Tapping Majik 

Movies Books Updates

THAT SEE WITH EYES UNCLOUDED

 

What is Majik? It's my word for the substance of everything that is. It's that thing we know in our most lucid moments, that place we exist in Flow state, the reality of dreams, and the dreamlike quality of daily life. It is the source of Story, of Creativity, the thing of which REALITY is itself composed. What exists does so in and through Majik. So we can define "good" as anything that lines up with Majik and "bad" as anything out of alignment. This blog is all about books, movies, and more that reflect an awareness in some way...that tap into Majik.

November 17, 2022

Remarkably Bright Creatures 


I definitely favor old books, but I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said for every new book one should read an old book for perspective. Well, I may not do it one for one, but I try to follow that in reverse. I'm happy to say this delightfully endearing book by Shelby Van Pelt taps for sure.


I'm not into happy so much...hopeful without doubt, but not happy. My perspective of Majik is just skewed toward the dark. To stick with my reference above, call me Puddleglum...or should I use my own metaphor and say, Sutoré? But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a lighter view. This one definitely brushes enough toward the dark to hook me, but stays in the bright enough to feel sweet and happy. This means, most people will probably think it's pretty dark...it all depends where you stand.


Ostensibly, the novelty of the...novel (intended, deal with it) is that a good portion of the narration is by an octopus. I love them myself, so I don't hate it. But there have honestly been a lot of books narrated by animal characters, even non-fantasy works. So that was just one more thing to draw me, and not a real shocker. But what I loved was how the octopus becomes a guardian angel. Now you're getting my attention! But that's enough before I spoil it. Which I won't do. Nope. I'm an author too. Don't take my word for anything; read it yourself.


What I will say, is what would be a very conventional elder quest avoids being cliché by merging that trope with a very unconventional elder quest, and merging that with another conventional make-peace-personal-growth story. But it's just done in such a fun way, I really didn't want to put it down. I got invested. And that is the goal right?


My only wish is for more Marcellus. I would have loved to see more of the story through his eyes. I get that not all of it would be possible that way, but we could have seen more that way. But what do I know, she's the one with a published book. And deservedly so. I really did like it!

 

November 11, 2022

The King of Elfland's Daughter 

This influential example of early fantasy was written by Lord Dunsany in 1924. In poetic style that matches other similar works of the day, Dunsany tells a very modern story (as in modern era in which he lived) of disillusionment and re-enchantment.


I have to confess it wasn't my favorite tale. But it is influential of so many other works and I really loved the fact that the book is a great non-allegorical metaphor. Sound like anyone else you know...hmmm. I wish I could claim this as an influence, but truth is I only recently discovered it.


I also really loved the world Dunsany builds here. While so many conceptions of elves are effectively very human, Dunsany paints a completely other universe. While similar enough to inter-breed with humans, elves are utterly alien and strange, as are all magical creatures in their realm. (The similarities! I'm tellin' you, we authors who Flow are tapping into something beyond ourselves.)


For story, the long and short is that a naive human community wishes to make a name for themselves by selfishly using magic, so they send their wistful prince off in search of it. When he penetrates the veil between "the fields we know" and Elfland, he falls hard for the daughter of Elfland, who being so far from human, is intrigued by the entire concept and follows him home where she is enamored of the every day, which for her is anything but.


She bears a son, the first Half-Elven, but her nature is so different that she suffers in the human world until her father enacts powerful magic to draw her back and hide their realm. The smitten prince then spends his life questing to rescue her, but the price is steep.


Fortunately, their son is a bridge, unknown to himself and gathers about him so much of the realm that the townspeople quickly learn they should be careful what they wish for. Only one Magical Rune remains, and it might be able to set all things right. But should it? Will the King? And what would that actually look like?


If you like fantasy that creates dreamy Romantic worlds and subtly speaks to deeper meaning that you must invest yourself to apply, then this will captivate you. Certainly worth the read for the influence it's had, for seeing a metaphorical expression of the ennui and lostness of post WWI, and for the way it touches human experience across time, that is, it taps Majik.

