Today I have two reviews for you--the first, as can be guessed, is the bio I've been reading on Peter Jackson. The second is for Limn the Mask, a poetry book I've been reading, (and was quite good!) by Danielle Notaro. Now to get started....
You know, just recently I learned that the filming for The Hobbit finished. I finally learned what it felt like to be a fan, knowing that something epic had ended. At least there will be more news. But I can already see myself, telling my kids in the future, "I remember the day I learned the filming for The Hobbit had ended. And I finally knew what it was like to realize that an era had ended." I'm weird, so I likely will say something like that. Whether out of seriousness or just being funny, doesn't matter. Possibly both.
But with all this news and anticipation, and reading the Ian Pryor's book Peter Jackson: Prince of Splatter to Lord of the Rings, it really made me think of PJ--as a director, and as a person. Because many things surprised me, reading that book. Rest assured I don't take everything an unauthorized book (or even an authorized book, sometimes) as complete truth. This is a person's perspective. But I realized that I actually knew squat about PJ. Realized that his tastes were somewhat different than what I had imagined.
A few things were really true, and they were things I could just see for myself, watching behind the scenes footage. (Believe me, I actually watch the Making of Lotr for fun, and as a learning curve, as I want to get into the film industry). He's enormously creative, and he operates like an artist--but he's profession-smart. His tastes are for the strange, the far fetched. (And this was one of the things that surprised me) he also did a movie about puppets. Meet the Feebles. Carnage+puppets? That's different. What made me realize how very much out there his tastes can be, is that the author described the movie as slightly pornographic. (I felt like he went back and forth between "slightly" and just "porn", to be honest. No real clear idea). Pornographic puppets? Personally I find that disgusting on a different level. I can see, from a secular+creative point of view, how PJ might think this is just another "far out thing, that just is" that he wanted to try to pull off and might find "fun". And I think that it is also that enormous penchant for expanding creativity which gives him such good things to bring to film. Like what he brought to Lord of the Rings.
But do not think that I'm condoning even slightly pornographic material. I'm not. Like I said, I found the idea revolting and stupid. I'm just trying to understand the mindset, the nature that makes people do vastly different things, whatever their beliefs and backgrounds. I have seen what PJ put into Lotr, and the first installment of The Hobbit so far. It takes something real, to portray and make movies that good. That inspiring. And I've heard so many people say what a genuine, kind, understanding person he is.
One thing was certain, reading this book. I think PJ is an incredible artist, a magnificent director. I feel like amidst all the studio-controlled "creativity" out there, PJ stands for just being real, as much as possible. I like real people. I like people who tell great stories. There's not enough of them. My understanding of who Jackson is has broadened--and still I like him, respect what he's done.
If you'd like a copy of Ian Pryor's Peter Jackson: From Prince of Splatter to Lord of the Rings, you can find it here on Amazon.
Now for my review of Limn the Mask by Danielle Notaro--it was a nice find. Written from both a natural and a modern secular perspective, it had content rich with an eye for beauty, life in its kaliedoscope of varied expression, and wells of feeling. Though I couldn't analyze the meter like some people, (a skill I'm lost on) just the arrangement and choice of words had a pattern and flowing quality that I found very smooth, relaxing, and professional. The content ranges from simple words conveying a single expression or image, to voicing the soul's wondering commentary and statement of things perceived. Genuinely liked many of the poems here.
One thing I really liked was that although some of the content was frank, it was not written in an explicit way--it expressed without trying to shock, or shove beliefs and emotions in the reader's face. There are too many books out there that feel like they have to be gratuitous to just put themselves out there (sometimes quite obviously doing the equivalent of flipping the finger). Here, I didn't find that at all. It was just simple and sincere. I respect authors like that. And I enjoyed the skill and talent portrayed in these poems! Many were quite beautiful, and I truly enjoyed the read.
here, on Createspace and on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle.
~E. C. Shore