In the Film Princess Diaries 2: the Royal Engagement Anna Netrebko sings the end of Sempre Libera from La Traviata. This is while Anne Hathaway as Princess Mia, Julie Andrews as her grandmother Queen Clarisse along with other nobles watch her. Then after she has finished singing Julie Andrews introduces her as the “rising star Anna Netrebko” and Anne Hathaway gives her an award. In the opera La Traviata Sempre Libera is sung by the courtesan Violetta.
Violetta in La Traviata has been told by a young man called Alfredo that he loves her. She sings nonetheless that as a courtesan she must not feel love and has never known love. She also thinks that as a courtesan that it is her duty to flit from pleasure to pleasure and stay with her protector Baron Dupholde who she does not love. Meanwhile she is trying to fight her growing feelings for Alfredo. Then Alfredo sings a short phrase where he praises love which confuses Violetta even more. Since this is near the end of Act 1 it is ambiguous whether she will choose Alfredo or not.
Now in Princess Diaries 2 Mia has to marry for duty and not love but she also has to do this because she wants to be Queen. For the sake of duty she has become engaged to a man she does not love even though she already has feelings for someone else. This song could highlight how she feels torn between love and duty much like Violetta. However she also feels that it is her duty as a princess to marry without love although she does not want that. Or that as she is only 21, she is not yet ready to get married. This scene is also really an excuse to show Anna Netrebko who was at the time a rising opera star as Julie Andrews states. Only 2 years before this film Netrebko had made her Met Debut in War and Peace as Natasha.
It started like a typical X File case, where two teenage girls shot each other on a ship and did not know each other. However Scully at the same time has visions where she sees the same ship in a snow globe. Therefore she knows instantly where to go. The two girls also apparently have the same boyfriend called Jackson Van De Kamp who had them believe that they were attacked by a monster called Ghouli. He did this by using his psychic powers to make them see what he wanted them to. Ghouli is actually a website that is about a fake monster which he created. Scully and Mulder know of course that Jackson is William. Unfortunately when they go to his house they hear shots fired and the Van De Kamp family are all dead including William. Or apparently so. Scully is devastated by the “death” of her son. She reveals to his apparent dead body that she is actually his mother and that she wishes she had not given him up. Nonetheless the next time she checks the body bag he is missing. Much to her relief William is alive but is being hunted by agents of the DOD who earlier followed Mulder and Scully. Can William escape from the DOD and will Scully have a proper reunion with her son? Also who is William’s father: CSM or Mulder?
This episode was certainly better than My Struggle 3. It had a good mix of action and dialogue with some witty lines. In this episode yes again Scully was having visions but she managed to be rational and not a damsel in distress. It was also interesting to see and meet William properly although I am not sure I liked the way he two timed those girls and manipulated them. I did however like his powers. Perhaps Dana has a weaker form of them as she also has visions.
Scully and Mulder reactions to his “death” were also interesting. Anderson had a very emotional scene which made me cry. It is so sad that Scully could not raise her son and you felt for her as she clearly thought that giving him up was the best thing she could do to protect him. She had nonetheless missed 17ish years of his life. I hope she gets a nice mother son scene with him. Mulder’s reaction was little odd, as I expected him to show more emotion about William’s “death”. He barely reacted at all. I mean this is meant to be his son. It seemed more like he was reacting to how you would react to the death of unknown relative. Well actually that could be true as CSM has suggested that he is William’s father.
Skinner this episode. What is he doing? CSM is clearly manipulating him. We still have to find out what he apparently agreed with CSM. William B Davis was good as CSM with his usual only care about himself attitude although I am not still sure when his end of the world plan will actually start. It is interesting that William’s DNA might be the cure. Perhaps he will sacrifice himself to save mankind or maybe since Scully also has alien DNA she might have to. I hope not. Please not Scully.
There were not really any Mulder and Scully moments this week apart from him hugging her several times but I do I think really Mulder’s first priority is Scully then William. I suppose because he has not seen him in ages and he also may be his half-brother and not his father. Scully’s is clearly William then Mulder but I wonder what she would do if Mulder’s life was put at risk. Or if she had to choose between her son and the love of her life. I would imagine it would be very hard for her to choose. There has still been no kissing but I have seen the mid- season trailer and she seems to be leaning into kiss him in a church. First I thought they were getting married but after watching it a second time they were certainly not doing that. Also I am not sure marriage is for Mr and Mrs Spooky .
