Tuesday, October 07, 2008

" Two Films/One Play"

What've I been up to? Lots, I suppose: more writing than usual and I'm enjoying it. I must keep resolutions. Writing is A Source of Happiness. It's a total involvement which I find exhilarating yet amazingly relaxing...
My classes started two weeks ago; one has 20 folks enrolled, the other 14. Hopefully they "buzz" and I think it's safe to say we have fun. I'm SO glad that I " unretired"...

BUT 2 films seen lately:" The Duchess" and "Edge of Love" : I didn't expect to particularly enjoy these, but I loved them. You probably know all about them as I'm just catching up...
Keira Knightley plays Duch of Devonshire in 1st and Dylan Thomas's Lover in 2nd. Each story, coincidentally, involves a tantalising menage de trois. These people all existed but the fabric of that truth has been creatively twisted and emboidered and the results ( in my opinion) are 2 highly watchable films. Both excelled with camera work, settings, the superb ( very different) period details.......
AND there was, of course, Keira's gorgeous Edge of Love cardigans....Per Una : no contest!

THEN: M/Ch Royal Exchange to Chekhov's "Three Sisters" directed by Sarah Frankcom and designed by Liz Ascroft.
This theatre is fabulous. It's a former Cotton Exchange; it reeks with Lancastrian history and it stuns one with images of a glorious M/Chester in another era...
The theatre is a "capsule"( 7 sided, glass walled) suspended from massive pillars of marble in the stunning Great Hall of the Exchange. I could Go On.
But Honestly: I could be quite happy sitting in the empty auditorium there.
OR sipping soup in the Round Bar
OR people-watching anywhere at all beneath the Exchange's lofty magnificent heights.
The Chekhov was long (very) but the production was skilfil and moving with its universal truths uttered by its ordinary folk, its beautiful direction , its touches of both tragedy and comedy...
And the set design, including 7 starkly simple birch trees ( like a Klimt painting??) and the glittering candlelit chandelier lowered delicately from ceiling by prim Russian housemaids...all was memorable.
But in particular, there was the versatile Emma Cunniffe ( I first saw her in TV's " The Lakes") now one of the best 30- something actresses around..
" Three Sisters" is at The Royal Exchange til Oct 11th.


Blogger KatW said...

"Writing is A Source of Happiness" - I've just mentioned the feeling of exhilaration on my own blog post today. Amazing how writing can affect us in such deep ways!

Loved The Duchess. And I'd like the soundtrack. Music to stir the senses.

Kat :-)

7:45 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

The Royal Exchange is quite a theatre! Don't think I saw the films...off to see Death Race next week...does that count? hmmmm.

You're right about the writing though! :-)

10:03 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

KatW and Jon
Good hearing from you.
I know you run, Jon, so you'll know what I mean:
the feeling you get after a day "immersed" in writing stuff is not unlike the end of a long run....
NOT that I have ever done a long run, I hasten to add..

2:44 pm  
Blogger Marianne said...

So agree about the Duchess. Although I thought Keira Knightley was a somewhat miscast in this film, she did a superb job and managed to carry it off. Fiennes was, as always, superb

1:56 pm  
Blogger elizabethm said...

Love the Royal Exchange, probably my very favourite theatre against some good competition.

4:03 pm  

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