March 8th, 2008

tiles

Random historical facts

I went up to London on Thursday evening and attended a lecture at the British Museum comparing the archaeological discoveries of Tutankhamun and the First Emperor. (Lecturers were Jessica Rawson and John Taylor.) It was interesting if a bit amateur in its presentation; not really worth travelling up from Winchester for, but fine if I had been in London. Each lecturer gave a short talk describing their particular area of expertise, and then there was a discussion and question which produced most of the intriguing facts.

- By performing the funeral rites for Tutankhamun, his successor Ay legitimised his claim to the throne since it took a Pharoah to bury a Pharoah.

- The terracotta warriors were some of the earliest forms of human statuary in China, and the idea of human statues may have come on the trade routes from Persia.

- Pharoah's tombs were opened and their mummies and funeral goods moved by the priests to Deir-el-Bahri. There's a theory that Tutankhamun and Akhnaten weren't moved since they still represented the 'tainted' monotheistic religion.

- The dead in China were thought to still exist in the world of the living, so emperors of new dynasties would open previous tombs to diminish the power of the former emperors.
tiles

Juno

Went to see Juno with a couple of friends yesterday evening, and we all enjoyed it. It has some hilarious dialogue (off the top of my head, I remember The Cautionary Whale as the heavily-pregant teenager's description of herself) but also some surprisingly moving scenes.

It was an involving film to watch since the characters didn't act according to movie conventions, so it was always interesting to see what would happen. I liked Juno's parents (father and step-mother), and loved their response to her telling them she was pregnant.Did you see that coming? / Yeah, but I was hoping she was expelled or into hard drugs.

Ellen Page who plays Juno is excellent, but I also thought that Jennifer Garner, as the potential adopter mother, gave a wonderful performance.