Friday, December 22, 2006

Weekend Update

Six Years

In six years, it'll be December 22, 2012, the day that The Invisibles tells us is the end of the world. Will it be? I don't think it'll be the literal end of the world, no jump in the supercontext yet, but maybe it'll be the culmination of a wave of technological and thought advancement that will push us to some higher level of thought, as in Promethea 31. I plan to reread the entire Invisibles series on the day, and then go out and dance in the streets as flakes of reality drift down through the air. Issue 3.1 is my favorite single issue of any comic ever, the perfect culmination to the series.

And if you want a bit of Inivisbles reading to celebrate, check out my comments over here on Pah!, or the excerpts below:

It’s been a while, so I may be a bit hazy on the specifics, but the basic idea is that all time already exists, but that doesn’t mean that we’re reenacting something that has already happened. Rather, every moment is now, so when they go back to the Revolution time, they’re not changing history, they were already there in the past same with King Mob and Edith in the 20s. Yet, they are experiencing in for the first time in that moment.

When Robin goes in the time suit, she’s moving to a different point in the continuum, and she’s scared about whether she’ll do a good job. But, Jack tells her that she already did, because everything worked out in the future. So, no matter what she does, she’ll do the right thing. Her mission is already accomplished.

In terms of the fiction suit, I think his idea is that the fictional universe has its own agency, so from our perspective it might look like 2D ink on paper, but inside the world, it’s full and alive. The fiction suit is used as a metaphor for the writer, when Morrison writes he dons a fiction suit and is able to manipulate the characters in the world. John is essentially the writer, donning a number of guises to ensure that certain events occur that will bring about the end of the story.

We are all one in the supercontext, but we need to go through time to grow and mature and become one. When John goes into the timesuit he gets thrown outside of time and becomes aware of the nature of humanity, the way we’re all connected, so he can re-enter at different points in the time continuum and manipulate events to his will. Post volume two, Robin has the same experience, getting thrown outside of time into the supercontext. Then, she is aware of the fallacy of separation, but on her previous trip through time, she was not, and remained alone as a singular being.

The Invisibles is absolutely massive. I wasn’t blogging back when I read it, but I’d imagine if I had been, I’d have written about nothing else, because I was totally immersed in the series for months, dissecting stuff.

The difference between John’s time travel and Robin’s is that John leaves his own path through time to experience someone else’s. It’s definitely ambiguous territory, but the impression I got was John moved beyond 4-D space out into 5-D, where he was able to view all time at once and also become aware of the events that need to occur to ensure that humanity reaches the point where it can enter the supercontext. So, he enters the timestream in various guises to bring about desired results. He doesn’t have personal agency, he’s moved beyond that, become aware of himself as merely one piece of a much larger entity. He makes that leap before others do, and it’s that move beyond individual loyalties that allows him to work both sides of things.

So, you’re basically right, Robin is still experiencing time linearly, so she must write her own story, while John is aware of how everything will play out, and just performs the tasks he already knows are necessary to make it happen.

What were you referring to with Orlando, when he cuts off the faces and puts them on his own, essentially assuming the identity of those he’d attacked? That would be a more literal adoption of identity. Orlando was treated as something of a rogue force, preserving the division of humanity until Fanny destroys him. Of course, Orlando was wearing a white suit…

I would definitely agree that talking about the Star Wars universe diminishes the power to the text itself, but it is also the greatest testament to its power, the idea that it can inspire so much creation around it. Morrison was experimenting with a lot of extratextual context for The Invisibles, but ultimately it’s about what the individual reader brings to what’s in the book, and what they get out of it. I don’t think he’s interested in people messing around with fanfic and the like, he’d rather they write the fanfic as change in their own lives in the real world.

The ending Seven Soldiers stuff has a lot of interesting material. For me, the highlight was Zatanna, but the end of Bulleteer is great. Mister Miracle is interesting as a series that stands somewhat apart from the rest of the project, I didn’t much like it the first time through, but on the second read, I looked deeper and got a lot out of it. If you enjoyed the first two issues and the conclusion in one, you’ll probably love what happens in three and four. It’s full of really deep, layered thematic stuff.

I’d agree that The Filth is the deepest thing Morrison’s done since Invis, and almost functions as a fourth volume. I love the series, but Seven Soldiers had such fantastic moments, particularly in Zatanna and Guardian 4, I’ve got to give it the edge.

And, regarding mirror/anti-mirror and righteousness/wickedness, breaking down those barriers is what almost all Morrison’s work is devoted to, evolving beyond duality and embracing all of humanity.

Twin Peaks Season Two

This week we also finally got the official announcement that the second season of Twin Peaks is coming out on DVD in April next year. I haven't watched an episode since 2003, and I'm planning on going back for the rewatch when the season comes out. Twin Peaks was something special, a feeling more than a narrative, with moments of magic unparalleled in film. I'm really looking forward to finally seeing the final episode on something better than a grainy VHS tape.

Films to See

I went to see Babel earlier this week, on a Thursday afternoon, and inexplicably, the film was sold out! I don't know what's up there, but I've got to get to that before the end of the year, as well as Children of Men, Curse of the Golden Flower, Pan's Labyrinth and possibly Volver and Little Children. On top of that, I've got a stack of DVDs at home, including Brick, Inside Man, The King, The Proposition and Gabrielle. I'm trying to cover as many of 2006's essential movies before doing my top ten list, but regardless of what I see, it'll be out on New Year's Day. I've got some other top ten lists coming up this weekend though.

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