Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Films and books

I like reading books, I like watching films, I like watching films of books I have read.

I watched Remains of the Day on Sunday evening. Perfect film to end a hot British weekend. The book is a fantastic tale, told in sumptuous, almost hypnotic detail, about a repressed butler's all-too consuming devotion to his Lord played out against the world-changing issues of time: the rise of Nazism, British appeasement, and hugely rigid and highly-defined class layers.

The film was an excellent adaptation. Not quite as strong as the book, in ways you'd expect – a characters internal monologue can't be utilised directly, for example – but still full of excellent set pieces and subtle but strong scenes of pathos and anger.

Christopher Reeve was excellent too as a congressman at the hall, and subsequently the new owner. It was the first time I've ever seen him in anything other than Superman and I thought he was excellent.

On a similar note, I finished reading Brighton Rock. I didn't really enjoy it that much, truth be told. They're making a film of that for later this year, which will star Helen Mirren, so it will be interesting to see how that does and how closely it matches the book. I imagine they'll lose a lot of the repetitive religious mutterings that overtook the strong story the book begins with.

They also made a version some years back staring Richard Attenborough, which is meant to be good, so I might try and watch that first too.

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