We seem beset lately with academics being funded to study high-profile, fantasist entertainment. We’ve recently been informed that “Disney Princesses” are dangerous to young girls. Now, for older ones, it’s being widely reported that so are the likes of Love, Actually:
I’ve seen all of the Daniel Craig James Bond films in cinemas. With Spectre, though, I hadn’t had a chance. Last night, we finally got to a showing before it finished its run.
If you haven’t seen it and are interested in what happens, the first thing I feel I must point out is that it went by so quickly I’m not sure I recall some of it. If you have seen it, you may double-check my recollection below – if *you* remember it any better than I do. ;-)
WARNING HUGE SPOILERS:
Please forgive a Saturday morning ramble. Writing some Christmas cards for mailing here in the U.S. yesterday (I still do some, mostly for “older” relations), it struck me my uncle doesn’t get one this year and will never get one again. That’s the sort of moment it’s toughest: the holidays are indeed the worst of times after losing those you love.
I have one of his later books, which I’d borrowed earlier in the year from my mother, on my bookshelf behind my desk here. I can’t return it to her, of course (this year has, frankly, been awful in our family), and my father wouldn’t care that I have it. So it’s mine now, I guess.
It’s the hardcover version, and I was browsing through it last night – and remembering. Glancing at his dust jacket author photo, I recalled him being thrilled years ago when a respected Hollywood star (who you would almost certainly recognize if I told you her name) had optioned one of his earlier novels. Its main character was a woman detective, and she had thought it might be excellent for herself in the lead and wanted a chance to see if it could be produced.
Somehow I found myself in an argument over the phone on Wednesday evening with a member of the family in the States with whom I’ve argued vehemently quite a few times before. I had thought we’d by now put that sort of behavior behind us. Apparently, though, I’d “triggered” something in that individual and all hell broke loose from that side of the Atlantic.
The phone was slammed down on me. I can’t go into why and I really shouldn’t anyway. Suffice it to say we have all probably had something like that happen in our lives at some point or another.
France’s classification president, Jean-Francois Mary, said that the movie, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, “isn’t a film that… can shock a lot of people”.
He believes that the movie, which contains nudity and sadomasochism between an entrepreneur and a virginal student, is “a romance – you could even say schmaltz”.
The book was a huge seller in France as elsewhere, and the film will get a wide release there. However, while there have even been protests over the film in the U.S. and Britain about its portrayal of domestic violence, that rating in France is, one might say, a “Gallic shrug.” What Mr. Mary is essentially asserting there is that it’s not really a film that needs to be taken all that seriously by adults.
Here’s a UK TV listing for a showing of The Longest Day. I screen grabbed it back on Saturday. Why? Because it made me chuckle:
You gotta love it. The British do “subtle” like almost no one else. Notice that the British cast – despite John Wayne’s photo – get first national mention. And also note which country gets last mention…. after even…. the Germans.
I love stumbling on stuff such as that. We all seem hard wired to have a bit of a dig at each other. A couple of decades of encountering the likes of that has helped provide me with material in two novels so far. ;-)
Happy Monday [grumble, grumble], wherever you are in the world. :-)
Saturday morning poignant film trivia:
If you visit regularly, you well-know I’m a huge Bogart fan. Films don’t really get better than that one. Not that I’m “biased” or anything, of course.
Also, I am greatly flattered that the Bogart Estate follows me – Me! – on Twitter. His son, Stephen Bogart, occasionally tweets there. Amazing, “social media” today, isn’t it? :-)
Get ready. Uh, brace yourself. Variety:
On Thursday morning, Universal Studios debuted its first trailer for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the highly anticipated film based on the erotic novels by E.L. James.
The movie stars Jamie Dornan (who appears san [sic] shirt) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as his inexperienced lover Anastasia Steele….
We don’t know yet if the film will be “decent.” (If that’s the right word?) But the quality of the book and its film adaptation are not really the concern here; those are for others to argue about. I’ve not read the book and have no plans to see the film.
I will say this, though. While you might dream a novel you write will one day find itself a film, if it were to do so that film’s actual quality is mostly out of your control. I suppose the bottom line is if you found yourself paid (especially if you were paid “big”) for film rights, I suspect as a writer you would be thrilled to take the money and run. ;-)
But, privately (between just us here…. and the internet), I’d hate to see my book(s) theatrically ruined.
Have a good day, wherever you are reading this….