 

October 30, 2022

Undone 

This animated series is an Amazon original by Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg.  It features the seldom used rotoscope style which some people really hate. But I think it works well in this series.  Why?  Traditional animation looks like charicatures of real things and live action is too...real.  If you want to make the real world seem somehow off, this is a great technique.  I believe this is what the creators were going for.   As always, I'm not going to give away much about the series.  Watch it yourself.  But I will tell you that this one definitely taps Majik.   What's it about?  A girl struggling with reality discovering just how deep that rabbit hole goes.  Is that her dead father visiting her to seek help from her genetic gift to skip around time, or is she having a psychotic break?  But it really taps in where this series is like watching a session of Internal Family Systems Therapy or even a deeply regressive EMDR session.  If you been there, you know what I mean.  I watched things happening to this girl that I have experienced in both contexts.   If you watch it trying to figure out what is real from what is psychosis, or dream, or whatever, you're missing the point.  Just go for the ride.  If you've experienced those things, you'll get it.  If you feel uncomfrotable, maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something.  And if you don't get it at all, welcome to what it feels like to live with it... only you can turn off the show whenever you get ready.  Suffice to say, none of us truly know what's going on deep down in those places behind our eyes. When it comes to the front, it's pretty darn freaky.   So, I highly recommend this one and hope enough of you watch it to convince the Amazonians it needs a third season.   Oh yeah, and if you happen to be one of the people who wrote the ending to the second season, it works, I saw what you were heading to and wasn't surprised.  But there's so many other threads I wanted to see tie back up...however, a third season might just be where you are planning that!
 

October 14, 2022

A Ghost Story

This 2017 film by David Lowery tapped into the Majik so hard I had to go back and watch it a second time right after. With only about 10 minutes of dialogue in its 92 minutes, it's definitely a visual masterpiece. Even after the second viewing I had to look for some other reviews to get a handle on just what was happening.   But honestly, I didn't really care. I just wanted to hang in that world for a while longer.   Here's the gist. A young married guy dies suddenly, then rises up as a sheeted ghost and wanders home, where he stays...a long time...silently watching everything that happens from the wreckage his death causes to the odd ghost next door, new owners, and much much more.   But in case you're wondering, here's a little hint without too much spoiler. I don't think the ghost is really the dead guy. The key is in the one monologue at the party. In this sea of Majik any action, especially a deeply real one, leaves a ripple that transcends spacetime.   But what do I know.

September 3, 2022

Love and Monsters

This 2020 film by Michael Masters tapped Majik somthing fierce! In fact, it's one of my top movies to come out in recent years. Being a Hopepunk myself, I was so in love with the tone and characters. But to tell such a unique story with such cultural relevance (albeit charmingly veiled)... I am a HUGE fan!   Unfortunately this one hasn't gotten its due. Most likely sue to the Pandemic and the fact that in today's cinema the masses don't care if it isn't a remake or a famous person...preferably both. But it SO deserves attention.   Imagine if you will, an asteroid is coming to crush the Earth (Oh no. Not that.) But humanity unites to destory the threat by launching every destructive missile we have at it...and it works! This is just the prologue.   Unfortunately, this joyous effort is short-lived since the fallout (You mean drastic 'emergency' actions have unintended consequences?) rains back on the Earth mutating inconsequential smaller forms of life into monstrous sizes such that humans are instantly on the bottom of the food chain.   But wait, once again our ingenuity enables remaining people to exist in hidden cloisters linked only by spotty radio, where they fight to stay alive in a world where everything wants to eat them. Obviously, this world favors the brave, strong, and athletic. So the main character, who is none of those things, is basically a tolerated, but useless weight who likes to draw, until he's had enough and decides to go find his girlfriend 50 miles away.   Of course his sheltermates think this is suicide and beg him not to go, but he strikes off and quickly finds that this new world is not quite as bad as he was led to believe. Sure it's deadly, but with a little smarts, he finds he isn't dead so quickly.   I'm stopping there because I don't want to spoil this hidden gem. Just trust, me, there's much more to love and a plot that is anything from cliche...Oh yeah, and Minnow is totally my kinda girl...in an approriate Dad kinda way, c'mon!
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