Saturday, December 17, 2011

Poem for Saturday, The Nagus, Tinker Tailor, Ginter Conservatory

The Life That I Have
By Leo Marks

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.


This poem was supposedly used as a code to encrypt messages during World War II, issued to issued French agent Violette Szabo.

I had a very nice Friday. Paul worked from home in the morning so he could get to the post office at an off hour and mail packages to his brothers for Christmas, so we had lunch together after I wrote a review of Deep Space Nine's "The Nagus" (neither my best work nor that of the show's writers). He had the afternoon off, so once we were done with work, we snuck off to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in Bethesda, which I had thought we were seeing last weekend for my birthday but the producers only opened it in New York and L.A. for awards eligibility; it's still only in arts houses, which is confusing and frustrating!

It's hard to say too much about Tinker Tailor without spoilers, though I was "spoiled" about the ending from the original miniseries and that didn't have any negative effect on my viewing experience. I don't remember much about the acting in that and I do remember thinking it was a bit slow, so it's not like I had super-high expectations for the film to live up to, and I loved the remake. The acting is superlative -- you all knew I was going to love Oldman and Firth, but I thought Hardy, Strong, and Cumberbatch were all terrific in extremely restrained roles (so much so that John Hurt seems overly emotional by contrast). In some ways it's almost too constrained; the motivations of two key players remain largely obscured, and someone who should be a prime suspect just isn't enough of a presence to be so, despite being played by an excellent actor. But those are nitpicks, and the overall viewing experience is that it's completely gripping without needing explosions, chases, all the crap that clutters most spy movies.

Anyway, more about the film when more people have seen it and I can talk about the ending and the characters I liked best without spoiling everyone. My parents are visiting my sister, so we came home for dinner with Thing Two, though he had a long week and crashed right afterward. We finally watched the "Lancelot du Lac" episode of Merlin, which I really loved and did not find as disturbing as a lot of fans apparently did -- spoilers! Lancelot and Guinevere's infidelity to Arthur is firm Arthurian canon and in this case both of them are under the influence of magic, it's not as irritating as, say, the musical where Ginny is Lance's weakness and she's written more as a whiny girl than a woman forced into an arranged marriage. I do not like when Guinevere say she wants to be Arthur's queen, though, rather than Arthur's wife. I prefer Arthur chasing Merlin around after Merlin teases him about seeing him cry after atoning for killing the Druids in "A Herald of the New Age."

Then we watched Sanctuary, which had so many things that pleased me: magic water, a serpent, a Penn anthropologist, even Helen dealing with the insanity of having to live her life twice. Politics as usual is pissing me off, so here are photos from Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden of the displays in the conservatory based on the book The Old Tree:

Fannish5: Five alternate realities you wish characters could visit.
I am not sure that I understand the question -- I assume this isn't AUs like the ones characters have already visited like Star Trek's mirror universe, but new ones.
1. The Lord of the Rings, the one where Boromir survives and becomes the Steward of Gondor.
2. Harry Potter, the one where Lily Potter doesn't have to die for her son to become the Chosen One.
3. Doctor Who, the one where the Ninth Doctor is still around in the alternate universe where immortal Ten leaves Rose and mortal Ten.
4. Star Trek: Voyager, the one where Seven of Nine never comes on board and Janeway doesn't undergo the personality transplant that follows that contact with the Borg.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean, the one where Elizabeth Swann Turner shows up at the Fountain of Youth and sets everyone straight.

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