Overall I would give this episode 3.5 stars. It is not good as the old ones and is rather confusing but is better than others before. Next week’s episode looks odd but still I will give it a try.
In a world as cruel as Westeros you need people who are kind and compassionate. In a series of posts I will write about characters in the show who are capable of compassion and kindness in ranking order.
Number 1 is easy. Sam. In a world like Westeros you need men like Sam who will only show you kindness. The cruellest thing he has ever done was steal his vile father’s sword which his father very much deserved. He also has two very important qualities that many characters in the show do not have. The first is unwavering loyalty to his loved ones and friends like Gilly and Jon. Also unselfish love such as putting his own life in danger to protect Gilly. Certain people like Cersei would never do that. Watch out for him, though he may be nice but is tougher than you think. It takes a lot of bravery to cut greyscale skin off. He may be mocked for his lack of skill as a fighter but he was the second person after Jon to kill a white walker. Providing some of the most important information on how to kill them. He most likely will also have a very important role in saving Westeros from the Whites by finding information about them. I bet he may also survive Season 8.
Number 2 is Jon Snow. He is not perfect and may brood too much but he has shown to have a loving kind heart from the moment he had a sword made for his beloved cousin Arya. He is also fiercely protective of his fellow outcasts particularly his close friend Sam even though ironically he is the true heir to the Iron Throne. He is also willing to forgive people i.e. Theon, not many in Westeros have that quality. He also reacts with horror to killing people. Not many people in GOTH show any guilt about killing others.
Next Dany. She may have burnt Sam’s vile dad and innocent brother and a mountain of innocent Lannister soldiers with her dragons but she has good heart. She is a champion of the common people and hates things that happen regularly in Westeros such as rape. She also freed many slaves which Cersei certainly would never do. With a little advice from Tyrion and Jon about not burning people I think she would be probably the best bet for the throne. I sort of would prefer Jon as he would not burn people but it would be cool to have woman on the throne. She would also provide the firm balance that Westeros needs between hard and soft.
This is my first in a series of posts about opera music in Films and TV. In the BBC 1995 Pride and Prejudice Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie sings the last verse in English of Voi Che Sapete from the Marriage of Figaro while Darcy played by Colin Firth looks on admiringly. Later the tune is used to show him thinking of her after she has left Pemberley. The song in the opera is sung by Cherubino who is the Count Almaviva’s page and is lusting after the Count’s wife. Cherubino is also played by a woman who dresses as a man in what is called a trouser role. Cherubino sings this song to the Countess Almaviva and her maid Susanna who accompanies Cherubino on the guitar. Cherubino asks the two women about love although he seems rather more in love with love itself than any woman.
In Pride and Prejudice Darcy later recalls Lizzie looking back at him lovingly to while Voi Che Sapete plays again. I think this song is used to show Lizzie’s growing feelings for him and also how perhaps she is like a love-struck boy too. This in that she has never felt this way before. Also it could be used to show how Darcy although already in love with her is feeling a maturity and sincerity in his feelings. Not like he did in the insulting proposal scene. Or he realises that she has begun to return his feelings.
This song is also used because it is appropriate for the time period and Mozart was very popular at the time. Other bits of the Marriage of Figaro are used in this production such as the wedding march from it for the Netherfield Ball. I do not think that piece has much meaning apart from the time period really.
This episode starts with Mulder and Scully at his house when suddenly Mulder gets a message from Langly, one of the 3 dead Lone Gunmen asking for help. Suddenly Mulder and Scully are attacked by Russian Spies who want Mulder’s phone. Scully and Mulder escape and Scully calls Skinner for help who tells them to give in but they fight the Russians and run away from them. Next Skinner gives Mulder and Scully money to help them while they are on the run. Meanwhile they discover that Langly is trapped in a virtual undead world which his consciousness had been uploaded to. This was made by Erika Price an associate of CSM as a place for the Earth’s population when CSM’s end of the world plan is activated. Mulder and Scully however manage to stop her and destroy the virtual world for good.
