I've signed up to help promote the Beowulf film via my website. This is the Roger Avery/Neil Gaiman version with Angelina Jolie in a golden bikini as Grendel's mother.
Click on this link to learn more about the film. It's come along at a convenient time while I am teaching the medieval texts on film class. Maybe it can be a class outing! The film opens November 16th. Be there and get medieval! In the meantime, I'll be passing along interesting insider tidbits as I get them.
Class outing? Hey, why not. I had to go see The Passion of the Christ for my screenwriting class. People were crying before the movie started, so I went and stood in the back for the whole thing.
Ewww. I would never force students to see a movie like that. Films I teach have to have some kind of value. Although, to be fair, I have inflicted small portions of the Christopher Lambert Beowulf on students...
Kate, maybe you can answer this question about Angelina Jolie's role as Grendel's Mother in Beowulf: How will that work since Grendel's Mother speaks nowhere in the poem?
Don't you mean "YES!"?
No? Just askin'.
Grendel's mother in a bikini???
Will she have fur or scales?
On her skin...not the bikini.
At the very least, it looks like there will be scales, as she has become a kind of mermaid or at least undine. With a little stretching of the text, perhaps we can see some purpose for that -- they do live in a cave whose entrance is under the water of the lake that teems with sea serpents.
But it's true also that neither Grendel nor his mother speaks in the poem, while the trailers show Jolie attempting to seduce Beow. Clearly this signals a few changes to the source text. Okay, a lot of changes. Although I seem to recall Neil saying at one point that he was interested in the "real" story, I see that interest did not last. It struck me recently that Beowulf and Dracula share that tradition: two stories that have lasted a very long time, yet no one thinks the text that has proved so popular would be suitable for a movie (might as well throw Frankenstein in there, too).
And Crispinus -- that was a "yes" with disbelief, a touch of revulsion and a little bit of stunned wonder.
One of the things I always love doing is asking students what Grendel looks like. So I would turn that to all of you: how have YOU pictured him?
My image of Grendel is spoiled from reading DC Comics' Beowulf: Dragon Slayer series, but also because of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, so I imagine Grendel being a deranged version of Gollum.
Bobby -- check out my pal Scott's dive into the entire of oeuvre of Beowulf: Dragonslayer.
My version is a cross between a zombie-looking, rotten-corpse monster and the Peter Ustinov cartoon.
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