A PASSAGE TO INDIA: On the Marabar Road

Adela has just informed Ronny that she has decided not to marry him.  At this juncture, a slightly silly man named the Nawab Bahadur comes up, addressing Ronny as “sahib,” and offering to take them for a drive in his new car.  Adela, “deteremined to give him no more trouble,” agrees, even though “her desire to see India had suddenly decreased.”

And here they are on the bumpy road, night falling:

Ronny instructed the chauffeur to take the Marabar Road rather than the Gangavati, since the latter was under repair, and settled himself down beside the lady he had lost.  The car made a burring noise and rushed along a chaussée that ran upon an embankment above melancholy fields.  Trees of a poor quality bordered the road, indeed the whole scene was inferior, and suggested that the countryside was too vast to admit of excellence.  In vain did each item in it call out, “Come, come.” There was not enough good to go round.  The two young people conversed feebly and felt unimportant.  When the darkness began, it seemed to well out of the meagre vegetation, entirely covering the fields each side of them before it brimmed over the road.  Ronny’s face grew dim — an event that always increased her esteem for his character.

Beautiful, evocative, heartbreaking.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

An Unusual Point of View 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

At the Mountain View Arts & Crafts Festival today.

Self was thinking of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge prompt:

SHARE A PHOTO WITH AN UNUSUAL POINT OF VIEW

She decided to take pictures of a girl bungee jumping.  But, terribly frustrating, her first couple of tries, she got nothing but air:

Attempt 1:  It is very hard to take a picture of someone bungee jumping!

Attempt 1: It is very hard to take a picture of someone bungee jumping!

Attempt 2:  Getting there!

Attempt 2: Getting there!  At least now part of the girl’s body is in the frame!

Finally!  A head in the frame!

Finally! A head in the frame!

And one more, just for good measure.

And one more, just for good measure.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Confusion: Being English in Colonial India

How amazing is A Passage to India?  Self can barely stand to read it during the day, for she wants to read when she summon utmost concentration.

This evening, son had dinner elsewhere, and The Man declared he was not hungry.  After nibbling on a few leftovers, self quickly retreated to her little “office.”

Self is now on Chapter 7.  The character being described is an English expatriate named Mr. Fielding.  He arouses contradictory emotions in the Englishmen he encounters in India:

. . .  the men tolerated him because of his good heart and strong body; it was their wives who decided that he was not a sahib really. They disliked him.  He took no notice of them, and this, which would have passed without comment in feminist England, did him harm in a community where the male is expected to be lively and helpful.  Mr. Fielding never advised one about dogs or horses, or dined, or paid his midday calls, or decorated trees for one’s children at Christmas, and though he came to the club, it was only to get his tennis or billiards, and to go.  This was true.  He had discovered that it is possible to keep up with Indians and Englishmen, but that he who would also keep in with Englishwomen must drop the Indians.  The two wouldn’t combine.  Useless to blame either party, useless to blame them for blaming one another.  It just was so, and one had to choose.

Now that is what self considers truly marvelous writing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Reasons Why Self Enjoyed Riddick

A BIG plus of the Riddick movies is the cinematography.  Not to mention all the CGI creatures:  dingo dogs, giant snakes with poisonous stinging — were those tails or were those teeth? — whatevers, desolate planetary landscapes, intricate macho garb, and so forth

Another is Vin Diesel’s voice.  She loved his voice-over about having a “legendary bad day.”

Vin Diesel really knows how to make a grand entrance!  He can move like a snake, propelling himself forward with just his forearms!

There were a few things self thought might have improved the movie:

SPOILER ALERT!

Why did the term “to ghost” only come up in the second half?  The first time she heard it, she thought:  Now that is a VERY good word to describe killing someone.  A word that good should have been used right from the get-go.

How did Santana end up with all the funniest lines?

What was that Bible-quoting lad doing hanging with the mercs?  Whose son was he?  Very late in the movie, someone explains:  The boy is Santana’s “lucky charm.”  Which still doesn’t clear up the confusion about his backstory.  Was he kidnapped?  Then why doesn’t someone just say so?  Is that actor the third Hemsworth brother?  Because he sure did look like a Hemsworth, more Liam than Chris.

Nice touch to give Katee Sackhoff “predator pink” toenails!  Hear, hear!  That was a very deft touch.  Especially as it allows Riddick to show what a sensitive guy he is:  Even when hung in chains, he still flirts with Katee (whose character’s name was “Dahl” which self thought was actually “Doll” until she looked up the cast on imdb) and manages to come up with quite a line: “Nice toenails.”  Is it any wonder that Dahl will almost cry with frustration and despair when Johns returns to the ship sans Riddick?

The see-through plastic box — with only one purpose: to store Riddick’s head after the bounty hunters slay him.

The painstaking way in which Riddick milks the poisonous snakes for their venom, then slowly inoculates himself and his pet dingo dog with small doses.  This was possibly the most tense, the most graphically beautiful depiction of self-inoculation self has ever seen.  On the big screen or the small screen.  Anywhere.

This is the first time self has ever seen Katee Sackhoff, apart from Battlestar Galactica.  Self loves the way she grounds “Riddick” with her femininity, her somewhat “butch” affect, and the way she so handily beats up on that perv, Santana.

All in all, a very enjoyable movie:  59% on Rotten Tomatoes, and not once did she ever nod off.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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