Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Tristan & Isolde Pre-Review

I still haven't seen Tristan & Isolde, though it is still at the local theater, so if I can get my schedule worked out I'll probably try to see it this week. If not, I'll have to see it on DVD.

Cinerati offers a defense of the film. Although I disagree with some of what the reviewer says about critics who complain that it isn't Wagner's version (my own complaint wasn't that it wasn't Wagner's version; it was that I prefer the versions that have the magic potion), he does relieve some of my fears about the depiction of King Mark, whom I was afraid would be portrayed as an evil ogre.

Still, I don't go into the film with high hopes. One of my students who studied the Malory version with me said that she had to work very hard not to burst out laughing during the film because it was so funny -- funny in the way that dramatic romances strive not to be. At one point, she compared it to the "love" scenes in Attack of the Clones ... ouch!

So, if I make it to the film this week, I go with the foreboding sensation I felt before watching King Arthur, a film that very nearly sent me into therapy for its epic badness.


  1. RSN -

    I found a classics blog you might like.


  2. Actually, I thought you analysis and fears were quite legitimate. My comment was more aimed at critics like James Sanford who wrote, "Music appreciation students might buy a ticket to "Tristan and Isolde" expecting a film version of Wagner's popular opera. Sadly, the only sort of opera they'll be seeing is the kind proceeded by the word "soap.""

    To be honest I think that your adult lovers concept would make a wonderful movie. It would be very different from the version recently released, but I think it would be excellent.

    As an aside, I despised the new King Arthur. I actually laughed out loud at the speech at the end where it was discussed that Arthur's great goal was to keep the Saxons out of England. Good job he did there eh?

    T&I is no Lion in Winter, but it isn't King Arthur either. I don't know that you'll like it, the use of a Donne poem was a little odd, but as popcorn fare I enjoyed it.