Movie: The Golden Compass (2007)

KorbenDallas

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Title: The Golden Compass (2007)

Tagline: There are worlds beyond our own - the compass will show the way.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Chris Weitz

Cast: Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Ben Walker, Ian McShane, Kristin Scott Thomas, Kathy Bates, Jim Carter, Tom Courtenay, Christopher Lee, Simon McBurney, Jack Shepherd, Magda Szubanski, Derek Jacobi, Clare Higgins, Charlie Rowe, Steven Loton, Michael Antoniou, Mark Mottram, Hattie Morahan, Jason Watkins, Sam Hoare, Brian Nickels, Thomas Arnold, Helen Soraya

Release: 2007-12-04

Runtime: 113

Plot: After overhearing a shocking secret, precocious orphan Lyra Belacqua trades her carefree existence roaming the halls of Jordan College for an otherworldly adventure in the far North, unaware that it's part of her destiny.

 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Once you start paying attention to what's being said, this movie stops being made for children only. Modes of transportation are quite telling as well.
It was said that the Tartars had invaded Muscovy, and were surging north to St. Petersburg, from where they would be able to dominate the Baltic Sea and eventually overcome the entire west of Europe.
Then we thought about the Tartars, maybe there's some secret deal they're making up Siberia way; because the Tartars want to move north just as much as the rest, for the coal spirit and the fire mines, and there's been rumors of war for even longer than the Gobblers been going.
Notice that the Tartars are always a distant and shadowy threat.
You are so young, Lyra, too young to understand this, but I shall tell you anyway and you'll understand it later: men pass in front of our eyes like butterflies, creatures of a brief season. We love them; they are brave, proud, beautiful, clever; and they die almost at once. They die so soon that our hearts are continually racked with pain. We bear their children, who are witches if they are female, human if not; and then in the blink of an eye they are gone, felled, slain, lost. Our sons, too. When a little boy is growing, he thinks he is immortal. His mother knows he isn't. Each time becomes more painful, until finally your heart is broken. Perhaps that is when Yambe-Akka comes for you. She is older than the tundra. Perhaps, for her, witches' lives are as brief as men's are to us.
If a coin comes down heads, that means that the possibility of its coming down tails has collapsed. Until that moment the two possibilities were equal. But on another world, it does come down tails. And when that happens, the two worlds split apart.
Tagline: There are worlds beyond our own - the compass will show the way.

Modern_World_Golden_Compass.jpg
 

trismegistus

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I actually read this book trilogy back in 08/09. Back then I certainly wasn't thinking about the world as I do now, but now that this is being brought back up there is some really interesting content in this series. Just to run down a quick list:
  • Zeppelin travel
  • Catholic church as oppressive regime
  • Secret society removing human spirit from children
  • Traveling between different universes
  • Aether-like material called Dust
  • Demi-gods/archons/demiurge
Metatron, Asriel's principal adversary, was a human in biblical times Enoch and was later transfigured into an angel. The Authority has displayed his declining health by appointing Metatron his Regent. As Regent, Metatron has implanted the monotheistic religions across the universes. He becomes vulnerable to the seductive advances of Marisa Coulter, who betrays him by luring him into the underworld to his death. He is the series' main antagonist.
Never saw the film adaptation, shame they didn't keep going with the series. Though I wonder if it isn't because Hollywood doesn't approve of extremely gnostic plots like "Killing a false God propping up the Catholic Church." Most likely explanation is that it didn't perform that great in the US box office, and had fairly mixed reviews. To be fair, they don't even introduce the concept of "Killing God" until the third book, but I digress.

I'm not usually one to go back and re-read teen fiction from my youth, but I wonder if I couldn't find a new appreciation for the material considering what I know now.
 

Paracelsus

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You know I'm all about that Aether!
I actually read this book trilogy back in 08/09. Back then I certainly wasn't thinking about the world as I do now, but now that this is being brought back up there is some really interesting content in this series. Just to run down a quick list:
  • Zeppelin travel
  • Catholic church as oppressive regime
  • Secret society removing human spirit from children
  • Traveling between different universes
  • Aether-like material called Dust
  • Demi-gods/archons/demiurge
Never saw the film adaptation, shame they didn't keep going with the series. Though I wonder if it isn't because Hollywood doesn't approve of extremely gnostic plots like "Killing a false God propping up the Catholic Church." Most likely explanation is that it didn't perform that great in the US box office, and had fairly mixed reviews. To be fair, they don't even introduce the concept of "Killing God" until the third book, but I digress.

I'm not usually one to go back and re-read teen fiction from my youth, but I wonder if I couldn't find a new appreciation for the material considering what I know now.
People forget that their charming childhood book series were actually deeply mystical. C.S. Lewis (who was a deeply devout Catholic) wrote about inter-dimensional travel as the primary plot device of his book series. The Silver Chair was the wildest book of the series for me personally.
 
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Bear Claw

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I actually read this book trilogy back in 08/09. Back then I certainly wasn't thinking about the world as I do now, but now that this is being brought back up there is some really interesting content in this series. Just to run down a quick list:
  • Zeppelin travel
  • Catholic church as oppressive regime
  • Secret society removing human spirit from children
  • Traveling between different universes
  • Aether-like material called Dust
  • Demi-gods/archons/demiurge
Never saw the film adaptation, shame they didn't keep going with the series. Though I wonder if it isn't because Hollywood doesn't approve of extremely gnostic plots like "Killing a false God propping up the Catholic Church." Most likely explanation is that it didn't perform that great in the US box office, and had fairly mixed reviews. To be fair, they don't even introduce the concept of "Killing God" until the third book, but I digress.

I'm not usually one to go back and re-read teen fiction from my youth, but I wonder if I couldn't find a new appreciation for the material considering what I know now.
The sequel - The Book of Dust, also details a great flood. If you are to do a re-read, there is an edition (of which I own, but don't have access to, with a FANTASTIC foreword), which really highlights how there was so much more to it than a children's book. It doesn't deal with the issues you have identified and that are perhaps relevant to this site, but I recommend nonetheless. Other matters to consider are the changed geographies. For instance much of East Anglia is in essence fenland, far more than it is anyway, and in essence a continuation of Hollandia. This is obvious by driving round the actual geography, where you come across plenty of villages on hills with names etymologically derived from 'isle' / 'island' etc/. Yet culturally it is clear that the architecture bears more in common with Holland, for instance windmills, and geographical flatness. This all seems a little too close compared to the actual date of 6,200BC where Britain and continental Europe split off.

A number of the issues dealt with seem to be similar to what our history books tell us (Spanish inquisition), yet seem to be chronologically a lot closer (although the metaphysics of being in a different universe could explain this). However, this I think is where it is most interesting to consider whether its chronology is relevant. Lyra's universe always seemed to be slightly steam punk (sci-fi set in the industrial era). As such this would squeeze matters such as the spanish inquisition into the same time frame as the child workhouses, zeppelins, the early days of electricity, and a world that seems to be heading toward a world war of apocalyptic proportions.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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As such this would squeeze matters such as the spanish inquisition into the same time frame as the child workhouses, zeppelins, the early days of electricity, and a world that seems to be heading toward a world war of apocalyptic proportions.
I think this makes sence from many historical perspectives.
 
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