trevelyan on November 27, 2014 (0) | reply
Well... not as good as Inception for me, but better than The Dark Knight Rises and interesting to think about, with a script that is more subtle than it seems at first glance. Stylistically, the repeated invocation of the Dylan Thomas villanelle sort of bothered me and I thought some of the Christian imagery was a bit heavy-handed. But those are relatively minor complaints and the acting generally pulled the more sentimental parts through. Also, TARS was great.

Content-wise, I'm reading the film as saying that what makes mankind divine is our ability to achieve the impossible through aspirational science, but that this is only something that can happen if love guides the effort. Without love we end up with the homicidal and ego-centric science of Mann/KIPP/HAL. And without effort we end up with the faithless resignation to death of Professor Brand and Tom. The proper way to live is rather to struggle against death and "leave something behind", driven by our concrete love for those we know. Whether the thing to "leave behind" is knowledge or children or both is a good question.

Just intellectually, one thing that bothers me is that I'm not sure how seriously we are supposed to take all of the rhetoric about faith. The end of Inception implies to me that Nolan may be talking about actual faith in the religious sense of belief in a divine agent who exists beyond the realm of scientific perception (the pearl in the oyster of Gargantua/death/night, beyond the perception of human observation) and yet whose love for mankind is supposed to work metaphorically in a way analogous to Christ/Cooper's love of Murph -- a reading that makes faith a sort of necessary ingredient in human progress in the same way that love is. But that seems to stand in contrast with the entire setup of the film where there is no God out in the cosmos but man himself, and so it is also possible that faith is something more secular (faith in the human potential? faith that we can transcend the limits of science?) that motivates us to struggle even when the effort seems impossible?

There are also a few other things I'm still trying to sort out, like to what extent the film is critical of Cooper's view of love as a force for "social utility" as expressed at the start and middle of the film. Does he change his mind and go over to Brand's view of it as a cosmic force? Or is his focus on "social utility" actually a good thing that makes him a positive character able to "bridge" the interests of his family and humanity as a whole.
trevelyan on November 17, 2014 (0) | reply
@bretter23,

We actually had him throw it at her in the studio, but he missed. Not sure if that was intentional or if he just had really bad aim. Likely the latter.
trevelyan on November 15, 2014 (0) | reply
hi user76959,

Most native speakers would just default to 有 in that situation. So 学校 + 有 + 图书馆. The verbs in this lessons are more advanced variants of that structure, but 有 is basically the "go-to" default when you want the most straightforward translation of "there is" or "there are".

Best,

--david

trevelyan on November 11, 2014 (0) | reply
@qmmayer,

Yes, 藏 means "hidden" or "tucked away", as in 珠宝箱里藏着海盗的宝藏 (The pirate's treasure is hidden in the treasure chest). It wouldn't really be used with that example of your keys unless you actively hid them there though.

Best,

--dave

trevelyan on November 1, 2014 (0) | reply
Hi c1w6c1g0,

We've received your email and will send an archive containing all of the lesson mp3 and pdf files. You should be able to sync these to your phone like any other media files.

Best,

--david
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