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Archive for November 6th, 2012

by John Greco

There are some films that are indelibly burned into your psyche for whatever reason. It may have to do with the heart of every audience member jumping into their throats the first time the shark comes out of the water in “Jaws”, or the blaring rock sound of The Ronettes “Be My Baby” on the soundtrack of “Mean Streets” or the discovery of a little know film called “The Panic in Needle Park” as you watch a then unknown actor named Al Pacino blow you away. There are certain films that are etched into your life and become a brick on the wall that helped build your love for movies. For me “The Graduate” was one of those films.

I do realize “The Graduate” has dated, hell it was dated back in 1967, so let me get some of the criticism out of the way. You know, the stuff critics have been saying about this film since its release some forty years ago and Roger Ebert reiterated upon the film’s 30th Anniversary. First, there is the age difference between Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, only six years, and yes Hoffman does look too old to be a twenty one year old college student. Then there is the character of Benjamin who many sanctified years ago as a symbol of America’s anti-establishment youth. Benjamin who really does not rebel more than any twelve year old would. As for Mrs. Robinson who over the years has been vilified as a unsatisfied bitch, well it turns out she is the only character in the script with any emotional soul and not a cardboard “plastic” character. Finally, there is Elaine, Elaine who Ben runs away with in the end, after she marries blonde haired waspy Carl. Elaine, who found Ben disgusting when she discovered he had slept with her mother and a half hour later, is chowing down on burgers and fries at a drive-in with him. Ben the rebel ends up with the girl his parents wanted him to date all along in the film; of course they would have preferred it would have been before she said “I do” to old Carl. (more…)

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 little-dorrit

by Allan Fish

(UK 2008 480m) DVD1/2

Do not forget

p  Lisa Osborne  d  Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh, Diarmuid Lawrence  w  Andrew Davies  novel  Charles Dickens  ph  Owen McPolin  ed  Philip Kloss  m  John Lunn  art  James Merifield  cos  Barbara Kidd

Matthew MacFadyen (Arthur Clennam), Claire Foy (Amy Dorrit), Tom Courtenay (William Dorrit), James Fleet (Frederick Dorrit), Judy Parfitt (Mrs Clennam), Alun Armstrong (Flintwinch), Emma Pierson (Fanny Dorrit), Andy Serkis (Rigaud), Eddie Marsan (Mr Pancks), Russell Tovey (John Chivery), Anton Lesser (Mr Merdle), Ron Cook (Chivery), Freema Agyeman (Tattycoram), Maxine Peake (Miss Wade), Ruth Jones (Flora Finching), Eve Myles (Maggie), Bill Paterson (Mr Meagles), Pam Ferris (Mrs General), Sue Johnston (Affery), John Alderton (Mr Casby), Amanda Redman (Mrs Merdle), Annette Crosbie (Mrs F’s aunt), Janine Duvitski (Mrs Meagles), Robert Hardy (Tite Barnacle), Sebastian Armesto (Sparkler), Harriet Walter (Mrs Gowan), Georgia King (Pet Gowan), Nicholas Jones (butler), Arthur Darvill (Tip Dorrit),

When I first heard of the latest in the BBC’s Andrew Davies literary adaptation bandwagon it was met with a certain degree of trepidation.  Unlike many of his previous adaptations of the classics, there was a definitive version of the tale out there.  Sure, Bleak House had been done before, but in an altogether different age and it was ripe for remaking.  Little Dorrit had been done on screen, and on the big screen at that, in 1987 in a six hour version by Christine Edzard.  In actuality the adaptation was somewhat different as it told the story from the point of view of its two principle characters in two parts.  The more I thought about this original approach, however, made me think that maybe there was room for another version which followed the narrative in a more traditional manner.  For example, the 1987 film cut out many characters, and indeed several subplots, leaving the connection between Arthur Clennam, his mother and Amy Dorrit unmentioned.  (more…)

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