Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hwæt!

Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scefing ceaþena þreatum,
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,

egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,
weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde,

gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning!
Ðæm eafera wæs æfter cenned,
geong in geardum, þone god sende
folce to frofre;

"What the hell?" You say, "Why is the Lounge talkin' all foreign, like??"

It isn't foreign folks, not by a long shot. The text above is English, some of the oldest English ever recorded, and from which we receive through time great masters of the language, like William Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, and Keanu Reeves.

This is the Prologue to the earliest and possibly greatest epic saga of the English language. It is, you guessed it, Beowulf.

Look, if you can't work out the phonetic cookie crumbs yourself, here is a more-modern translation:

Lo ! the Spear-Danes' glory through splendid achievements
The folk-kings' former fame we have heard of,
How princes displayed then their prowess-in-battle.
Oft Scyld the Scefing from scathers in numbers
From many a people their mead-benches tore.
Since first he found him friendless and wretched,
The earl had had terror: comfort he got for it,
Waxed 'neath the welkin, world-honor gained,
Till all his neighbors o'er sea were compelled to
Bow to his bidding and bring him their tribute :
An excellent atheling ! After was borne him
A son and heir, young in his dwelling,
Whom God-Father sent to solace the people.

OK, so, with out any help, I suppose the Old-English text looses a little in the reading. No matter, this epic poem was meant to be told aloud, around a blazing fire and several flagons of Meade. It is always best when heard. So, here's a sample: (pardon the dramatic sunset intro...)



OK, so, by now, you may be well confused. You may be asking yourself, what in the world is Mr. Gin&Tonic talking about??

Well, obviously, I'm talking about Beowulf. But the reason is that Hollywood is making a heroic stab at bringing the tale to the big screen.

Sure, they have tried before. sometimes creatively, and sometimes less-so. Here, for instance, is one of the better attempts:



OK, so, the 13th Warrior wasn't a great film, but it was creative.. Still, I'm not sure how Spaniard, Antonio Banderas, was cast to play an Arab, who gets enlisted to help Vikings fight a shadowy army of Grendels... But still, it was a provocative interpretation. And if anyone asks Fred, she's sure to give this ensemble cast of burly men a thumbs-up...

But now, some one has seen fit to throw a bountiful budget and a cast with chops at this age-old tale. And, on November 16, the legend will arrive in theaters. Here my friends, is the trailer:



And yes, that is a fully digitized, fully-frontally nude Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mother.

Seriously, the movie comes out in two weeks. Who wants to come with me?

8 comments:

  1. The whole partial animation bothers me a little. Reminds me of a horribly wrong Lord of the Rings. I have high hopes for the movie, but we will see. I also don’t like Jolie as Grendel’s mom. Granted she has an inhuman quality to her, but I would have cast someone else.

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  2. You should have talked to me before posting this. I could have given you my CD of Seamus Heaney reading Beowulf. A Nobel laureate for literature. Irish. The man was born to read poetry aloud. And, he reads his own melodious translation, the smart bastard.

    And, yes, you know I'm curious to see what they do to Beowulf this time around since last time Hollywood gave my a bevy of hot, Nordic-looking men. Antonio is a fine looking man, but he looks like a boy next to them.

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  3. Actually, Fred, I considered using your recording. However, I don't have the Kung Fu to post sound files on the Lounge...

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  4. How would you like to by the digital animation tech geek that got assigned to animate the Angelina Jolie frontal nudity scene?

    "Ms. Jolie, I'll need you to gyrate seductively naked in front of my cubicle for the next three hours. Oh and you will need more body oil."

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  5. Hey - anyone can come on down and we can catch it at the Cineramadome - 145 ft of full frontal Jolie.

    And I am sure Brian can find something to do on Hollywood Blvd afterwards....

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  6. We do have specialists.

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  7. It's no Black Snake Moans...

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  8. Did you not read the post about adding "S"??

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Be compelling.

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