A test screening late last year in Pasadena … young kids in the audience apparently began crying.
What, you mean you’ve never seen Buckaroo Banzai? Are you serious? I just can’t believe you’ve never seen Buckaroo Banzai. It’s like a parody of science fiction movies, but it’s one of those parodies that’s so good that you actually care about the plot, like The Lost Boys.Oh, man, it is so funny. There’s this part where Buckaroo has this chemical formula written on his hand and he runs into this super-scientist and he holds up his hand and says, “what is this,” and the scientist says, “Why… it’s your hand, Buckaroo.” It’s hilarious.
|Hey, instead of fighting, lets have a discussion, which may contain spoilers.|
|Okay, but then we have to fight some more.|
|Grrr, these books are about killing God!|
|No, they’re just about defeating a meaningless Authority, grr, thus liberating the human soul!|
|Says you! I call it deicide and, although I’m not much of a church-goer, I find it troubling that these books and movie are being marketed to kids.|
|Who says they’re marketed to kids?|
|Uh, duh, you’re a toy from the movie.|
|Oh yeah, but so what? Shouldn’t kids be introduced to more than one point of view?|
|I mean, what’s the difference between this book and John Lennon’s “Imagine?” They’re just asking you to “imagine” a world without a religius-based authority.|
|Maybe, but “Imagine” is a positive song with an uplifting message about the potential of the human condition. “Dark Materials” is purely negative, suggesting that the we’re all pawns in a nihilistic game with bad guys controlling both sides. Plus, it’s a major league downer.|
|Yeah, I cried when Lyra and Will couldn’t be together anymore.|
|Hey, did you ever figure out that bit about the trepanning?|
|But we rock!|
|Oh yeah, we are totally awesome! I mean we’re polar bears with armor who fight! Awesome!|
Alright, folks, this is John Christopher Week, NOT Golden Compass week….
However, there’s been discussion in the comments of another post about what exactly happens at the end of Dark Materials.
Is the Authority really God or just and Angel? Does he die or is he murdered?
I say he’s God and he’s murdered. (Or at least a fatality in Lyra’s father’s war against him.)
Since no one else seems to agree with my interpretation, I’ll turn to Pullman himself to back me up.
Pullman: “My books are about killing God.” – as quoted in Wired Magazine’s Dec. 2007 article “Dark Material: Making a blockbuster about killing God is not as easy as pie”
By the way, the article goes on to say that the director is making the Magisterium “a vaguer entity, as much political as religious…”
I’m betting this means God doesn’t die onscreen in the movie. Perhaps this could be like the African Queen, where a Hollywood ending grealty improved on the author’s original ending.
At long last! It’s time to get started on John Christopher Week!I’ve been awfully excited about it — as you can tell from the banner I spent ages nitpicking over. (Yes, that’s me being abducted by the Tripod.)
Now I’m no expert on John Christopher, but I’ve read a lot of his books (both those for kids and those for adults) over the last 25 years and I’m mostly planning to share my excitement — and a few hairbrained ideas — with you.
If you don’t care to read farther, let me just leave you with this thought … these books are getting old, but they deserve to remain in print and on library shelves. They deserve librarians who can put them in the hands of bright kids. And they deserve to be read.
If you’ve never read one, “The White Mountains” is a great place to start.
That‘s where I got started, way back in the sixth grade…
We used to watch these programs in English class where someone would narrate a book excerpt while an illustrator drew a picture to go with it. You’d watch him drawing while you heard the story. No dramatizations or animations. (Anybody remember what this was?)
At the end of the show about the “The White Mountains” show there seemed to be a general consensus among the boys of the class that we should run to the library to try to be the first one to grab the book. Or perhaps I just assumed there would be.
Anyway, I’m not sure who got it. It wasn’t me.
But eventually, I found it back on the shelf and read it. It blew me away, of course. And the sequels were each fantastic, too. What a combination of a great action story and a big idea served up so a kid can understand it.
As I read more Christopher books, that’s what I found again and again– big ideas and great stories.
And there was something else, too, complicated relationships between the main characters. Perhaps it’s these that make the books so good. Actual substance under the action.
Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about this week — all three of these things and I hope to find other Christopher fans out there who will join in. Tune in tomorrow…..