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Flight 714: why can't people accept it for what it is?

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#41 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 11:16
Flight 714 and Picaros were about the only two Tintin albums which were criticised, and seen within the context of what had come before, it's easy to see why. Beforehand there had been two truly exceptional adventures: The Castafiore Emerald (a kind of cross between an Agatha Christie-type detective story and a French farce) and preceding that was Tintin in Tibet, regarded by many as THE Tintin album for its emotion, beautiful drawings, setting etc.

So while Flight 714 might have been Herge's attempt to "get back to adventure with a capital A", it lacks the subtlety and originality of the two previous adventures. As well as the total demystification of the Big R and Allan there's the aliens. Love it or hate it (I think I've already made my feelings clear), some readers might feel that Herge could have given them something a little more satisfying than the choppy denoument there is here. It would seem Herge didn't really have his heart in the story, for all his newfound interest in mysticism and the paranormal.
#42 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 17:46
Thinking about it, it's surprising that with the elements in 714, that no feature-length movie was ever made. I noticed there's a LOT of emphasis on Prisoners of the Sun, but I didn't think it had the content to be a good movie in itself. They're in the Andes forever and a day, and only THEN do they actually get somewhere. The Castafiore Emerald didn't do it for me, mostly because they stayed in the exact same place, but I like the fact that Herge tried it anyway. It's always fun to try something new, and I like that.
For me, 714 was one of the books that made the MOST sense. Like I said before, it was weird enough to be great. The forested area also resembled where I lived as a kid in rural Tennessee, which is lush, green and yes, it has a lot of caves.
#43 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 22:00
Obviously people either love it or hate it. I love it. I think it has a good blend of homur and action. Many are annoyed that Rastapopoulus is made out to be too comical. I disagree. we finaly see another side of him. He is obviously insecure and feels unloved and kind of worth less and that could explain why he's so evil, in a way. And could explain why he insists he's the "baddest" although we see him in a different, some what comical light, he is still as evil and cunning as in other adventures. He is plannig on killing the doctor after he has the number and obviously doesn't feel bothered by killing any one actually. I think this is Rastapopoulus at his finest, cunning evil, but also funny and silly. We see many sides of him. I also like the atmosphere in the adventure. I do like the aliens. I can't understand why people don't like the adventure cause they think the aliens are too unreal. Come on, so many things are unreal in Tintin, don't get me started. The aliens rock! and the book :) and most of all, Rastapopoulus rocks :)
#44 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 13:45
Many are annoyed that Rastapopoulos is made out to be too comical.

When I saw the part about Rastapopoulos and that admit-your-faults drug, it seemed to confirm to us all how villainous he really was. Although that scene was quite comical, as seen when he and Carreidas battled to see who was the "baddest", the comedy lay not in the people but in the wildly unintentional effects of the drug (made to simply reveal the tycoon's Swiss account and nothing else).
#45 · Posted: 7 Aug 2005 01:12 · Edited by: ClaroQuerido
The aliens bit is the best thing about the book!! I can't understand the criticism people make because of this! I think they give a wonderful, eerie atmosphere to the book. The Tintinverse's reality is what makes the aliens' appearance all the more amazing. It makes them seem realistic and well, real, because the Tintinverse generally is very grounded. People who complain about the aliens seem to see it the other way around - that they make the Tintinverse less realistic.

Also, I have to say I am offended by jock123's dismissal of dowsing (and other supernatural phenomena) as being 'bunk.' Quite simply, how do you know? You sound pretty arrogant and narrow minded to me.

I am amazed at the wolly thinking behind calling the Yeti and aliens 'irrational.' What on earth do people mean by 'rationality'? How, if for the sake of argument the Yeti exists, is it not 'rational'? Because its a big man-monkey? And big monkeys like that can't exist can they? (goes that way of thinking). If the Yeti appears in a book as if it were real, it is not like some kind of magical, irrational beast. In Tintin in Tibet, the Yeti appears as a bona-fide, scientific animal (although very intelligent).

Anyway all this anger of mine is boiling up from some people criticising 714 because of the aliens, where this is precisely what I like about it. I just can't understand. To be blunt you seem, well, boring.

