Sunday, June 08, 2008

A squeak and a snarl

I had to stop. The squeak of the press defeated me. Damned Martini! So good! So bad!

I had to solve a lot of problems today, one of which was whether I could print on spun polymer (yes), another being: if you make an imposition mistake on a page in an earlier print run, do you adjust the framework of the second side of the page to attempt to hide it, or do you just decide to live with the mistake as an oddity of the page? I went with the latter decision, because trying to hide the problem would have thrown the problem further along the book, and I might as well have an honest mistake in every book to please the jealous gods. It's not a huge problem, just a slightly wandering title and page number level. And thar be the vagaries of hand-printed pages.

Once I'd solved these issues, I started editioning the page in question. But I only got 50 pages done (out of 250) when every squeak and thud of the press started to pierce my brain like a dentist's drill. Here's a taste, and this is with very bad sound (taped last year):

So I did myself a favour, cleaned up the press (the Crisco almost made me vomit) and went out for an instant fat-and-sugar hit in the form of a soft drink and hot chips. Now I am home and about to lie in a very hot bubble bath before I have to go out with my parents-in-law... what a day.

But not before I vent my poor spleen about David Stratton's review of Prince Caspian in yesterday's Australian.

I quite like David on the whole, but he has moments when he just. doesn't. get. it.

Get this:

The human-like Telmarine (who for some reason speak with Italian accents) are led by Miraz and his loyal commander, General Glozelle (Pierfrancesco Favino), and they have been waging war on the Narnians, a colourful mixture of creatures, to the point where they are almost extinct.

Where do I start? Let me start by saying it's an ACE movie. If you're a fan of Narnia, you won't be disappointed. It's grand, rich and true to the text. Obviously David has never read the book, but even so, the movie makes it quite clear (and this is a mini-spoiler) that the Telmarines are not only human ('human-like'! Tuh!) but from the same world as the Pevensie children.

The second TUH! is that it is also quite obvious to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of European history and costuming, that the Telmarines are being presented as if Spanish Conquistadors, with their dark beardy faces, flashing dark eyes, rounded helmets and Spanish accents. It not only supports the information given to us by Aslan about them evolving from European gypsies and sailors, but also sets up a lovely subtext about ideological clashes (Church of England v. Catholicism) and Colonialism (the Spanish and the 'savages' of South America).

I can't believe David missed this completely. I'm sure Margaret hasn't.

It really is a very good movie. It's got an 'M' rating, presumably for all the violence, because it's wall-to-wall war, but there's not a drop of blood to be seen, except in one scene where you see blood, but it doesn't drop :)

In our family, a movie's worth increases if there's a cat in it, and this one got full marks for cat-centred humour. Reepicheep the Mouse didn't disappoint; he's my favorite character from the whole book series. I'm looking forward to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (due 2010), where he gets much more screen time.

Anyhoo, time to smooth this ruffled and aching brow with a bit of a bath. Hooroo.


Pen said...

Glad to hear you say that. I haven't seen the film yet and I was quite mystified by David's comments.

Interesting that the Spanish conquistador thing worked so well - teasing out themes rather than ignoring them perhaps. I did enjoy the director's comment that he was trying to tell the story as if it was history, and that Lewis had just written a children's book version of that real history.

Bwca said...

yes. it's a good film if there's a cat in it.

I thought of you when I saw a beautiful ampersand in a photo at Hoydens - this is the post:

"Photo-correspondence from a Hoyden Abroad
Published by tigtog on June 9, 2008 9 Comments

Hoydenizen Orlando had occasion to wander around the London Borough of Islington recently"