Friday, January 20, 2012

Thor 2

Patrick points out that I have written a synopsis, not an analysis. I am a story teller, not a critic. And strangely enough, the movie is complex enough to require description in some detail.

I use the word simple a lot in my synopsis. Myths are simple, and so are most comics, though comics can be complex. I used to think that one of things I liked about science fiction, including my own work, was a certain brightness and flatness, a lack of nuance. Compare a 1960s Abstract Expressionist painting to a 17th century Dutch painting. The abstract painting is big and bright and flat. The Dutch painting is small and has depth and detail, light and shadow, nuance. Both can be good, but they touch us differently.

The other thing to remember is -- the abstract paintings were done after the Dutch realistic paintings by artists fully trained in realism, light and shadow, plasticity, nuance and detail.

Simplicity can be a choice, not a failing; and there can be complexity within simplicity.

Getting back to the movie, I think Loki is the person who drives the plot step by step, through his tricks and plots. Odin is the over-arching consciousness: the person who understands what is going on. A key line is the movie is Frigga talking to Loki: "Your father always has a purpose." So Odin is the movie's Prospero, who moves the plot through a very limited number of key interventions: Thor's exile and his own retreat into the Odinsleep.

Thor as Othello and Loki as Iago, or Odin as Propero and Loki as -- what? Caliban the monster? Am I nuts?

Ah, what the heck. It's a good action movie.


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