Archivo de la categoría: Literatura

Soir d’hiver

Émile Nelligan – Soir d’hiver (1898)

Ah! comme la neige a neigé!
Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.
Ah! comme la neige a neigé!
Qu’est-ce que le spasme de vivre
Ô la douleur que j’ai, que j’ai!

Tous les étangs gisent gelés,
Mon âme est noire: Où vis-je? où vais-je?
Tous ses espoirs gisent gelés:
Je suis la nouvelle Norvège
D’où les blonds ciels s’en sont allés.

Pleurez, oiseaux de février,
Au sinistre frisson des choses,
Pleurez, oiseaux de février,
Pleurez mes pleurs, pleurez mes roses,
Aux branches du genévrier.

Ah! comme la neige a neigé!
Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.
Ah! comme la neige a neigé!
Qu’est-ce que le spasme de vivre
A tout l’ennui que j’ai, que j’ai!…

Source:

http://www.feelingsurfer.net/garp/poesie/Nelligan.SoirDHiver.html

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L’Automne est arrivé

Albert Samain – Automne

Le vent tourbillonnant, qui rabat les volets,
Là-bas tord la forêt comme une chevelure.
Des troncs entrechoqués monte un puissant murmure
Pareil au bruit des mers, rouleuses de galets.
L’Automne qui descend les collines voilées
Fait, sous ses pas profonds, tressaillir notre coeur ;
Et voici que s’afflige avec plus de ferveur
Le tendre désespoir des roses envolées.
Le vol des guêpes d’or qui vibrait sans repos
S’est tu ; le pêne grince à la grille rouillée ;
La tonnelle grelotte et la terre est mouillée,
Et le linge blanc claque, éperdu, dans l’enclos.
Le jardin nu sourit comme une face aimée
Qui vous dit longuement adieu, quand la mort vient ;
Seul, le son d’une enclume ou l’aboiement d’un chien
Monte, mélancolique, à la vitre fermée.
Suscitant des pensers d’immortelle et de buis,
La cloche sonne, grave, au coeur de la paroisse ;
Et la lumière, avec un long frisson d’angoisse,
Ecoute au fond du ciel venir des longues nuits…
Les longues nuits demain remplaceront, lugubres,
Les limpides matins, les matins frais et fous,
Pleins de papillons blancs chavirant dans les choux
Et de voix sonnant clair dans les brises salubres.
Qu’importe, la maison, sans se plaindre de toi,
T’accueille avec son lierre et ses nids d’hirondelle,
Et, fêtant le retour du prodigue près d’elle,
Fait sortir la fumée à longs flots bleus du toit.
Lorsque la vie éclate et ruisselle et flamboie,
Ivre du vin trop fort de la terre, et laissant
Pendre ses cheveux lourds sur la coupe du sang,
L’âme impure est pareille à la fille de joie.
Mais les corbeaux au ciel s’assemblent par milliers,
Et déjà, reniant sa folie orageuse,
L’âme pousse un soupir joyeux de voyageuse
Qui retrouve, en rentrant, ses meubles familiers.
L’étendard de l’été pend noirci sur sa hampe.
Remonte dans ta chambre, accroche ton manteau ;
Et que ton rêve, ainsi qu’une rose dans l’eau,
S’entr’ouvre au doux soleil intime de la lampe.
Dans l’horloge pensive, au timbre avertisseur,
Mystérieusement bat le coeur du Silence.
La Solitude au seuil étend sa vigilance,
Et baise, en se penchant, ton front comme une soeur.
C’est le refuge élu, c’est la bonne demeure,
La cellule aux murs chauds, l’âtre au subtil loisir,
Où s’élabore, ainsi qu’un très rare élixir,
L’essence fine de la vie intérieure.
Là, tu peux déposer le masque et les fardeaux,
Loin de la foule et libre, enfin, des simagrées,
Afin que le parfum des choses préférées
Flotte, seul, pour ton coeur dans les plis des rideaux.
C’est la bonne saison, entre toutes féconde,
D’adorer tes vrais dieux, sans honte, à ta façon,
Et de descendre en toi jusqu’au divin frisson
De te découvrir jeune et vierge comme un monde !
Tout est calme ; le vent pleure au fond du couloir ;
Ton esprit a rompu ses chaînes imbéciles,
Et, nu, penché sur l’eau des heures immobiles,
Se mire au pur cristal de son propre miroir :
Et, près du feu qui meurt, ce sont des Grâces nues,
Des départs de vaisseaux haut voilés dans l’air vif,
L’âpre suc d’un baiser sensuel et pensif,
Et des soleils couchants sur des eaux inconnues…

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-1853/albert-samain-automne/

