The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Magical Stories

Constellation: Draco (The Dragon)
Mood: Delighted
Song: Dragon * Tori Amos

One of the most beautiful films ever is being screened at Metropolis. It's a masterpiece, selected at the 2005 Cannes edition, by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien, entitled Three Times.

The synopsis is as follows:

Three different time periods, 1966, 1911, 2005. Three stories played by the same
actor and actress, evoking a sentimental tale of three reincarnations of an
unfinished love.

1966: The Time of Love

1911: The Time of Freedom

2005: The Time of Youth

To deal with the beatiful Chinese scenery that the film presents, I've chose the Dragon constellation, since Dragons are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture.

The Dragon is an imaginary animal, essentially a reptile with claws, resembling to the lizard, the snake, and the alligator, all at once.
It is a symbol of the Chinese imperial power. It has been believed that the Emperors claim they are the veritable dragons, direct sons of the heaven. This is why there is the 'dragon seat' which stands for the throne, the 'dragon robes' for the dresses of the ceremonies as well as the 'dragon beds.'

As for astronomy, the Draco constellation is located at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, hence considered circumpolar. Its alpha star, Thuban (or Alpha Draconis), used to be the the Pole Star (before Polaris), and that was around 2700 BC.

Though Thuban is not the brightest star of the constellation (Apparent Magnitude: 3.65), as the 'alpha' term suggests, since Gamma Draconis, or Eltanin, is much brighter (AM: 2.23). Eltanin in Arabic litterally means 'The Dragon.'
According to Wikipedia,
"In 1.5 million years, Eltanin will pass within 28 light years of Earth. At this point it will be the brightest star in the sky, rivaling Sirius (the brightest star in the sky)."
There are several Greeks myths around the Dragon constellation. Though the main one is the one in which it is represented as Ladon, the Dragon which had a hundred heads, watchman over the Hesperides Garden (holding the Golden Apples). He was killed with a poisoned arrow by Heracles, who had to steal the Golden Apples as one of its Twelve Labours.

Hera placed him in the Northern sky, right above the Hercules constellation, to recreate this myth.

I will leave you with one of the best songs Tori wrote in the last couple of years. It's called Dragon and it closes the CD 'American Doll Posse' which comes May 1st. It's a lovely ballad, at the same time dark and disturbing...

"Don't believe the lie your Dragon needs slaying
Won't you lay here with me
And I will bring
Kisses for the Beast."

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