Post by raspberrybullets on Dec 1, 2012 18:12:21 GMT
If only the book and movie were about something as interesting as math it would be a whole lot more fun!
The sight filled the northern sky; the imensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer. ~ Northern Lights
The plot sounds a bit like a book I read about 30 years ago. But it was a children's book, and probably not so heavy on the philosophy (but I can't remember). An American Ghost, it was called, about a boy trapped on a raft in a flood with a mountain lion.
I finally go to see this movie last night. I was really impressed - Ang Lee is one of my favourite directors, but I realised that the story is a lot deeper and darker than I remembered. It's not just about a quest for spirituality, it's about how humans deal with guilt and very traumatic events. It's beautifully made, but quite disturbing in many ways.
...I find it disturbing that I just typed that number from memory, hardly ever having used it since school. I normally use the PI button on calculators (after all, that's what it's for) or "pi()" when writing computer programs.
...I got the value of PI right, but then had to correct "distrubing"
I have to say, I cannot generalize. But in Asia, I found, as a group—from India to China and Taiwan—they really enjoyed the third act the most, which is a surprise to me. They perceive it as a thinking movie. Maybe it's because the culture is more skeptical about what they see and what they're told, or maybe it's the Buddism, Hinduism, or Daoism culture ... I don't know what it is exactly, but very commonly, they return to watch the movie again. They take the second story quite literally and start to view the whole journey as a psychological journey that really focuses on what the tiger is to Pi, and not so much as a relationship between a man and a beast. They see it almost as the alter ego of Pi. They love that tragic, disturbing, challenging, and therefore, emotional ending. They love the fact that the tiger doesn't look back. And then they start to decipher what the first story is, why he has to coexist with inner violence and survival instinct. What did he lose? The paradise lost in order to grow up from a boy to a man, what does that mean? Is the tiger related to the father? People really try to decipher the movie.
In Northern Europe, I got a lot of questions about what god is. They would ask me, "What is god to you?" When they see the movie, I would assume, that's what matters to them. So when they ask me, I think they're asking themselves where that internal/external kind of philosophy is.
I hear a lot of the American audience is amazed by the journey, the ocean part. But they find the mention of faith uplifting. Whether you're religious or atheist, just to talk about faith in the very tolerable, reasonable way was uplifting, I would say that's the bulk of reaction. Some were amazed that you can put a little bit of thinking at the end and give a different perspective.
In Latin American—particularly Mexico—they rated the movie G. It's a family movie. They really enjoy the journey. They're Catholic, most of them, and I asked them, "what about the second story?" They say, "Oh, it doesn't matter. How wonderful [the film] is, regardless of the second story, we can still enjoy the first one. Faith is a good thing. Let's enjoy it and celebrate it."
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. --E.B. White
My husband was quite disturbed by the movie, which he thought was essentially about cannibalism. I must admit that I had forgotten the second part, and it disturbed me more than I thought it would - the realisation that the whole thing was just a fantasy to cope with the guilt of a horrific experience.
'Which story do you prefer?' 'The first one' 'And so it is with God'
In other words, we choose what to believe in order to make our lives meaningful and cope with disaster.