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Ad Majorem Annae Gloriam

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hellga
I watched something weird today on SciFi. I admit I only watched the last 1,5 hours out of 4 or so, but still. It was a cross of the Nibelungenlied and the Völsunga Saga. That was quite watchable, but didn't do justice to Gunther or Hagen especially. For some reason I always liked Hagen the most in the Nibelungenlied, not nice though he might be, he knew how to work his brain. Besides, I never liked Siegfried (mainly for his attitude in the beginning of the saga) or Kriemhild (because she behaved like a brat). However, my main issue with this particular movie is that they tried to mix two works which were based on very different philosophy, even though telling basically the same story. The Edda's poems are build around the values of blood vengeance, with blood being a stronger bond than marriage or oaths. In the Nibelungenlied, it's the values of feudal loyalty and marriage bonds that replace the idea of blood vengeance. Thus crossing the two different stories felt wrong and mangled. The transitions between episodes based on different storylines were not well done either. The other thing that was rather bad was the abrupt ending. As if they used their time and money on the first 3 hours 45 minutes, and then cramped the ending in the last 10 minutes. Also, they cut off right after Siegfried's death, with Brunhild killing herself in his funereal boat. The most interesting part is the intricate web of events that follow his death, and that's exactly what was missing. I would rather have seen a good cinematic representation of either story than a popcorn-version of a mixture of the two, but it was still interesting to watch.

The feel-good highlight of the day was a visit to the Joslyn Castle. While it lacked the atmosphere of an authentic old castle and wasn't all completely restored, it was still interesting to visit. The tour guide was excellent (he spent two years writing a book about the family who built it). It was raining so I didn't get to take photos outside, but I will stop by some other time - it's just a couple blocks away from my university.
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