10/10/2003

Busy. Most of the way through the Against Gravity rewrite, and well ahead of schedule. However, I'm still not posting so frequently since there are other (good, but stressful) things going on in my life: mostly, trying to buy a house. This doesn't leave me much time for things like blog entries.

However, I do feel driven to mention I enjoyed the JG Ballard series on BBC4 that ran over the past week or so, including new dramatisations of two stories: The Enormous Space, and Low-Flying Aircraft. There was also a rerun of 13 to Arcturus, a BBC play of the story of the same name that originally aired in 1965: not a particularly brilliant rendition, but interesting in a sort of 'cultural archaeology' sense: primarily the antiquated-looking 'Dan Dare' uniforms worn by the actors, complete with those little shoulderpads that come to a point. I wonder if this all started with the film version of Things To Come? Also interesting to watch the actors go through their scenes while ripping through a lung-blackening quantity of cigarettes. Of the other two dramatisations, Enormous Space (retitled 'Home' here) was probably the best. I always have the feeling, though, that dramatisations of work by writers like Ballard - who, to me, gain some of their appeal in the surreality of their writing; the 'strangeness' that first attracted me to science fiction when I was a kid - tend to try too hard to rationalise what's taking place.

'Home', the hour-long movie of Enormous Space, seemed to me to try a little too hard to rationalise the protagonist's withdrawal into his mind as nothing more than a descent into madness. Sure, you can read it like that, but what's really enjoyable about the story for me is the idea of a house/space becoming an almost infinite area worthy of exploring in the most literal sense. It's a theme that turns up in Ballard's books a lot. Or maybe I'm just being picky, and 'Home' was the better interpretation, and I'd rather groove off the strangeness of the story in a way that implies the expansion of the physical space of the house is objective, rather than subjective.
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