Alphonse de Lamartine – L’Automne

Salut ! bois couronnés d’un reste de verdure !
Feuillages jaunissants sur les gazons épars !
Salut, derniers beaux jours ! Le deuil de la nature
Convient à la douleur et plaît à mes regards !
Je suis d’un pas rêveur le sentier solitaire,
J’aime à revoir encor, pour la dernière fois,
Ce soleil pâlissant, dont la faible lumière
Perce à peine à mes pieds l’obscurité des bois !
Oui, dans ces jours d’automne où la nature expire,
A ses regards voilés, je trouve plus d’attraits,
C’est l’adieu d’un ami, c’est le dernier sourire
Des lèvres que la mort va fermer pour jamais !
Ainsi, prêt à quitter l’horizon de la vie,
Pleurant de mes longs jours l’espoir évanoui,
Je me retourne encore, et d’un regard d’envie
Je contemple ses biens dont je n’ai pas joui !
Terre, soleil, vallons, belle et douce nature,
Je vous dois une larme aux bords de mon tombeau ;
L’air est si parfumé ! la lumière est si pure !
Aux regards d’un mourant le soleil est si beau !
Je voudrais maintenant vider jusqu’à la lie
Ce calice mêlé de nectar et de fiel !
Au fond de cette coupe où je buvais la vie,
Peut-être restait-il une goutte de miel ?
Peut-être l’avenir me gardait-il encore
Un retour de bonheur dont l’espoir est perdu ?
Peut-être dans la foule, une âme que j’ignore
Aurait compris mon âme, et m’aurait répondu ? …
La fleur tombe en livrant ses parfums au zéphire ;
A la vie, au soleil, ce sont là ses adieux ;
Moi, je meurs; et mon âme, au moment qu’elle expire,
S’exhale comme un son triste et mélodieux.

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-215/alphonse-de-lamartine-automne/

Renée Vivien – L’Automne

L’Automne s’exaspère ainsi qu’une Bacchante,
Folle du sang des fruits et du sang des baisers
Et dont on voit frémir les seins inapaisés…
L’Automne s’assombrit ainsi qu’une Bacchante
Au sortir des festins empourprés. Elle chante
La moite lassitude et l’oubli des baisers.
Les yeux à demi-morts, l’Automne se réveille
Dans le défaillement des clartés et des fleurs,
Et le soir appauvrit le faste des couleurs.
Les yeux à demi-morts, l’Automne se réveille :
Ses membres sont meurtris et son âme est pareille
Aux coupes sans ivresse où s’effeuillent les fleurs.
Ayant bu l’amertume et la haine de vivre
Dans le flot triomphal des vignes de l’été,
Elle a connu le goût de la satiété.
L’éternelle amertume et la haine de vivre
Corrompent le festin où le monde s’enivre,
Étendu sur le lit de roses de l’été.
L’Automne, ouvrant ses mains d’appel et de faiblesse,
Se meurt du souvenir accablant de l’amour,
Et n’ose en espérer l’impossible retour.
Sa chair de volupté, de langueur, de faiblesse.
Implore le venin de la bouche qui blesse
Et qui sait recueillir les sanglots de l’amour.
Le cœur à demi-mort, l’Automne se réveille
Et contemple l’amour à travers le passé.
Le feu vacille au fond de son regard lassé.
Le cœur à demi-mort, l’Automne se réveille :
La vigne se dessèche et périt sur la treille…
Dans le lointain pâlit la rive du passé.

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-1922/renee-vivien-automne/

Nérée Beauchemin – Roses d’Automne

Aux branches que l’air rouille et que le gel mordore,
Comme par un prodige inouï du soleil,
Avec plus de langueur et plus de charme encore,
Les roses du parterre ouvrent leur coeur vermeil.
Dans sa corbeille d’or, août cueillit les dernières :
Les pétales de pourpre ont jonché le gazon.
Mais voici que, soudain, les touffes printanières
Embaument les matins de l’arrière-saison.
Les bosquets sont ravis, le ciel même s’étonne
De voir, sur le rosier qui ne veut pas mourir,
Malgré le vent, la pluie et le givre d’automne,
Les boutons, tout gonflés d’un sang rouge, fleurir.
En ces fleurs que le soir mélancolique étale,
C’est l’âme des printemps fanés qui, pour un jour,
Remonte, et de corolle en corolle s’exhale,
Comme soupirs de rêve et sourires d’amour.
Tardives floraisons du jardin qui décline,
Vous avez la douceur exquise et le parfum
Des anciens souvenirs, si doux, malgré l’épine
De l’illusion morte et du bonheur défunt.

