Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Earth sea my view

I love the books, so I am keeping my expectations low! For starters, I am not convinced that doing the first two books as a 4-hour miniseries really makes any sense from a time/drama standpoint... And the screenwriter, Gavin Scott, definitely only got it half right with his adaptation of The Mists of Avalon.

And as I predicted, they chose a white guy for Ged/Sparrowhawk (Shawn Ashmore - Iceman in the X-Men films and the instant-clone freak of the week on Smallville), though at least the old wizard Ogion is the right color for a Gontishman (Danny Glover). Kristin "Lana" Kreuk as Tenar might be okay - she is a little older than in the book, but she is certainly got the petulant little bitch thing and concerned/conflicted expression down... And Isabella Rossellini as the priestess that, well, it seems like she is *always* in these Roberts Halmi-produced literary miniseries!

Since Earth sea itself is decidedly pre-industrial, and the focus is mostly on simple settings (even the wizard academy at Roke is very low key compared to, say, Hogwarts), I am not worried about the look being wrong. And let's face it; the effects required are also pretty easy by modern standards. But I truly fear that the adaptation will miss what makes the Earth sea books special: the language, the philosophy, the sense of wonder and yet familiarity.

Though written in very plain language and seemingly very simply plotted the earlier Earth Sea books deal with some complex real-life issues (self-knowledge, restraint, balance, the value of seemingly alien and evil people, etc.) I am afraid that the miniseries will put too much effort into making the dragons believable, and not enough into the really underlying messages, the heart of the story.

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