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Thursday, June 08, 2017

We've started watching Handmaid's Tale. Some thoughts:

Billy Wilder (I think) tells us that voiceovers should only be used to tell us things that the camera doesn't show us. I suppose Handmaid is showing us that Offred isn't broken, that she is resisting, at least internally, and okay. The novel is told in the first person for just that reason. I still think it would work better without the interior monologue.

It is visually arresting, no doubt about that. The scene with the oranges is going to stay with me.

The world-building is very good. Still, two seasons of this? I'm really interested in the way that 21st Century television has opened up the cinematic possibilities in long form narrative, but can this story sustain itself over that many hours?

We are Margaret Atwood fans at Outside Counsel, and it is funny to think that this is the work of hers that will enter the canon. It isn't my favorite of her works-- that would be Cat's Eye. Is it her best? I have no idea how that would be determined. Someone once told Hogey Carmichael, "Nobody ever went broke writing songs about the South," and the same may perhaps be said of dystopian novels. Quick, name two other books by Aldous Huxley, you know?

Finally, a tangent. We went to see Wonder Woman over the weekend, and its affirming feminism is an interesting alternative to Handmaid in the Age of Trump.

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