Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Which I Answer Your Burning Questions

A while back, my sister called and left a message on my answering machine saying that she'd just seen the movie Donnie Darko and wanted me to explain the ending to her. For some reason, people seem to have this touching faith in my ability to explain weird SF-related stuff. I have no idea why. *cough* Anyway, I had to call her back and admit that I'd never actually seen the movie, oddly enough, but I have corrected this gap in my cinematic experience now. And, without delving into spoilers here, I will just say that the ending seems pretty explicable to me. It's the middle I'm a bit mystified by. Which nevertheless puts it significantly ahead of Primer, a movie I watched not all that long ago and about which my only comment was, "OK, clearly I need to watch that at least another five or six times before it makes sense." I think, by the way, that this is a very unfair thing for a movie to ask of me, given that I don't even seem to have the time to watch most of the stuff I'm interested in once. Anyway, uh, if you want to discuss it now, sis, you can call me back or leave a comment here or something. Don't say I never did anything for ya!

In a matter that's completely unrelated, except for also involving a deeply weird work of fiction, at least one person said they'd be interested to hear what I thought of Perdido Street Station after I finished it. Which I did a while ago. I'm actually not entirely sure what to say about it... On the one hand, the plot is, objectively, pretty thin for a novel that long; I'm not at all sure how satisfying I found the ending; and the long passages describing people's exact routes through the city every time they traveled somewhere where not exactly excitement-inducing, no matter how cool the city itself might be. On the other hand, the setting was amazingly cool and imaginative and well-realized, the characters were believable, and all of the individual plot elements were interesting. For me, at least, the stuff on that second hand dominated, and I found it on the whole to be a decidedly enjoyable and worthwhile (albeit rather slow) read. I'll definitely be interested in checking out more of Mieville's work.

There. Anything else anybody wants me to comment on?


  1. Ok, the "explicable" part. I totally get the gist of the whole ending premise it's the "how" really.

    Ok we'll talk later

    p.s. did you like it?

  2. I'm not sure "how" is one of those questions you're meant to ask. :)

    And it was an interesting enough way to spend a couple of hours.