22.3.08

Compasses and Wine Gums

Philip Pullman in an interview with the Yorkshire Post had this to say about the film The Golden Compass (which I finally saw this week):

"Unless you are particularly obsessive about the purity of your works then I don't see any harm in it and I think they did a good job with The Golden Compass," he says.

Pullman also wants to clear up the confusion surrounding the apparent changing of the book's name.

"Before it had any title at all I was looking through Paradise Lost for a phrase I could nick and in book four or five when Milton's describing God dividing the created world from the uncreated chaos outside, it says 'he took the golden compasses, prepared in God's eternal store to circumscribe this universe, and all created things.' And I originally called it The Golden Compasses because I thought that was an interesting phrase.

"That's what it was when I sent it to my publisher in America, but while talking to my British publisher we decided it should be called Northern Lights and that became the first part of His Dark Materials, which comes from somewhere else in Paradise Lost."

But by the time he'd settled on the new title, the American publishers had already started promoting the book as The Golden Compass.

"In most of the countries where the book's published it's called The Golden Compass so it made sense for the film to be called that."

We were glad to have that cleared up as we'd been indulging in all sorts of conspiracy theories about the change in the title.
There were several things my son Liam and I quite liked about the film (not least the new Maynard's Mini Wine Gums being sold at the concession), but we did feel let down by the ending. Or rather the lack of the ending. I felt a little better after coming home and googling up this:

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