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Peter T Chattaway

Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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FWIW, Touchstone recently put in their 2 cents on the problem with the Narnia movies, so far: "Narnia Invaded: How the New Films Subvert Lewis's Hierarchical World." I'm not saying I agree with them 100%, but they have a few points, especially on the representation of Peter.

That's actually a great essay on the films by Steven D. Boyer. Thanks for posting it, Beth.

The discussion and worries that Boyer has with the films so far are precisely the things C.S. Lewis fans need to be discussing and advocating. If Michael Apted is going to do things at all differently from Andrew Adamson, trying to stay closer to Lewis's vision for the Narnia stories is exactly the direction he needs to go (this means more Aslan, less caving to modern trends, and less worrying about being too overtly Christian). The more I think about this, the less I like Adamson still even being attached as a producer. The main reason for hope being that they removed Adamson as director for a reason (besides the fact that I easily prefer an HBO's Rome / Amazing Grace director to a Shrek director).

The part of Boyer's article that makes you cringe is just the contrast in the dialogue between book and film -

When Lucy asks what happened in the battle, Peter spitefully replies, “Ask him.” Caspian is shocked to be blamed, and he retorts, “You could have called it off. There was still time.”

Peter:
“No, there wasn’t, thanks to you. If you had kept to the plan, those solders might be alive right now.”

Caspian:
“And if you had just stayed here like I suggested, they definitely would be!”

Peter:
“You called
us,
remember?”

Caspian:
“My first mistake.”

Peter:
“No, your first mistake was thinking you could lead these people.”

(One can almost hear the “Nah-na-nah-na-nah-nah!” in the background.) The insults continue and escalate, until Peter even insults Caspian’s father—at which point swords are drawn in rage, and violence is barely averted ... This account of hatred and rivalry and mutual recrimination is about as far as it could be from Lewis’s own account of the relationship between these two noble kings. For Lewis, that relationship is overwhelmingly marked by support, trust, and generosity. Consider just a few lines from the drastically different story that Lewis tells of the first meeting of the kings. In Lewis’s story, that meeting takes place just after Peter has leaped in to help Caspian in a fight with the deceitful Black Dwarf Nikabrik. As the heroes catch their breath after this deadly clash, the following remarkable exchange occurs:

“We don’t seem to have any enemies left,” said Peter. “There’s the Hag, dead. . . . And Nikabrik, dead too. . . . And you, I suppose, are King Caspian?”

“Yes,” said the other boy. “But I’ve no idea who you are.”

“It’s the High King, King Peter,” said Trumpkin.

“Your majesty is welcome,” said Caspian.

“And so is
your
majesty,” said Peter. “I haven’t come to take your place, you know, but to put you into it.”

We are clearly in a different world, with a conversation like this one.

It seems like such a big difference. Then also -

Indeed, for Lewis, the whole notion that kings must live in competition and suspicion of one another reflects the outlook not of Peter or Caspian or the noble Narnians, but of Miraz. It makes all the sense in the world that Miraz should be threatened by any authority other than his own, for his own authority is only that of a tyrannical usurper. Miraz doubts the very existence of such a thing as legitimate authority; for him, there is only power. And power is always threatened by any other power.

In fact, when we first meet Miraz in Lewis’s story, we find him disbelieving the ancient tales of Peter and Susan and Edmund and Lucy on precisely these grounds. He cries out in a rage, “How could there be two Kings at the same time?”

How could there, indeed! Such a harmonious, supportive, virtuous understanding of hierarchical rule is foundational to Lewis’s deeply Christian worldview, but it is utterly incomprehensible to Miraz—and also to the unwitting disciples of Miraz who wrote this Hollywood screenplay. In Miraz’s view, kingship is all about who calls the shots, who gets his way, who is top dog. Those who adopt this view cannot but find the notion of courteous, cooperative kings to be impossibly unrealistic.

And this, of course, is exactly my complaint. Everywhere you look in the first two Narnia films, you find incontrovertible evidence that the creators of those films take exactly this view. They simply have not seen the vision that Lewis saw. They have never tasted the joy, the power, the life of hierarchy—and so they drop all such foolishness and replace it with a more modern, more sensible story that reveals the dangerous, oppressive thing that hierarchy really is.

I think this is the main issue for me too - they have made the characters different by choosing different actions and dialogue. I love the new Reepicheep though. Quite the costume upgrade compared to the TV version from my childhood...

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I think I'm taking my kids to this event tonight. Wife's out of town, and the mall is not too far away.

What are the chances I'll be suckered in by that "free" photo with Santa, only to buy a multi-photo package for $200?

(Oh, I just realized the stars will be "streamed" to the mall; they won't be there in person, like the Twilight kids were a couple of years ago.)

** MEDIA ALERT **** MEDIA ALERT **** MEDIA ALERT **

LIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD: FAIR OAKS MALL ICE PALACE KICKS OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THE MAGIC OF NARNIA AND THE ARRIVAL OF SANTA CLAUS

The Stars of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to be Streamed Live from Hollywood to Welcome Guests at Fair Oaks Mall and 15 other Taubman Centers Across the Country

WHO: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader stars Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie ) and Will Poulter (Eustace Clarence Scrubb) will give shoppers nationwide a sneak peek at their holiday motion picture event and Fair Oaks Mall’s enchanting new Holiday display, The Ice Palace.