This episode was better than the last episode but only a little. The main problem I had with it was that there was too much action. I liked how in the original episodes there was a mix of action and dialogue. Here there was too much fighting and gun shooting. Nonetheless it was nice to see Scully back in action as Mulder’s equal. Not like last week where she wandered around being stupid while having visions from William. There were also some good Mulder and Scully exchanges particularly a great one where they discuss him fighting with hand cuffs on. They were quite flirty this episode, I bet their so called break up will not last or I hope not, perhaps when they have found William they will have a little snog?
The reintroduction of Langly was ok. It was nice to see him as his usual self but the bringing him back felt a bit forced and so was the idea of the virtual reality afterlife. Again it felt like Carter was running out ideas. However it was an interesting comment on how technology could be used for not so good purposes. The political comments were also there again with the Russians being the enemies. An interesting nod to current politics with the Russians clearly interfering not with just Mulder and Scully’s work but with the whole of the FBI.
I was not that happy about Skinner in this episode as I thought he was meant to be their ally and friend. It will nonetheless be interesting to see what his deal with CSM was. One of the better parts of this episode was the introduction of Erika Price as CSM’s female crony played by Barbara Hershey. She was intriguing and had a tense exchange with Duchovny in this episode. I wonder where she stands in CSM’S plans. She does feel however like yet another CSM but a female version of him.
Overall I would give this episode 3/5 stars as it was better than last week’s and it did not have the tedious voice overs but it could have been better. Next week looks quite interesting with Doubles being the subject. Not a new idea as Star Trek and Buffy have done it but it will be interesting to see the X Files version of it.
Just like in my other article I am only going to talk about the main male character’s costumes from Game of Thrones and also only those that are currently alive as of season 7.
Jon’s clothes and appearance have changed quite a bit from season 1-7. He now wears a dark coloured cloak with a furry collar which shows his joint position with Sansa as the co-leader of Winterfell. Sansa also made it for him showing their newly found closeness. Actually his clothes are pretty similar to his ones of season 1 but the armour is a new addition. The armour has a wolf on which shows that his loyalty is deeply with his family. It is of a plainer style than Southern Armour such as Jaime’s because the North is poorer. Also showing how different they are in personality although certainly a lot less so than formerly. It will certainly be interesting to see what their relationship will be like in season 7. I think it could be quite interesting to watch. Nonetheless the new armour could show that as co-leader of Winterfell he now has access to more money and is now an accepted member of the Stark Clan. The colour black could also link to his true Targaryen heritage. Also his new allegiance and romance with his Aunt Daenerys. Jon in season 1 wore similar clothes to his Stark cousins but there were of a slightly cheaper look to show his fake bastard status. He also wore his hair loose which is now tied back in a similar style to his uncle’s. This could show how is he trying to follow his uncle in his style of leadership and that he is literally a new version of his uncle but younger.
Jaime’s appearance and costumes have changed even more than Jon’s. In season 1 he wore a fancy leather riding coat, had long hair and wore rings. His clothes were pretty similar to Joffrey’s although simpler than his because even then he was less vain Joffrey. The length of his hair also shows his level of arrogance and self-absorbance. After season 3 he cuts his hair short and has a beard. He also dresses more simply. These changes show his attempts to reform and change. This also shows how his vanity and narcissism are decreasing thus he is becoming less Lannister. In Season 7 he wears a black tunic with red collar pattern and a faint gold trimming on his buttons. The style of clothes is simpler than in season 1 and unlike his two siblings he is still wearing the Lannister colours also with his armour still being very Lannister. This could show that unlike Tyrion and Cersei he is uncertain of his loyalties as black is actually a Targaryen colour. Cersei’s black is her embracing her inner tyrant and Tyrion’s is his loyalty to Daenerys. Therefore the tiny elements of red and gold combined with black could show how even more disillusioned with Cersei he has become. Nonetheless his Lannister Armour and the red and gold on his tunic could show how he is bound by his honour and his “love” for Cersei to follow her. However when he rides North presumably to Winterfell he wears no armour but a dark cloak and a dark outfit. This could finally show wear his loyalties lie being with the North and Targaryen’s. I bet next he will wear completely black along with a much thicker winter cloak.
