Saturday, November 07, 2009

Where's the "e" gone?

Well, there you go! I'd always thought blu-ray was spelt: Blue Ray. That makes more sense to my ear, but obviously I'd never actually seen the word written. So blu-ray it is - or even bluray in some cases (mistaken cases, I'd suspect, but that's by the by).

Why it should be spelt oddly is a bit of a puzzle, since it relates to the blue violet laser that makes the thing work, but blu without the 'e' is what it is. Maybe the people who put it together couldn't spell - nothing would be surprising these days - but you'd have thought that there'd be someone on the team who could spell a simple English word, wouldn't you?

I have a friend who swears by blu-ray and big screen TV. I haven't yet been to his house to view it (with surround sound, no doubt as well) but he and a few others from our church have been watching the movies known by the collective name of the Decalogue (or Dekalog, in the original Polish) - they're directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski (whose first name, you'll notice, contains only one vowel - unless you consider the 'y' a vowel in this case - it'd be a good word for Scrabble, if it was allowed).

These movies were made for television originally, and seem only loosely connected to the Ten Commandments (though number four, which we watched this week, did have leanings towards the fourth commandment about honouring your father and mother). They're fairly bleak, not only because the world they inhabit is bleak (always wintry and in the middle of a depressed time in Poland), but because the people in them don't get a lot of laughs in life.

And in the last three we've watched, the main female character has been ever-so-slightly-off-the-wall. The blokes are fairly well integrated people, though they have their own flaws, but they don't come close to the underlying feeling of insanity that the women carry around with them. You could say that Kieslowski was something of a mysoginist, but I don't think that's the issue. These women aren't put down by him - the fact that they're allowed to be so strong in the stories is something many other filmmakers could learn from. But they're not exactly people who'd you'd like to have calling at your house.

We have six more of these movies to go before Christmas. I believe one of them may be a bit more cheerful than the others!

By the way, the latest movie version of A Christmas Carol isn't exactly getting rave reviews, even though it's well made, and even though Jim Carrey gives several excellent performances - and even though it sticks very closely to the original story. Robert Zemeckis has decided to go with his strange approach to half-animation again; perhaps it's time to give this idea away.
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