Thursday, October 25, 2007

Postcard from NYC: Beowulf is everywhere

So I was walking down 14th street today, having left Morningside Heights for a meeting with a professor downtown at NYU. I was, it must be said, minding my own business. Suddenly I see a rather gruesome looking -- hand, on a poster. I note the Tolkien-esque calligraphic font used for the title -- but I'm still not reading it, because my brain hasn't quite kicked into gear for that yet. I practically fell over once my focus came back:

All this raises a question, dear readers: Where will you be on November 16th?

Grendel's mom wants to know.


Karl Steel said...

Where will you be on November 16th?

Hmmm. Calendar says "Norma, 8pm." Not entirely sure what it means. It's either a movie or an opera. Or a mob hit.

I think I'll be holding out for either the Yde et Olive or Perceforest films. But I'm reminded of last week, first day of teaching BĂ©roul, when a student said the story reminded her of a movie she'd seen "a long time ago." I'm pretty sure she meant this one. Surely my students aren't that young!

Eileen Joy said...

So now I'm supposed to believe that Grendel is, like, the formaldehyde baby of the beautiful lamia/woman in the other poster? Or perhaps the victim of a premodern exposure to nuclear fallout? Actually, all kidding aside, I think the rendering of Grendel is perfect: I feel like I've been waiting a long time for someone to render him/it like this. Grendel's mother, though? Well . . . whatev.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

It's weird, I always did picture Grendel's mom as a voluptuous lamia with a whip for her pony tail. Grendel, I thought, would resemble this.

Mary Kate Hurley said...

Karl> Oh my. Though I have to point out -- actually your students are that young. First Knight probably isn't even on their farthest horizons.

Unless they're really into medievalisms....

Eileen> So now I'm supposed to believe that Grendel is, like, the formaldehyde baby of the beautiful lamia/woman in the other poster? Or perhaps the victim of a premodern exposure to nuclear fallout? Yes. Obviously. To both. I love the second possibility.

JJC> wow. and I'd almost gotten over my troll induced nightmares.

For my part: I've never imagined either one. It's my Signs theory of monsters, named for and derived from the M. Night Shyamalan movie of the same name. It reads in part:

Once you see the really lame-looking CGI alien, the movie turns from suspense to comedy.

I like my monsters more immaterial. Particularly when it comes to movies. Though, if they're really using the same effects they used for Gollum -- should be pretty realistic, at least. Whatever that means these days. Angelina Jolie's realistic-ness? I'm not commenting.

dan remein said...

everyone knows two things of course...

that the two marketing slogans of the film are "pride is the curse" and "evil breeds pain"? they were on my most recent popcorn bag.

2) zemekis directs the film. looks like this time, we're really going "back to the future."

Eileen Joy said...

MKH declines to comment on Angeline Jolie's "realisticness" [great word, by the way], but I do not: Angeline Jolie is not realistic in real life as a "woman"; therefore, as Grendel's mother, she is just perfect. Frankly, no special effects or whip/snake tail were necessary. She is already scary. Seriously.

Rachel Roberts said...

I don't see the mother-son family resemblance, to be honest.

Mind you, we need to remember that both Grendel and Mrs Grendel snr. are Danish. The filmmakers clearly have this in mind: they've clearly modelled the latter, in this poster, after Queen Margrethe II. The former looks very like Daniel Agger, the Liverpool defender.

Can't wait for this film, incidentally.

History Geek said...

The Medieval club from University is going as a group. Safety in numbers and all that, plus a increased chance of people understanding any cheap shots we take at the film.

Unknown said...

Re: Angelina as Mama Grendel - what could be more monstrous in the eyes of Hollywood than the woman who broke up America's Sweethearts, after all?

I'm still hopeful about Neil Gaiman's involvement as a writer and producer but the Zemeckis side has me skeptical. "Life is like a box of...Danish?"