WHAT: The Grand Court in Fairfax will transform into a winter wonderland with the debut of the Ice Palace. Brimming with the magic of winter and the essence of holiday snow globes, the soaring 30-foot Ice Palace appears to be literally carved from ice. The exhibit features highlights from this holiday season’s highly anticipated movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media. To celebrate, the stars from the film will host a lighting ceremony in Los Angeles that will be streamed live to 15 shopping centers across the country.

Children will be given LED wands to wave simultaneously to illuminate the Ice Palaces’ nationwide, ushering in the holiday season and the arrival of Santa Claus. Shoppers can continue to experience the groundbreaking, multi-sensory Ice Palace exhibit between November 12 and December 24.

Costumed characters and musician to entertain; and tours of the Ice Palace set to follow. The first 200 visitors to the Ice Palace on November 12 will receive a gift bag and voucher for a free commemorative photo with Santa that can be used that evening or any time prior to November 24.

WHEN: Friday, November 12, 2010 at 6:30pm

WHERE: Fair Oaks Mall, Grand Court

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Suspect the moment after this clip will give Ben Barnes fans their Colin Firth/Mr Darcy climbing out of the Lake moment.

Matt

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Suspect the moment after this clip will give Ben Barnes fans their Colin Firth/Mr Darcy climbing out of the Lake moment.

Matt

Hahahaha indeed. I'm so upset at the acting in this clip though. Such great opportunities missed! *oh, Caspian, I didn't know you were out for a swim in these waters, what have you been up to?* as opposed to something more like *CASPIAN - of all people from another world -- YOU save me when I'm about to drown in a sudden ocean!!!* Ah well. Maybe it'll grow on me as I watch it in its entirety the day it opens, after standing in line since yesterday... :)

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I think I'm taking my kids to this event tonight. Wife's out of town, and the mall is not too far away.

Gee, I coulda hung around a few hours after the press event with Georgie Henley and Will Poulter and watched them illuminate it live at Beverly Center.

Nah.

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I think I'm taking my kids to this event tonight. Wife's out of town, and the mall is not too far away.

Gee, I coulda hung around a few hours after the press event with Georgie Henley and Will Poulter and watched them illuminate it live at Beverly Center.

Nah.

I understand completely. However, I needed an excuse to get the kids out of the house, and this was as good as any. There was some guy singing Christmas songs when we go there -- and there was no place to sit. So we watched the event from the second floor, where it was easy to look down on the performance area. We went and got some Italian ice cream, then returned to watch the actors on a big screen natter on about the event while the kids ate their ice cream. When they were finished eating, we left. We never did see any clips from the film.

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My interview with Micheal Flaherty of Walden about Dawn Treader, Savvy, and what happens in those Walden production meetings about storytelling, is finally online. (It's a few months old now).

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This is my first time seeing the trailer.

It looks exactly as I expected it would; another designed-on-the-road-most-traveled, CGI-bloated filler for a Friday night, to be totally forgotten before the second unit credits have finished scrolling through.

I am obliged, however, I’m afraid.

Edited by Judo Chop

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Nice how the very last second of that video flashes a shot of the white witch and a dog sled in a frozen wasteland.

Or, wait...

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This Dawn Treader-themed Bollywood music video is apparently not embeddable. This American music video, on the other hand:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tfi7Nef9Jw

Oh, and let's not forget the sermon-illustration clips.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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It looks exactly as I expected it would; another designed-on-the-road-most-traveled, CGI-bloated filler for a Friday night, to be totally forgotten before the second unit credits have finished scrolling through.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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I'm always distracted by that announcer's way of saying, "Nonny-ah!"

That said, we get our first glimpse of the un-dragoning of Eustace there, I think. But it doesn't involve a pool, it seems. This extended clip gives a much better sense of the connective tissue of the film, and I for one am relieved, as the connections they have drawn between islands seem to make sense, and not to be too obtrusive. If you see each island as a time of testing and temptation for each of the characters, that's a worthwhile way of stringing the episodes together.

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Moreover, the godlike burbling of Liam Neeson, the voice of Aslan, kills the film stone dead whenever the lion has to deliver one of his homilies.

Of course, that's nothing new.

Is "stone dead" some kind of reference to the first film?

Edited by Overstreet

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Moreover, the godlike burbling of Liam Neeson, the voice of Aslan, kills the film stone dead whenever the lion has to deliver one of his homilies.

Of course, that's nothing new.

Is "stone dead" some kind of reference to the first film?

The tone of the whole review is odd--it's as if he didn't WANT to like the film, but is forced to grudgingly admit that it somehow managed to be pretty good, or at least better than expected, so he must make snarky comments about something.

Haven't seen it myself, yet, of course.

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Has no-one seen this yet? No church preview-a-thons? I'll be seeing it as a paying customer in a week.

Matt

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Has no-one seen this yet? No church preview-a-thons? I'll be seeing it as a paying customer in a week.

I saw a church preview-a-thon (non-final-cut) last week and will be catching the final cut tonight.

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