Tyrion as of season 7 wears a black tunic with blue stripes on it. The black and the blue are a nod to Deanery’s dead husband’s Khalasar. Also it is a favourite colour of her’s which show his loyalty to Daenerys. The colour black could also show his new cynical and more serious attitude to life that has come with his experiences. He also has a silver pin which is the symbol of the hand of queen but the colour silver shows how he is not the so called true ruler’s hand. He also has a beard and scars showing his increasing age and perhaps his less decreasing preoccupation with his appearance. In season 1 he had no beard and wore red and gold tunics showing him as a Lannister. When he joined Daenerys his clothes got Essos in style and also simpler and plainer showing how he had to now earn his own living. The plainer style has stayed as he still has to earn his own living and also he has been disowned by his family in particular by Cersei. Nonetheless I think Jaime may forgive in season 8 as he seemed at the end of season 7 to be maybe making the first steps towards this.
There is not much to say about Euron’s except he wears a fancy black jacket and tunic showing his role as King of the Iron Islands. This could also show that through his alliance to Cersei he is now wealthier. The jacket’s fanciness and aura are also there to make Jaime uncomfortable and by dressing more fancily he is trying to show that he is a worthy suitor for Cersei. Before this he wore outfits similar to the other Iron Islanders which were of much less better quality but his outfits also had hard ware because of his Pirate King lifestyle.
Here are some links about Game of Thrones Costumes:
Mulder and Scully are back, although they are 20 years older. They are still chasing aliens and monsters. What will they chase this time?
Well for me not much happened. Scully spent most of the episode wandering around having visions which caused her to have extreme electrical patterns in her brain. Then she did some very unscully like behaviour involving leaving hospital when she was injured. She then got into a car crash when she was having these visions but she felt she had to carry on because William was calling her. Ok Scully I know he is your son who you have not seen since he was a baby but you also need to take care of yourself. A medical doctor and someone as logic grounded as Scully would know not to drive when having visions. Mulder did a little more but not much either. He drove very fast to avoid a man trying to kill him and pointed a gun at members of the New Syndicate.
Skinner’s role was a bit better but he did not do much either. After he and Mulder nearly beat one another up, he ended up having a gun pointed at his head by Monica Reyes. Then he met her and Cigarette Smoking Man who revealed his end of the world plans. Monica did not look too happy about his plans. Perhaps she regrets her role as Cigarette Smoking Man’s new sidekick. Cancer Man then offered Skinner a chance of survival if he found William. What exactly happened after this was a bit vague but there was a surprising revelation or maybe a lie. CSM claimed that he kidnapped Scully and impregnated her with William making him William’s father. Or so he claims. More will be revealed as the series continues I imagine.
This episode really annoyed me. Other than Scully doing nothing and behaving irrationally, Mulder was not much better. Mulder’s major actions were so dull this episode and the voice over with Duchovny was so tedious with him droning about his thoughts. CSM was on good form this episode. He is so heartless as he does not care about whether Mulder survives even though he is his son. However he did shoot his other son Jeffrey Spender in the face and did not care. Therefore he makes a good villain as he is totally immoral and self-interested. I cannot wait to see his end of the world plan come into action.
Monica Reyes was also very annoying this episode. She started as an ally in the original series to Mulder and Scully, she even protected Scully and William from people who were trying to kill him. She also later defended Mulder at his trial and helped him escape but now she works for CSM. The whole plot line of her working from him is so stupid. Why would she betray them if she was originally loyal to them ? Perhaps for a chance to survive CSM’S end of the world plan. It was good that she was having second thoughts but she should make up her mind now and help Mulder and Scully stop him. I wonder if she will do that in the end. I bet her old friend and near lover John Doggett would not be too pleased with her going against them. Mabye he will come back to stop her but Robert Patrick is pretty busy at the moment so that will most likely not happen.
Overall I would give this pilot 2 stars out of 5 for nothing really happening and also for it being like a typical popular franchise. The creators milk something so they can get as much money out of it as possible and forget about substance. The series should have stopped ages ago. Nine Seasons was quite enough. I wish TV and Films would concentrate more on substance than box office. However I will carry on watching as I want to see what happens in the next episode. It looks pretty action packed so maybe it will be worth watching.
Here is a link to a review of the new X Files by Lucy Mangan in the Guardian