Brainflow Feed

That term first came to my mind when, as a child, I’d try to say “stream of consciousness” and end up with “brainflow.” It seems to fit here.

Welcome to the ramblings of my mind. (For now, they revolve mostly around films.)

Beowulf

Monday, November 19th, 2007 9:03 pm—Film

Beowulf (USA 2007, Adventure/Drama/Fantasy) Writers: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary; Director: Robert Zemeckis

Beowulf is based on the epic poem written over a thousand years ago about a great warrior who comes to the rescue of a Danish town plagued by the demon Grendel and its mother. It’s a straightforward telling with stock characters. But it’s also a technically brilliant telling.

To fully appreciate Beowulf‘s brilliance, you have to see it on the big screen, preferably in 3D. The film is animated using the same performance-capture technique introduced in Zemeckis’ Polar Express; the actors wear electrodes that capture their movements, down to the slightest facial expression, and the level of detail is unreal. I had to stop myself from leaning around posts and characters in the foreground to see what they were blocking. I can’t count the number of times I said “wow” (or other, less delicate expressions) aloud in the theatre.

On the downside, I found the story itself rather disturbing. In a nutshell, it’s about man’s fear of women. Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie) is depicted as an evil temptress. Men resent her power, but are evidently powerless to resist her siren song. Even the great Beowulf (Ray Winstone), who turns from no challenge, isn’t a match for the demon’s beauty. Men crave and despise her equally, and when they give in to temptation, all hell breaks loose. That touches a little too closely on many of the screwed up ideologies currently in circulation.

But that aside, Beowulf is an absolutely gorgeous marvel of technology. See it while it’s still in theatres!

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