Precisely the same thing applies to aliens as for the Yeti. If (a big if, I know) aliens are people from other planets, and they exist, then there is nothing irrational about that - any more than there is about us.

Lastly, I think 714's defenders are approaching it the wrong way around by saying ''well look at all the other supernatural things in Tintinverse'' (that does not defend 714, rather it criticises the criticism) when you should say, "Sod it. There's aliens and voodoo and floating monks in the tintinverse (and how do we know there aren't in ours??) and I love it. You should too."
#46 · Posted: 7 Aug 2005 14:35
I enjoy the whole Yeti and alien myths but they are just that - myths. I enjoy Flight 714 but I don't believe aliens are real but that they are demonic spirits in disguise. So its not wise to mess around with that stuff.
#47 · Posted: 7 Aug 2005 14:53
I never had much against the aliens in "Flight 714" even if they were fictitious (I think that dealing with aliens somewhere down the road would have made Tintin more relevant because it was sometimes a very relevant issue; there were rumors of UFO sightings near the Berlin Wall while it was still up, and strange phenomena have been spotted around the world). It also gives Tintin that science-fiction touch, which gives the series a more multifaced nature. What I do have against "Flight 714", however, is the simplicity of the characters and the plot. All the other stories have motives that are deeper than just escape and survival, and Tintin and his friends are like desperate prisoners trying to escape, not like types of people from which we could learn. It's definitely the least intellectual of the stories. Not that I dislike "Flight 714" (it IS Tintin, after all), but I think this story was the weakest of all the adventures.
#48 · Posted: 8 Aug 2005 01:17 · Edited by: ClaroQuerido
I feel a bit embarassed about getting so worked-up about 714 in my earlier post. Apologies for that. Everyone is entitled to like whatever they want and dislike whatever they want. When I first read 714 I was about 11 and I absolutely loved it. I still do. It has that certain eerie, unsettling, exciting aspect to a greater degree than any other Tintin book (in my opinion); and this 'ceratin something' is one of the main things that attracts me to the Tintin series. This feeling has, I agree, little to do with intellect.

But snafu, I would disagree with you when you say that it is the 'least intellectual of the stories' and when you critizise it for 'the simplicity of the characters and the plot.' I have heard Tintin in Tibet praised for the very same reasons - its emotional content (rather than intellectual) and its simplicity.

However, what I am saying is that 714 is not simple (though this can also be a good reason for liking a story - eg.Tibet), far from it, it is one of the
most complicated in terms of characters. I would agree that the plot is simple (which in this case is a good thing). I think this book has one of the best and most interesting, complicated characterisations in the whole series. This by the way, was the other thing that made me like it so much (and which added to the 'unsettled' feel). I felt sorry for Rastapopoulos and Allan sometimes in this book. I thought Carreidas was a 'goodie.' Though Krollspell was a 'baddie.' But in the end they almost changed places. I was fascinated by the varying degrees of villany - Krollspell to Allan to Rastapopoulos. In the 'truth-serum' scene, Rastapopoulos seemed so bad it made Krollspell seem to be on 'our' side, especially when you saw how frightened he was of R.
Anyway, I just loved the mixing up of characters and the ambiguities. Why do people overlook these things?

The art is fantastic too.

Tintinrulz, I would have to say that for me 'the jury is out' as to what I think 'aliens' really are. Part of me thinks your idea is very probable, but part of me thinks that 'they' are simply hallucinations, i.e. the results of a mild sort of madness (that is, imagined). I would certainly agree that it is unhealthy and unwise to involve oneself in the supernatural unless one can be sure of maintaining a strictly critical and observational role.
#49 · Posted: 8 Aug 2005 14:25 · Edited by: yamilah
Imho, these aliens' are just a rhetorical device used by the author to insist on the 'extraterrestrial' science Mik mentions p.45, one that belongs to another world of science*, i.e. a science that doesn't pertain to generally known and studied human sciences...

* please search for related threads...
#50 · Posted: 8 Aug 2005 22:30
Is it just my imagination, or does Hergé play with Carreidas' hat as an image of the UFO (also a lot like a hat?) I am reffering to when the hat is left stuck under the moving statue. There is a frame which focuses on it.

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