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Old October 3 2010, 04:49 PM   #16
Base_Delta_Zero
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

FordSVT wrote: View Post
^I don't know about you, but my "maddening alien geometries" can't be described in enough detail!
Same. It's one of my favorite Lovecraft stories. I even have the radio drama and expedition hoodie!
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Old October 4 2010, 12:16 AM   #17
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Base_Delta_Zero wrote: View Post
FordSVT wrote: View Post
^I don't know about you, but my "maddening alien geometries" can't be described in enough detail!
Same. It's one of my favorite Lovecraft stories. I even have the radio drama and expedition hoodie!
*Ears perk up*

Radio drama, you say? Tell me more.

As for Lovecraft's style--I can see how someone wouldn't enjoy it. But personally, I find it blasphemously, indescribably, unnameably entertaining.
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Old October 4 2010, 12:32 AM   #18
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

FordSVT wrote: View Post
^I don't know about you, but my "maddening alien geometries" can't be described in enough detail!
At last! An explanation for your avatar!
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Old October 4 2010, 01:20 AM   #19
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Old Dark House wrote: View Post
As for Lovecraft's style--I can see how someone wouldn't enjoy it. But personally, I find it blasphemously, indescribably, unnameabably entertaining.
The thing is, I've actually rather enjoyed his work up to this point (his obvious racism notwithstanding). Lovecraft's stories work wonderfully as psychological thrillers, with hints of something much grander and more ominous lurking below consciousness and below the earth (and waves). And the style -- usually of a narrator recounting past events -- helps underscore the psychological elements of his stories.

But At The Mountains of Madness is, well, maddening in its nauseating descriptions. Heck, at one point even the narrator says, "It would be cumbrous to give a detailed, consecutive account of our wanderings" before spending the next five pages giving what can only be described as a cumbrous, detailed account of his wanderings.

The information in the story is fascinating. The writing is simply terrible. My criticism has less to do with style and more to do with execution of style. Which is why I say that the movie can only improve upon the story.
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Old October 4 2010, 02:49 AM   #20
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
FordSVT wrote: View Post
^I don't know about you, but my "maddening alien geometries" can't be described in enough detail!
At last! An explanation for your avatar!
I can honestly say I have more naked women in my avatar than anyone else on the board.
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Old October 4 2010, 05:11 AM   #21
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

And their geometry is something that definitely requires more detail. It's alien because it's outside my personal experience (darn it!). Which is also maddening.

So, logically, your avatar must be an image of R'lyeh. Where do I sign up for the cult?
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Old October 4 2010, 11:07 PM   #22
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh boobs Cthulhu R'lyeh supermodels wgah'nagl fhtagn"
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Old October 5 2010, 12:55 AM   #23
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
Old Dark House wrote: View Post
As for Lovecraft's style--I can see how someone wouldn't enjoy it. But personally, I find it blasphemously, indescribably, unnameabably entertaining.
The thing is, I've actually rather enjoyed his work up to this point (his obvious racism notwithstanding). Lovecraft's stories work wonderfully as psychological thrillers, with hints of something much grander and more ominous lurking below consciousness and below the earth (and waves). And the style -- usually of a narrator recounting past events -- helps underscore the psychological elements of his stories.

But At The Mountains of Madness is, well, maddening in its nauseating descriptions. Heck, at one point even the narrator says, "It would be cumbrous to give a detailed, consecutive account of our wanderings" before spending the next five pages giving what can only be described as a cumbrous, detailed account of his wanderings.

The information in the story is fascinating. The writing is simply terrible. My criticism has less to do with style and more to do with execution of style. Which is why I say that the movie can only improve upon the story.
To my mind, Lovecraft is not an author one typically reads because he's a good word-smith or even a particularly compelling storyteller, to me it's the sheer depth of imagination . I mean nobody ever wrote stuff like this before he did and he's inspired several generations of artists of all disciplines.

As for the racism...yeah, I found it a very strange experience to come across the odd racial tirade while first reading one of his stories and while part of that is seeing it with modern eyes, there's no escaping the fact that the bloke was (even for his time) horrendously racist. And yet he was a rather strange breed of racist since he was usually very cynical of humanity in general and I certainly wouldn't say he was a white supremacist type. It's one of those things that you just have to accept as part of the man's psychology and move on.
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Old October 5 2010, 01:54 AM   #24
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Reverend wrote: View Post
To my mind, Lovecraft is not an author one typically reads because he's a good word-smith or even a particularly compelling storyteller, to me it's the sheer depth of imagination . I mean nobody ever wrote stuff like this before he did and he's inspired several generations of artists of all disciplines.
I can understand the sentiment toward Lovecraft's style -- it is an acquired taste and not everyone is going to bother with it. But the whole notion of "he's not a good word-smith or compelling storyteller anyway, so let's just focus on his imagination and lasting influence" doesn't make any sense. Lovecraft is an author, therefore his craft -- both storytelling and word-smith ability -- is inseparable from the innovative ideas he had.

