10/06/2007

10-06-07 - 2

I loved the "Dark is Rising" books when I was a kid. I read them in like 6th grade or so, which is about the right age for them. Part of the charm was the multiple levels of anachronism for an American reader in the 90's. The series is one of the pioneering modern works of what became a whole genre of fantasy novels set in the current-day real world, starring children, but in an alternate real world where all the old legends of Merlin and magic and fairies and such is all true. Anyway, part of what made it so cool to me was that the "current day" was itself so unfamiliar, I was enchanted by the charm of 1960's Britain. I was super into the Arthurian legends at the time and the idea of the "once and future king", so all the allusions to that were exciting, and to a 6th grade mind the story revealed itself slowly and with great surprises. It has a good deal of subtlety and believability that is lost in most modern children's fantasy. You could believe that the struggle of Light and Dark could be going on right now in our very own world, and you might not even know it unless you knew the right signs to look for, and that struggle has been going on in the British Isles all through the past, from the time of Faeries when Celts and Picts battled, until the Romans and later Normans swept in and the magic went into hiding, but never completely left.

Anyway, this new movie "The Seeker" seems to have completely removed everything that was charming about the books. It's been moved to the present in America, which totally ruins the charming Britishisms as well as the whole connection to the past and the Arthurian tale. Oh well, even if it was rendered perfectly it wouldn't have been popular and wouldn't be watchable by me anyway, it's one of those things you have to see as a kid, and kids like that are no more.

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