now here's astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson sharing what he believes to be the most astounding fact about the universe. (Thanks B!)