I'm not taking anything away from his stories as creative endeavors, either. nor am I taking away from his literary influence. Heck, I am not even criticizing Lovecraft in general (aside from his obvious racism, which doesn't particularly factor into At The Mountains of Madness) -- My criticism is focused solely on this one story. The problem is, even by his own standards of style, At The Mountains of Madness is a very poorly written story. Yes, the revelations are fascinating, but it's buried under what even the Narrator of the story would call, "cumbrous details."
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Old October 5 2010, 01:54 AM   #25
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

FordSVT wrote: View Post
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh boobs Cthulhu R'lyeh supermodels wgah'nagl fhtagn"
That's my kind of incantation!
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Old October 5 2010, 07:23 AM   #26
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
To my mind, Lovecraft is not an author one typically reads because he's a good word-smith or even a particularly compelling storyteller, to me it's the sheer depth of imagination . I mean nobody ever wrote stuff like this before he did and he's inspired several generations of artists of all disciplines.
I can understand the sentiment toward Lovecraft's style -- it is an acquired taste and not everyone is going to bother with it. But the whole notion of "he's not a good word-smith or compelling storyteller anyway, so let's just focus on his imagination and lasting influence" doesn't make any sense. Lovecraft is an author, therefore his craft -- both storytelling and word-smith ability -- is inseparable from the innovative ideas he had.

I'm not taking anything away from his stories as creative endeavors, either. nor am I taking away from his literary influence. Heck, I am not even criticizing Lovecraft in general (aside from his obvious racism, which doesn't particularly factor into At The Mountains of Madness) -- My criticism is focused solely on this one story. The problem is, even by his own standards of style, At The Mountains of Madness is a very poorly written story. Yes, the revelations are fascinating, but it's buried under what even the Narrator of the story would call, "cumbrous details."
Perhaps I didn't phrase it very well. I didn't mean that HPL was a bad wordsmith or storyteller (more on that distinction later) on the contrary he wouldn't be such a recognised author if he was some talentless hack, I just meant that those are not his best or most distinguishing qualities; his imagination is.

As for the other matter, "wordsmith" (to me at least) literally means the skill in specific word choice and sentence structure. "Storytelling" on the other hand is a more general skill that isn't the exclusive purview of writers and relates to the ability to weave together plot, narrative and characterisation to tell a compelling story. IMO characterisation was often HPL's weakest link, but that's another discussion.

As for At the "Mountains of Madness" specifically, I think it has more substance than most of his tales and I think becomes an easier read once you recognise the framing device for what it is; a thin pretext to tell "A Brief History of the Elder Things."
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Old October 5 2010, 11:40 AM   #27
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Reverend wrote: View Post
As for At the "Mountains of Madness" specifically, I think it has more substance than most of his tales and I think becomes an easier read once you recognise the framing device for what it is; a thin pretext to tell "A Brief History of the Elder Things."
If by "substance" you mean an encyclopedic recounting of the "History of Elder Things," then yes, At The Mountains of Madness has "substance." If you mean story, character or even theme, then it has far less substance than the vast majority of his writing.

I'll say again. I like HPL -- as both a storyteller and a word-smith. And I recognize that his contributions have more to do with his ideas than with his style. But comparatively speaking, At The Mountains of Madness is a terrible story that was terribly written. The problem with the story, as you refer to it, is its "framing device." It's not simply a "thin pretext," it's a poorly devised and even more poorly executed pretext -- even by Lovecraft's own standards of storytelling, characterization and word-smith ability (by whatever definitions you wish to apply to those terms).
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Old March 7 2011, 10:08 PM   #28
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

The film has been green lit. Tom Cruise will star and shooting begins in June.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Guill...tar-23519.html


Okay turns out the previous report was false.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/At-Th...rim-23523.html
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Old March 8 2011, 12:14 AM   #29
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Dare we hope for a Cthulhu vs Xenu SMACKDOWN!!!???

I wanna see this damn movie someday. I'll stop making cracks about Tom Cruise if it will help.
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Old March 8 2011, 12:23 AM   #30
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
The film has been green lit. Tom Cruise will star and shooting begins in June.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Guill...tar-23519.html


Okay turns out the previous report was false.

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/At-Th...rim-23523.html

http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

Please no Tom Cruise.. i like him in light summer action movies with insane stunts and the occasional funny one liner but this is a Del Toro movie and not some star vehicle.

Please.. don't let Cruise overshadow that movie..
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