Mark Reads ‘Moving Pictures’: Part 1

In the first part of Moving Pictures, an ancient force is accidentally unleashed, and it gives Ankh-Morporkians some ideas. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

Oh lord, WHAT.

So, I’m certainly confused – I’m meant to be, since the text is deliberately being coy – and I’d like to work my way through this. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

The Keeper of the Door

Of course, the big mystery that I’m given at the start of Moving Pictures is WHAT THE FUCK WAS DECCAN KEEPING OUT OF THE DISCWORLD. Ideas? Idea gods? Ethereal beings that inspire other people to start making moving pictures??? Let’s also take a moment to acknowledge how humorous it is that Pratchett basically sets up a joke that’s kind of realistic? Like, if you’ve got a door to some dangerous place that needs to be watched around the clock, and you can’t leave, odds are that eventually, someone will die watching said door and won’t have anyone around to replace them.


The Alchemists

I suspect that this is the first time that alchemy has truly played a part in the Discworld books. I can’t recall them being mentioned in any of the past stories, but it makes sense that there’d be alchemists in a place like Ankh-Morpork, and that they’d have the saddest guild of all time. They’re lonely people by nature of their work, and I think that is why this mysterious entity/power/source of inspiration has tacked onto them first over everyone else in Ankh-Morpork. They’re more desperate for an epiphany, aren’t they? Their minds are more attuned to sudden revelations, they’re more willing to drop what they’re doing to pursue an idea, one that is… well, I’ll talk about that idea more at the end.

So, we’ve got a fairly vulnerable group of people, motivated by desperation, who are struck by inspiration to make MOVING PICTURES! But it’s not for the money, no; it’s for the art. Except maybe money can be a part of it, right?

“I don’t know if anyone’s thought about this,” said Peavie, “but this could make us a bit of money. Um?”

“But that isn’t important,” said Silverfish.

“No. No, of course not,” muttered Peavie. He glanced at the others.

Oh lord, CALLING IT. That aspect of this is going to cause a disaster. It has to! I also predict that there will not be a popcorn disaster… except there already is. Banging grains. Oh my god, that name is so unfortunate.

Mustrum Ridcully

It’s Ron Swanson. IT’S RON SWANSON.

Look, there are just a million things that amuse me about Ridcully, who is one of the least typical characters in the entirety of the Discworld. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a character care less about the world around him than Archchancellor Ridcully. The fact that he’s Archchancellor is a brilliant joke all by itself, y’all. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT THERE WERE WIZARDS LIKE HIM. But that’s the point; having spent years and years away from the toxic social politics of Ankh-Morporkian wizardry, he’s turned into someone who cares only about his own hobbies and interests. He prefers being outdoors, hunting, and cursing the very existence of birds. (WHY IS HIS BIRD HATRED SO FUNNY TO ME?)

I just want a thousand books about him. He’s so fucking weird that he’s normal compared to the other wizards.

The Idea

Here’s what is confusing me the most: what’s so awful about the ideas escaping from Holy Wood? I assume that’s the name of the place where these “ideas” came from and where the alchemists feel drawn to. I suppose it’s disturbing that these people feel compelled to head to Holy Wood, but something terrible must have happened there to cause someone to set up the series of guards who would watch the flame to ensure it didn’t go out.

But why? I like film. I love a good movie. What’s so terrible about moving pictures being brought to the Discworld? That’s unnerving to think about because that means I haven’t even remotely figured out the twist, and y’all are probably cackling already. ALREADY. At the very least, I’m expecting that Pratchett will ruthlessly parody Hollywood culture, which should be fascinating because I LIVED THERE. And worked there! And was in the music industry in Hollywood, and good lord, I HOPE I GET TO TELL STORIES. Like about all the famous people I have met and which ones are total buttfaces (Katy Perry, fuck her forever) and which ones are gods among mere mortals. (Will Smith, who is a million times more gorgeous in person than you can ever imagine, and I was so starstruck by his beauty that I was actually speechless. ME. THE GUY WHO WILL FIGHT WHOLE FOODS CHECKERS OVER BEYONCÉ. That’s a fun story, too. I have a lot of stories.)

This is off to a good start. LET’S DO THIS.

The original text contains use of the words “insane” and “mad.”

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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