Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Memories and books

IndieWire's Criticwire has asked a bunch of film and TV critics about their favourite memory of watching a movie with their family.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap, What the Flick?!
Growing up with immigrant parents and six older siblings, I have any number of moviegoing memories from my childhood: being allowed to put off my homework because Hitchcock's Notorious was coming on, all of us piling into the car and driving across town to a rep house to see William Wyler's Wuthering Heights, sitting through Ball of Fire and Young Frankenstein with my father and watching him laugh harder than I'd ever seen him do. Sometimes, my family had a sense of humor all its own: No one thinks of these comedies as classics, but we would drop everything or stay up late if We're No Angels (the Michael Curtiz original), Bedtime Story (later remade as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) or The Out-of-Towners (itself also remade) came on television in those pre-VCR days. My parents are no longer with us, but my brothers and sisters and I can always make each other laugh by quoting the waiter on the train from the latter film, telling the sensitive-stomached Jack Lemmon that all they have left is "peanut butter and crackers, and clam juice -- but it's not cold." Happy Thanksgiving. (Sam Adams)
USA Today critic Olivia Barker hasn't really enjoyed Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility (a modern retelling of the novel of the same name by Jane Austen). She thinks that,
Modernized classics are audacious affairs to begin with, and they work best when the original characters are all but obscured, updated with more than mere iPod-studded nods to a different era (The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a recent retelling of Jane Eyre, is an exquisite example of how to do it right).
Another book reviewed today is Diane Setterfield's Bellman & Black. From The Star (Malaysia):
The Thirteenth Tale took Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and echoed and warped it so eerily that the author earned gushing plaudits for her deft interpretation.
Just as The Thirteenth Tale was homage to Charlotte Brontë, Bellman & Black homages Charles Dickens, but less skilfully. (Nick Walker)
Hot Press has interviewed Anne Rice and recalls the fact that,
Rice describes Great Expectations and Jane Eyre as huge influences on her as a child. Surely it is no coincidence that they are the stories of orphans who spend time in huge, lonely buildings. At 15, Rice’s mother died after a long battle with alcoholism. Her father sent his daughters to St. Joseph’s Academy – “a dilapidated, awful, medieval type of place”. Rice admits it took her a long time to recover from that painful period. She couldn’t even find solace in writing. (Roe McDermott)
Dear Author reviews The Tenant of Wildfell Hall while Alternate Readality reviews Agnes Grey.

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