?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Bratty - quill
Posted on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 1:22 pm

Lear, High Rise, and Kid Sitting


Tags: , , ,
I went to the NT broadcast of King Lear this weekend. I really enjoyed it. Lear is my second favorite of Shakespeare's tragedies - my ranking is basically Hamlet on top, Lear half a step below that, and everything else that I know so far below them that it hardly matters to rank them - and Simon Russel Beale unsurprisingly did a wonderful job in the role. The staging placed Lear as more of a modern on 1970s/80s military dictator and it worked really well.

I'm re-reading J. G. Ballard's High Rise right now. It's been years and years since I've read it (maybe since early high school?). I admit my reread was prompted by the news that a film version is being made starring Tom Hiddleston. The novel is exactly as good as an atmospheric and moody psychological thriller / horror as I remember, but I'd either forgotten or was previously oblivious to just how bad the sexual politics are. Every woman in the novel is literally seen as an object for a man to possess or for multiple men to fight over possessing. That's it. It's driving me crazy. I really hope they fix it in the movie, but how often have major movies made sexism of a source material better? *sigh*

One of the professors in my department whom I barely know just popped her head into my office and said, basically, "Hi, Rachael. I've seen you in the halls, but we've never been introduced. All the grad students I know that I can find are going to be out of town or busy this weekend. Can you house and kid sit my 13 and 16 year olds from Wed. evening to Sunday morning?" Crazy, right? You have to be pretty desperate to ask someone you've never technically met, just seen in passing, to be responsible for your kids for four nights. I suppose there's an assumed certain amount of responsibility she's granting me due to my being an advanced grad student in her department and her never having heard anything bad about me, but that still seems kind of crazy to me. She offered $100 per night for the four nights of what she described as "Make sure they eat dinner and get out the door for school the next morning otherwise they're pretty self-sufficient," further confirming a high level of desperation. Fair enough and I am perfectly responsible, so, yeah, I guess that's what I'm doing the rest of the week.

That's it in my life at the moment. I missed getting the Radio post up on Sunday again. I might go to posting ever-other-week since that's what I've been doing lately anyway.

Comments:

A work in progress
ancarett at 6:49 pm on 06 May 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Good luck with kid-sitting!
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 10:31 pm on 07 May 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks!
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 8:46 am on 07 May 2014 (UTC) (Link)
how often have major movies made sexism of a source material better?

Starship Troopers? (not the remake, obvs.) Though taking the piss out of your source material possibly doesn't count. I've never really managed Ballard, even when I was young and read everything; I think I ploughed through a couple and stopped thankfully.

Good luck with the babysitting!
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 10:37 pm on 07 May 2014 (UTC) (Link)
Starship Troopers? (not the remake, obvs.) Though taking the piss out of your source material possibly doesn't count.
Fair point on both counts. :)

I've never really managed Ballard, even when I was young and read everything; I think I ploughed through a couple and stopped thankfully.
I read another Ballard for the first time recently (Hello, America) and listened to a BBC Radio dramatization of another (Drowned World), in addition to this reread of High Rise. They're all the same basic idea - throwing people into unusual circumstances and watching their slow descent into madness and/or barbarity - in a different setting with only slightly different plot and characters. Any one is interesting, I suppose, but that's all you need and they all suffer from sexism and require a huge suspension of disbelief as the madness descent never seems to logically flow from the setting. My understanding is that Ballard is huge in Britain, particularly in British Sci-Fi circles, and I've officially decide that I just don't quite get why. I can almost get it because there is some promise there, but it's just always almost something good but not quite.


   Leave a New Comment
Previous Entry  Next Entry