Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 35: Wed Feb 4

The Wings of the Dove (Softley, 1997):
B
irkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Sq, WC1H OPD, 2.30pm



This is a screening organised by the London Screen Study Collection, created at Birkbeck College to promote public awareness of and research into London's screen history. You can find all the details of the current season, titled In And Out of the Tube, here.

This afternoon's movie is the subject of an excellent BFI Modern Classics monograph by Robin Wood. More details of that publication here.

Time Out review:
'Kate Croy (Helena Bonham Carter) loves Merton (Linus Roache), a comparatively impoverished, 'progressive' journalist, but the aunt on whom she depends (Charlotte Rampling) prefers a wealthier suitor and forbids them to meet. Reluctant to lose either her lover or her allowance, Kate takes advantage of her blossoming friendship with visiting American heiress Milly (Elliott), travelling with her to Venice and, unknown to her aunt, inviting her 'friend' Merton to join them. But things get still more complicated when it looks like Milly is starting to fall for Merton herself. For the early London scenes, Hossein Amini's adaptation of Henry James' novel (updated to 1910) seems merely an imaginatively designed Edwardian costumer about frustrated love. In Venice, however, it soon becomes noticeably more interesting, with Kate's motives and methods turning increasingly murky as she appears to drive Merton into Milly's arms. The familiar Jamesian conflict of American innocence and Old World intrigue emerges, darker and crueller than a conventional romantic triangle, and a palpable sense of anguish, guilt and confusion takes hold. The performances are sensitive and sturdy, most impressively so in a beautifully judged sex scene (between Merton and Kate) that is authentically despairing.'
Geoff Andrew


Here is the trailer.

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