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<nettime> master, commander, critic digest [dickson, . __ ., hettinga]
nettime's_third_thumb on Mon, 8 Dec 2003 04:12:45 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> master, commander, critic digest [dickson, . __ ., hettinga]


Re: <nettime> Master and Commander - critical theory reviews?
     Ian Dickson <ian {AT} iand.demon.co.uk>
     ". __ ." <mail_box {AT} gmx.net>
     "R. A. Hettinga" <rah {AT} shipwright.com>


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Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2003 18:44:52 +0000
From: Ian Dickson <ian {AT} iand.demon.co.uk>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Master and Commander - critical theory reviews?

In message <200312060649.hB66nRC09768 {AT} bbs.thing.net>, Nicholas Kiersey 
<nkiersey {AT} vt.edu> writes

>Dear Nettime,
>
>Just wondering if anyone has seen any critical reviews of the new
>Russell Crowe flic 'Master and Commander'. I have heard some discuss it
>as an apologia for the US invasion of Iraq but, while I am dubious of
>some of the movie's representations, I am having a hard time swallowing
>that particular connection.

Then, as the bishop said to the actress, don't swallow.

Reviews don't seem to support this theory.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/MasterandCommanderTheFarSideoftheWorld-11
27359/

Nor does the timeline. Implies that it was shot during summer 2002. 
Which is , er, before Iraq.

http://www.peterweircave.com/master/

Feel free however to create wonderful interpretations based on the War 
Against Terror:-)

Me, I'll have to wait for video. As a father of young kids I do miss 
going to the cinema.

Cheers
-- 
ian dickson                                  www.commkit.com
phone +44 (0) 1452 862637                    fax +44 (0) 1452 862670
PO Box 240, Gloucester, GL3 4YE, England

           "for building communities that work"

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Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2003 00:17:56 +0100
From: ". __ ." <mail_box {AT} gmx.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Master and Commander - critical theory reviews?

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I dont think so, not really... if anything, it is just the opposite... perhaps it is meant as a parable for a brave arab rubberboat crew trying to hinder the USS Enterprise "Greenpeace-Style" to plant the seed of US Empire in the Middle East...

how funny...

;- )


Cheers,

g


(...)

That something comes courtesy of Patrick O'Brian's series of 20 historical novels, from which Weir and co-writer John Collee (whose background as a doctor undoubtedly came in handy) have taken parts of the first ("Master and Commander") and the bulk of the 10th ("The Far Side of the World"). O'Brian's books follow the adventures and friendship between a heroic, resourceful, man's-man naval commander, Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe), and the ship's surgeon, Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany), a thoughtful Irishman whose own singular sense of duty and priorities sometimes set him apart from his captain and fellow shipmates. 

The movie is set in 1805, when England and France were at war, and it takes place almost entirely aboard the HMS Surprise, the English warship commanded by Aubrey. Aubrey's orders are to find the faster and better- equipped French warship, the Acheron, and prevent it from planting the seeds of Napoleon's empire in the Pacific.

(...)

Pick one review from www.rottentomatoes.com There you always find what you are looking for... : )

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/MasterandCommanderTheFarSideoftheWorld-1127359/



At 08:09 05.12.2003, Nicholas Kiersey wrote:

>Dear Nettime,
>
>Just wondering if anyone has seen any critical reviews of the new 
>Russell Crowe flic 'Master and Commander'. I have heard some discuss it 
>as an apologia for the US invasion of Iraq but, while I am dubious of 
>some of the movie's representations, I am having a hard time swallowing 
>that particular connection.
 <...>

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Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2003 17:32:10 -0500
From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah {AT} shipwright.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Master and Commander - critical theory reviews?

At 2:09 AM -0500 12/5/03, Nicholas Kiersey wrote:

>I have heard some discuss it
>as an apologia for the US invasion of Iraq but, while I am dubious of
>some of the movie's representations, I am having a hard time swallowing
>that particular connection.

Good for you.

The best thing is to go read the books, all 20 of 'em:
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index%3Daps%26field-keywords%3D%252522patrick%252520o%252527brian%252522%26store-name%3Dall-product-search/104-5694536-5139147>,
starting, of course, with "Master and Commander", which is the first book
of the series. The story of the movie was, more or less, lifted from the
middle of the series, a book named, oddly enough, "The Far Side of the
World", and merged with various introductory bits from the first book (the
trepanning, for instance...). Oh. And they made the bad guys French,
instead of the original 1812-war Americans.

Sure cure for feminism, these books are, along with Liberalism Until
Graduation, and other modern maladies. My feminism died in its tracks
somewhere around the time Jack took a musket-ball through the right earlobe
with out a flinch, standing on the quarterdeck in the first engagement
about 20 pages into the first book. They're also quite addictive. I've been
cussed out by at least two or three people that I gave "Master and
Commander" to as gifts, usually somewhere about book 7 or so in the
series...

Since the author's favorite author was Jane Austen, and he wrote the books'
dialogue and narrative mostly in the vernacular of the time, your English
can't help but improve. Most of his research came from, among other things,
reading all the Gazettes of the Royal Navy, which were usually action
reports written by the officers at hand.

The protagonists spend their entire shipboard effort combatting the French.
:-). And their post-Rousseau relativist pseudo-philosophical nonsense and
its consequences.

Finally, it turned out, after he died, that "Patrick O'Brian" was almost as
much a fictional character as Jack Aubrey, or, more properly Stephen
Maturin, was. He was a mostly-working-class bounder who skipped out on his
wife and kids in the north of England somewhere, and reconstituted himself
as an ex-pat Irish writer in the South of France.

Um, peculiarly, American, that old 'reinvent yourself' trick. :-).

There. How's that for a "critical review"?

Cheers,
RAH

-- 
-----------------
R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah {AT} ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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