Some entertainment recommendations. Just in time for the weekend. :)
Stories on the Big Screen (Movies)
This movie is about Adaline, a woman who one day stops aging. There’s a couple attempts in the movie to give a vague explanation for this, but ignore that and treat this story as the magical realism it is. The story itself is fascinating, brought to life by wonderful characters and some impressive acting. Adaline’s scenes with her elderly daughter are particularly interesting to watch.
Overall, it’s a sweet movie, and a hopeful one. I loved watching it for that.
Stories on the Silver Screen (TV Shows)
I’d just watched a disappointing anime when I found Silver Spoon. The forever nameless anime had an ending that made absolutely no sense whatsoever, contained some obnoxious sexual objectification, and was a poor answer to another, much better anime. The only reason I’d watched it to the end was because its slice of life moments were wonderful and the main premise teased at mysteries that, unfortunately, disappointed me. I was pretty disgusted at the end and wanted something light, funny, and with had nothing to do with deep dark evil or saving the world.
Enter Silver Spoon, an anime about Yuugo Hachiken, a guy from the city who decides to go to an agricultural high school. As someone who lived the first ten years of her life on an acreage and whose parents both come from farming families (my dad grew up on a dairy farm), I felt I’d be able to relate to both sides of the humour.
I was right.
In the first episode, Hachiken sees a hen lay an egg, up close and personal. He’d known that chickens laid eggs, but he never realized before exactly which part of a hen’s body the eggs came out of. For the entire rest of the episode, every time he sees an egg or eggs are mentioned, he has a flashback to that egg plopping out of the hen’s butt.
The anime itself is a slice of life, as Hachiken learns all kinds of new things about not only farming, but life as well. He’s (extremely) expressive, dedicated to whatever he sets his mind to, and someone who cares about others. And there’s no impending end of the world or awful, gut wrenching plot twist about the true nature of the world waiting to ruin his happiness. *happy sigh*
The supporting characters are equally wonderful and quirky – the equestrian teacher looks like a buddha, and much of the humour around him draws on it.
So, if you want a light, entertaining slice of life with fun characters, Silver Spoon is your anime. :D
Written Stories (Books)
This is one of Ursula Le Guin’s Hainish novels, a loosely connected series of science fiction novels and short stories with a dubious chronological continuity (she never planned for it to be a coherent series, so there are contradiction which apparently makes working out a timeline quite a challenge).
In The Telling, Sutty, an observer from Earth, comes to the world of Aka to find out the values of their original culture, expressed in the Telling. In this future Earth, Sutty grew up while religious extremists controlled the world (or much of it), forcing the people they ruled to follow the laws of their faith. As a result, Sutty is less than enthusiastic about learning about the native religion of Aka.
Learning about the Telling proves to be difficult – Aka is ruled by its own extremists, secular ones who seek to imitate what they think are the ways of the worlds of the Ekumen (of which Earth is one).
It’s this tension between Sutty’s background and the situation on Aka that fascinated me. So often in science fiction – and in fantasy, though to a lesser extent – religion is framed as the creation of unneeded ritual, of extremists seeking control, of enforced ignorance. Secularism becomes the hero, the educator, the ender of superstition. Sutty grew up in a world where that seemed to be the case, and the government of Aka certainly sees the history of its world in that light. But, as we, through Sutty, see very quickly, Aka’s government behaves exactly the way the religious leaders of Earth did, only with a different rhetoric. It begs the question: what will they lose if they succeed?
The Telling is a quiet, thoughtful book. It has less of a plot and more of a walk through a garden as you discover the shape of it.
Visual Art (Self-Explanatory)
For the past while, this guy has been making posters for Disney movies that take my breath away. I’m not just using that phrase, either. I actually held my breath when I saw the Beauty and the Beast one, it’s that gorgeous.
That’s all from me! There’s not much new going on in terms of entertainment for me this past month… editing and angsting about editing have been more of a thing. Also Kingdom, which I already talked about in episode 1. There’s been an update with a bunch of new changes. Your villagers will now run when there’s a pressing need for them to be in a location not where they are, and it’s wonderful.
May you have a relaxed, entertaining weekend. :)