Thursday, May 13, 2004

castaway on a desert island

I'm going to copy Wil Wheaton's idea of using the song lyrics that is playing when you write a new posting as your title. I've got XTC's "Mummer" album playing, and if you're not familiar with XTC but you like well-written songs, pick up "Nonsuch", their 1992 album.

Anyway, I wanted to write about the next crop of geek movies that are in the pipeline. The Lord of the Rings trilogy took the film world by storm and also pushed geek culture more into the mainstream. I still met a few people that claimed they "didn't get it" and couldn't understand anything that went on in the film, but such claims don't automatically get approval - you can't score points by putting geeky things down. Films based on comic books are scoring well at the box office, such as Hellboy and Spiderman, more people are using gadgets that would've been considered nerd toys such as PDAs, Gameboys, MP3 players...just look at the iPod and the bloody awful iPod mini ! I hate that mini thing...the geek in me says "$250 for only 4 gig of space ?!" but the mainstream are saying "Ooooh ! PINK !" and buying them in droves. Go figure.

But to my point - the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie began filming a few days ago !! I remember reading this book for the first time when I was 14 or 15 and laughing so hard that I couldn't was the part about the second worst poetry in the universe (the Azgoths of Kria if you must know). I loved how unabashedly the book took wild tangents showed a universe full of absurd and trivial details, such as Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged who was immortal and decided to use his gift to insult every sentient being in the alphabetical order. I mean, wow. Just fantastic stuff :) Adams came up with loads of good ideas and made fun of every single one of them. This sort of thing fit right in with my world view that was being shaped by Monty Python, the Goons, Red Dwarf and Blackadder (ok, he's not sci-fi, but as cynical as any character ever written.)

I'm most interested in the fact that they've cast Mos Def, best known as an American rap artist, as Ford Prefect. This was an unexpected casting choice and it has me very excited. H2G2 is a very English book and has become one of the Sacred Geek Texts - we used to say that you couldn't graduate in computer science unless you'd read it and could quote from it - and I had not met any black people in America who seemed geeky; it's something they seem to avoid culturally, or it is being actively kept from them (which I don't believe). So if Mos Def has read it, grokked it and delivered an audition to the fans who are making this movie which convinced them that *he* understood Ford better than any Englishman...well, this is going to be extraordinary. I hope :) And I hope his performance brings more black people into geekdom, because it's really a universal thing and a very positive and supportive community to be a part of. A quick search turned up a scholarly examination of the issue; a sort of Minority Nerd Report.

Also in the pipeline - the Babylon 5 movie seems to be in the deal-making stage, and the Red Dwarf movie is still not cancelled, so hopefully they'll get off the ground soon !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget folks, Towel Day is not far away. - - - Daniel