Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thor Escapes


So, say you weren't at Comic Con this year. And say that, hypothetically, you wanted very much to see the footage shown from Kenneth Branagh's Thor.

Hypothetically.

Then you might want to scoot on over to, oh, I don't know, a site like this one.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this.

    Very interesting... the "wormhole" was not quite the astral bridge I had imagined. And Asgard is looking more naboo/dinotopia/1980 clash of the titans than the Tree of Life I've imagined. I guess that's "Kirby esque".

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  2. I'm cool with Branagh directing, but I'm surprised Hollywood is letting him; it's certainly better than getting Brett Ratner or someone like that.

    I don't mean to change the subject, and I don't even know if anyone will understand what I'm talking about. But I've debated about the artistic merit of Branagh's Shakespeare films before. I've spoken to some that hate his films, since, especially in Hamlet, there is little cutting of dialogue. Essentially, they say, he hasn't done very much. They enjoy adaptations that change things, like the Ethan Hawke Hamlet, even if the movie is far from perfect. Others feel the opposite way; the sets and acting make it memorable, plus the dialogue is the best you're going to get. I tend to think the latter, but maybe that's because I haven't seen Shakespeare reproduced 400 times on stage like some have. Any thoughts?

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  3. @HolyVenom -- Not to worry; I know what you're talking about. Personally, I think Branagh can't go far enough since he didn't direct every folio variant as an outtake. I kid.

    That said, and relating to my earlier post regarding Thor's set design, I think a comparison of the directorial techniques of Olivier and Branagh's Henry V might be worth a moment's consideration. Some of Olivier's sets (albeit mainly scrims) and the framing of some shots as triptychs suggests the film as a medieval tapestry with the forced perspective of period art. While not other-worldly, I think he did a lot more with the source material as a film than Branagh did.

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  4. Go off-topic all you'd like. That's an interesting comment.

    The idea that a straight-up adaptation has less objective merit because it doesn't dare to reenvision Hamlet in a corporate world seems...silly to me. I can agree that updating/reinterpreting the story involves a different skill set, but a well-done, straightforward adaptation of Shakespeare is a sufficiently difficult task in and of itself. I'd argue, actually, that having a true appreciation of his works involves having an interest in seeing them performed without narrative tricks or changes in the time period - seeing his plays performed as they were performed when he created them, and as the artist intended.

    I mean, I think Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet was a bold and exciting adaptation precisely because it modernized the setting and made it feel "current" in a visceral way - the director connected the material to an entirely new audience. That's both fun and valuable, and it keeps the plays from becoming staid and distant, keeps them vital through artistic interpretation.

    However. Shakespeare's plays are both of another time and about another time. Henry V isn't allegorically about Henry V - it's literally about him. Why wouldn't we want to see a faithful adaptation of that? One that respects the source material and shows it to its best, original, dramatic advantage?

    The problem with Shakespeare, I think, is that he's like the Beatles - everyone knows his stuff when it comes to the basics, and his plays are so much a part of the cultural furniture that I think they're taken for granted in their original state. People who've been exposed to a certain amount of it might naturally find fresh interpretations of those plays more interesting, for the same reason that I find fresh interpretations of Myths so interesting - because once the story becomes familiar enough, it's hard to become excited about it like you would a new work. They might also gravitate towards those adaptations because they have no interest in "period pieces." But that shouldn't diminish the accomplishment of someone who aims to bring the tale as originally told to revitalized life.

    Basically, it's the difference between being able to enjoy The Beatles' White Album as its own thing, as opposed to only being able to appreciate the Danger Mouse remix. I'm a "both are valuable" guy. If that makes any sense.

    Eric,

    Yeah, there's a definite Kirby vibe to everything we've seen of Thor so far. As I'm a life-long funny book reader and admirer of Kirby's distinctive design style, this makes me smile. I very much like the way that Branagh appears to have brought that aspect to life, and topped it with a royal, "Rococo" gloss.

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  5. I was doubtful about Thor from the still images released prior to this trailer. This trailer entirely kills any hesitations I've had towards this film. I'm really excited to see it now.

    Now if the Captain America comicon teaser were to hypothetically appear online

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