The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle is a novel from Philip K. Dick. It has been turned into a stellar television series on Amazon Prime. There are currently two seasons available for viewing (as of April 2018).

51117B9VzxL._SX940_

This is a dystopian alternate history set in “America” 1962. It posits that the Axis forces won WWII and that the continent is now divided between the Japanese Pacific State (western side of continent) and the Great Reich (the rest of the continent) with a slim band of neutral zone between the two territories.

Man_High_Castle_(TV_Series)_map

This is such an imaginative show. I have often wondered what would have happened if history had gone the other way. I love that there is a show exploring this (and incredibly thankful it is only on TV)!

The Man in the High Castle is Amazon’s most streamed show. So that must mean lots more people than just me enjoy it 🙂

man_castle-e1482271398229

The main part of the story follows two characters: a woman from the Pacific States (Juliana) who gets pulled into the Resistance, and Joe, a man from the Reich with questionable allegiances.

Amazon-Most-Streamed-The-Man-in-the-High-Castle

It is startling to see some of the most iconic images from the free world turned into Nazi symbols. The American flag, Times Square …

The Man in the High Castle is a drama. It does have some humourous parts and the violence is manageable, but the material can be heavy at times.

One of my favourite quotes:

You’re about to die horribly but your hair is fine.

The_Man_in_the_High_Castle_(Ridley_Scott's_series).svg

I started watching this series on a whim the other night because I was bored and the weather was bad. Well, ice and freezing rain pretty well had me stuck inside all weekend and I binged on both seasons. This show is completely addictive. It has a tendency towards cliff-hanger endings – both for individual episodes and seasons – so you will constantly find yourself clicking on just one more episode.

lxhuyswadzyst8wfeoxj

There is an element of mysticism or other-worldliness to this show which greatly surprised me. The storyline takes on more meaning towards the end of the second season and starts to become more clear why they included it, but I still think I would have preferred the show without it.

What strikes me most about The Man in the High Castle is how complicated each character is. They all have multiple levels. I approached the show thinking that the Nazis would be the antagonists and the Resistance would be the protagonists, but it is much more complicated than that. Even the Nazis who do terrible things are softened in the show by their love for the families. And the “freedom fighters” come across much more strongly as terrorists.

Everything is not as it seems. No one is all good or all evil. We are just different shades of grey.

* * * * *

xx

Advertisements

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Well, I haven’t been feeling well this week at all but unfortunately I had to work through it. Normally I am working about 70 hours a week so the fact that Monday was the Family Day holiday … so thankful! I firmly believe there should be at least one holiday long weekend every single month.

This weekend I took the opportunity to enjoy a few nights in, some hanging out with room-mate and others with my family, and I brought out the old movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).

I haven’t seen it since I was a little kid. I totally forgot this movie even existed, although it had some pretty big names in it in its day. If you aren’t familiar with the story, here are the important deets (copied and pasted from wikipedia):

“Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a 1971 British-American musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is based upon the books The Magic Bed-Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (1943) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1945) by English children’s author Mary Norton. The film, which combines live action and animation, stars Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson.”

image_2bf518be

“The film is frequently compared with Mary Poppins (1964), since it combines live action and animation and is partially set in the streets of London. It also features numerous cast members from Mary Poppins, particularly Tomlinson. This movie is great for all ages.

During The Blitz, the three Rawlins children, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul are evacuated from London to the remote village of Pepperinge Eye. They are placed in the reluctant care of Miss Eglantine Price, a reclusive woman who agrees to the arrangement temporarily. The children attempt to run back to London, but change their minds after observing Miss Price attempting to fly on a broomstick. Miss Price reveals she is learning witchcraft through a correspondence school with hopes of using her spells in the British war effort, and offers the children a transportation spell in exchange for their silence. Miss Price casts the spell on a knob that the youngest child, Paul, has removed from the bed in the children’s shared bedroom, and she adds that only Paul can work the spell.”

Well, you know trouble is going to ensue from that, now don’t you?!!

61EY6NRB1oL

I was a little nervous that rewatching a movie I had loved as a child would tarnish its image in my mind, but the charm remains. All the tunes in this musical are very catchy. A bit like Mary Poppins, I feel as though Bedknobs and Broomsticks will never age too much to be enjoyable, although it would be neat if they remade it with updated special effects and animation.

Any of the scenes with the bagpipes or military songs are my favourites!

It seems like the movie is available for free from a couple of youtube accounts (which I have no association with). Try these links: First Try     Second Try

* * * *

xx