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Flatland the Movie
January 19, 2007 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday I discovered that the book Flatland by Edwin Abbot had been made into a movie in 1962. You can see a trailer of it on Google video. A remake of the movie narrated by Martin Sheen is set to be released this year. There also appears to be a rival remake.
posted by tracy_the_astonishing (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Neat! What is the plan for distribution of the film(s)?
posted by Mister_A at 6:16 AM on January 19, 2007


IMDb puts the first adaptation in 1965, with a second from 1982. The new adaptation also has Kristen Bell, and William Wallace as the King of Lineland.
posted by mkb at 6:18 AM on January 19, 2007


I first learned these concepts from Ouspensky, who presented them in a much more stark fashion but also tied them in to perception in a more meaningful way.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:31 AM on January 19, 2007


Mister_A:

If you go to the "store" section of the official site, it says that it will be released on DVD in spring 2007. Kristen Bell is going to be the hottest hexagon ever.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:02 AM on January 19, 2007


Just last week I had a great discussion with a 10-year old (started by him) about the nature of dimensional space, and was wondering if Flatland (the book) would be too dry for him to appreciate. Problem solved, and I know this will blow his mind.
posted by Hogshead at 7:09 AM on January 19, 2007


I didn't realise that Flatland is a term in skateboarding, so you there were links alongside that trailer for things like "Rodney Mullen A sick Flatland video"
posted by tombola at 7:13 AM on January 19, 2007


I was shown the 1962 version in 6th grade. Blew my mind. Lincolnwood School Dist #74 rules!
posted by ba at 7:15 AM on January 19, 2007


If you liked Flatland, you may also enjoy a sequel of sorts called Flatterland.
posted by pax digita at 7:16 AM on January 19, 2007


I want to see it, but man, that trailer seriously looks like some awful new age/What the Bleep Do We Know? stuff.

Someone hire them an art director.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:28 AM on January 19, 2007


These are all wayyy too cutesy. That Martin sheen movie doesn't even really try to depict a two-dimensional world. They have cars driving above roads, the houses look like fronts of houses on the ground, and of course, you can't see the innards of any of the characters. At least the MySpace guy is trying, at least until the horrible 3-D crap shows up.

My introduction to the concept of Flatland was A.K. Dewdney's Planiverse, which I can't recommend enough. If you're not going to meaningfully carry out the thought experiment, what's the point?
posted by designbot at 7:42 AM on January 19, 2007


Seconding the Planiverse book. Its Flatland done right.

Its also the right book to give to that precocious 10-yr old.
posted by vacapinta at 8:04 AM on January 19, 2007


I'm with you on the cars designbot. WTF??? It's just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.

I wonder what's up with the guy on MySpace. I think I'll write him a note.
posted by tracy_the_astonishing at 8:59 AM on January 19, 2007


If you haven't read Flatland yet, high-resolution scans have just been posted to the Internet Archive. Direct links to Ajax-y FlipBook and 12MB PDF. (semi-self-link)
posted by rajbot at 9:14 AM on January 19, 2007


Kristen Bell is going to be the hottest hexagon ever.
er... hexagons are male.
posted by yeolcoatl at 9:26 AM on January 19, 2007


Those who have not yet encountered Flatland should be warned that its take on gender roles is somewhat ... antiquated, shall we say.
posted by skyscraper at 9:39 AM on January 19, 2007


It looks like the females in the movie will be actual shapes as well... e.g. Kristen Bell as a hexagon. I guess the book's serious gender issues have been avoided here.

In the book, shapes are valued more highly in society the more sides they have... a hexagon is of higher rank than a pentagon; circles are of the highest rank, and triangles are the lowest. All females, however, are straight lines - only two sides. IIRC they even have to make noises and swing from side to side so no one immolates themselves against their almost-invisible sharp end.

This must say a lot about what Abbot thought about women, but I don't recall that it addressed the obvious question of how a one-dimensional figure is supposed to bear a child.
posted by purple_frogs at 9:58 AM on January 19, 2007


This must say a lot about what Abbot thought about women, but I don't recall that it addressed the obvious question of how a one-dimensional figure is supposed to bear a child.

Or how two-dimensional figures eat. The food has to come into the body and leave it without tearing you in two.
posted by SBMike at 10:12 AM on January 19, 2007


I zoned out of an entire year of Pre-calculus because I read that book. (No really, that's the only reason I zoned out ;^)
posted by XMLicious at 11:01 AM on January 19, 2007


The Flatland discussion put me in mind of a Sesame Street
animation, involving a jazzy triangle and a square square.
Youtube has it!

posted by the Real Dan at 11:23 AM on January 19, 2007


Let's not forget the other Flatland written early in 1906.

An Episode on Flatland: Or How a Plain Folk Discovered the Third Dimension by Charles Howard Hinton. & dittos on Planiverse, I still remember being absorbed by it in high school.
posted by memexikon at 11:28 AM on January 19, 2007


I hear all the female characters are pretty one dimensional.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:12 PM on January 19, 2007


Another pseudo-sequel is Sphereland, which was published in 1965 and has less social comment and more geometry.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 12:57 PM on January 19, 2007


I loved Sphereland. Dionys Burger.
posted by toma at 4:13 PM on January 19, 2007


Thirding Planiverse. It comes up with a plausible answer to SBMike's question, for example.
posted by ook at 4:52 PM on January 19, 2007


(And I personally found Flatterland really irritating -- it replaces the dated gender issues from the original with a chirpy, way-too-gushy style that I suspect will look just as dated in a few decades.)
posted by ook at 4:56 PM on January 19, 2007


Oh, wow! The screenwriter for the rival version is my high school creative writing instructor.
posted by brundlefly at 7:53 PM on January 19, 2007


The version from the Myspace page has a website here

flatland the FILM
posted by tracy_the_astonishing at 12:05 PM on January 23, 2007


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