Monday, July 6, 2015

From Book to Film

Today was the last screening of Cine a la Letra, a 7-week programme of British films-adapted-from-novels at the Cineteca Nacional. The selection was interesting enough - and plenty to choose from - but what's made it particularly interesting has been the talkshows afterwards with a Mexican director and a Mexican novelist discussing the adaptations. 
This evening we finished with The Remains of the Day (book by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989 / film by Merchant Ivory, 1993) which, fairly unusually for me, I read and saw on their initial release. Twenty-plus years on and it's still such a powerful film. Not in terms of big messages (though there are some: appeasement, the end of Empire, the decline of Britain's aristocracy) or action sequences (an elderly under-butler tripping over a flagstone is about as animated as it gets), but the quiet, suffocating reserve of most British people in the 1930s. Antony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are an understated tour de force, probably never bettered.

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