Monday, February 11, 2008

And the winner is?

Spitting mad and fuming.

Not because of reading 'Observer Woman' (which, naturally, left me spitting mad). But on account viewing the glitz-spangle that is the BAFTAs.

At first it all seemed to be going well.

I was cheering from my sofa as less obvious, but thoroughly (in my opinion) well deserving films/people picked up awards and the (too) obvious Atonement failed to sweep the board. Control, Vie En Rose, Tilda Swinton, Diving Bell and The Butterfly...

Then came the award for best special (CGI) effects. At first it was great that Golden Compass won over Harry Potter, but then four men got on stage and proceeded to make the usual gushing acceptance speeches.

Children, parents, producers, partners...

All were given due and, I'm sure, well deserved, votes of thanks. But.

But, there was one glaring omission. Not a single mention of Philip Pulman.

Not even a nod or acknowledgment. Sure they did a great job on the special effects and the book really did spring to life, for once coming close to the parallel universe so vivid when I read the book. But, for all their technical skill, the blokes who picked up the award only realised the vision and imagination that had already been created by Pulman.

Without him there would have been no award. Without him there would have been no talking bears or daemons to bring to life.
So how can they stand there and not even hint that the world they brought to life was created by someone else.

I turned over pretty fast after that. After all, me raging from the sofa with a bowl of dorritos wasn't really going to achieve much.

It just seems so painfully ironic that some in the movie industry fail to recognise that all the magic and sparkle generally starts with the writers - their imagination, their insular relationship with a keyboard. Actors, producers, directors, CGI'ers all start with raw material. Hasn't the WGA strike achieved even a bit more awareness that without the writers the Hollywood dream boat will hit the rocks?


Duncan Heaney said...

It might as well not have been based on Pullman's book though. Most of the elements that made the book interesting (or tolerable - I wasn't that into it) have been removed. The religion element (kinda the point of the thing) has been all but removed and it's been heavily hollywood-ised.

I don't mind changing things between book and film, but I do think that the makers have a responsibility to at least keep the theme of the series intact. Otherwise, what's the point?

If I was Pullman I'd want to distance myself from this. It annoyed me. Can you tell?

miss-cellany said...

Nice to see you back in the blogosphere Mr D.

Fair comment, but...

Not saying it was the best film, but since it was aimed at kids I think they did a good job. Yes there was clunky exposition etc, but having tried to teach the book to Yr7s the story is actually more complex than you might realise. My class loved the book, but we didn't have time to finish it. What the film did do was create a self contained 'capsule' rather than transcript of the book, and I don't think they would have been able to do that with out Mr P. It wasn't as Hollywood as I feared.

On another note, the smug CGI men wouldn't have had any talking bears to blue screen without him either.

Finally - Nicole Kidman continues to show Tom Cruise up and you can't really argue with that. Or can you?