Posts Tagged ‘Keira Knightley’

Morte d’Author

Posted in General on November 18th, 2012 by Eugene Finerman – 4 Comments

When the Old Hollywood tampered with the classics, it was to simplify and cheer them up.  Hamlet and Ophelia lived happily ever after!  Now, however, literature can’t be complicated enough for films.  Perhaps you could show the cold, hungry servants in “Pride and Prejudice.”  That would be historically accurate–but that  is an insufficient challenge to the director.  No, how about recreating “Pride and Prejudice” as if Emily Bronte had written it. You could have a bedraggled, blowzy Elizabeth Bennet showing her disapproval of burly Mr. Darcy by beating to death a cow.  If you think that I am joking, then you must have missed the 2005 film with Keira Knightley.  (The bovinicide may be my slight exaggeration.)

The idea of swapping authors turned out to be trend–or at least a contractual demand by Ms. Knightley.  She is now starring as “Anna Karenina”–at least the version that Anton Chekhov and Samuel Beckett would have written.  In this version, the Revolution is imminent and the story is set on a stage.  And here is a scene…

Anna:  Shall we make passionate love or just stare at the samovar?

Vronsky:  I wonder who will kill us first: the peasants or the audience.

Boris Pasternak:  This actually is how I wrote “Doctor Zhivago.”

Anna:  Yes, the movie was more interesting than your book.

Boris:  I could say the same about the first five versions of “Anna Karenina”.

Vronsky:  But not this one!

Boris:  But not this one….

Anna:  Let’s stare at the samovar.


Now we have to worry about the next transauthor interpretation.  How about John Le Carre’s “Wind in the Willows”?  Who is the Mole in MI6?  Since this is LeCarre, it probably is everyone but Mr. Mole.  (No, we can still trust Mr. Toad; he never learned anything at Cambridge.)  But there is not really a good role here for Ms. Knightley, although she certainly could pass herself off as one of the willows.

However, I can see her as one of the repressed daughters in an Edwardian family, eager to partake of the sensuous delights allowed her rakehell brother.  In fact, we are overdue for the D.H. Lawrence version of “Peter Rabbit”.