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-874/neree-beauchemin-roses-automne/

Charles Baudelaire – Chant d’Automne

I

Bientôt nous plongerons dans les froides ténèbres ;
Adieu, vive clarté de nos étés trop courts !
J’entends déjà tomber avec des chocs funèbres
Le bois retentissant sur le pavé des cours.
Tout l’hiver va rentrer dans mon être : colère,
Haine, frissons, horreur, labeur dur et forcé,
Et, comme le soleil dans son enfer polaire,
Mon coeur ne sera plus qu’un bloc rouge et glacé.
J’écoute en frémissant chaque bûche qui tombe ;
L’échafaud qu’on bâtit n’a pas d’écho plus sourd.
Mon esprit est pareil à la tour qui succombe
Sous les coups du bélier infatigable et lourd.
Il me semble, bercé par ce choc monotone,
Qu’on cloue en grande hâte un cercueil quelque part.
Pour qui ? – C’était hier l’été ; voici l’automne !
Ce bruit mystérieux sonne comme un départ.

II

J’aime de vos longs yeux la lumière verdâtre,
Douce beauté, mais tout aujourd’hui m’est amer,
Et rien, ni votre amour, ni le boudoir, ni l’âtre,
Ne me vaut le soleil rayonnant sur la mer.
Et pourtant aimez-moi, tendre coeur ! soyez mère,
Même pour un ingrat, même pour un méchant ;
Amante ou soeur, soyez la douceur éphémère
D’un glorieux automne ou d’un soleil couchant.
Courte tâche ! La tombe attend ; elle est avide !
Ah ! laissez-moi, mon front posé sur vos genoux,
Goûter, en regrettant l’été blanc et torride,
De l’arrière-saison le rayon jaune et doux !

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-592/charles-baudelaire-chant-automne/

Vidéo:

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Paul Verlaine – Chanson d’Automne

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur
Monotone.
Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure
Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

Quelle:

http://www.poetica.fr/poeme-1824/paul-verlaine-chanson-automne/

Charles Trénet – Chanson d’Automne (Verlaine)

Vidéo:

http://www.ina.fr/video/I07085686

Léo Ferré – Chanson d’Automne (Verlaine)

Vidéo:

Yves Montand – Les Feuilles Mortes

Vidéo:

Paroles:

Oh ! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Des jours heureux où nous étions amis.
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle,
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui.
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle.
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié…
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Et le vent du nord les emporte
Dans la nuit froide de l’oubli.
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié
La chanson que tu me chantais.

{Refrain:}
C’est une chanson qui nous ressemble.
Toi, tu m’aimais et je t’aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble,
Toi qui m’aimais, moi qui t’aimais.
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle,
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi
Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle
Sourit toujours et remercie la vie.
Je t’aimais tant, tu étais si jolie.
Comment veux-tu que je t’oublie ?
En ce temps-là, la vie était plus belle
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu’aujourd’hui.
Tu étais ma plus douce amie
Mais je n’ai que faire des regrets
Et la chanson que tu chantais,
Toujours, toujours je l’entendrai !

{Refrain}

Quelle:

http://musique.ados.fr/Yves-Montand/Les-Feuilles-Mortes-t61830.html

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Iggy Pop (2009)

Video:

Serge Gainsbourg – La Chanson de Prévert

Vidéo:

Paroles:

Oh, je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes,
cette chanson était la tienne,
c’était ta préférée, je crois
qu’elle est de Prévert et Kosma.

Et chaque fois les feuilles mortes
te rappellent à mon souvenir,
jour après jour
les amours mortes
n’en finissent pas de mourir.

Avec d’autres bien sûr je m’abandonne,
mais leur chanson est monotone
et peu à peu je m’indiffère,
à cela il n’est rien a faire.

Car chaque fois les feuilles mortes
te rappellent à mon souvenir,
jour après jour
les amours mortes
n’en finissent pas de mourir.

Peut-on jamais savoir par où commence
et quand finit l’indifférence ?
Passe l’automne, vienne l’hiver
et que la chanson de Prévert,

Cette chanson,
Les feuilles mortes,
s’efface de mon souvenir
et ce jour là
mes amours mortes
en auront fini de mourir.

Et ce jour là
mes amours mortes
en auront fini de mourir.

Quelle:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/la-chanson-de-prevert-lyrics-gainsbourg-serge.html

Alain Morisod & Sweet People – La Chanson de Prévert

Vidéo:

The Girls in Their Summer Dresses

girls

Irwin Shaw – The Girls with Their Summer Dresses (1939)

FIFTH AVENUE WAS shining in the sun when they left the Brevoort. The sun was warm, even though it was February, and everything looked like Sunday morning—the buses and the well-dressed people walking slowly in couples and the quiet buildings with the windows closed.
       Michael held Frances’ arm tightly as they walked toward Washington Square in the sunlight. They walked lightly, almost smiling, because they had slept late and had a good breakfast and it was Sunday. Michael unbuttoned his coat and let it flap around him in the mild wind.
       “Look out,” Frances said as they crossed Eighth Street. “You’ll break your neck.” Michael laughed and Frances laughed with him.
       “She’s not so pretty,” Frances said. “Anyway, not pretty enough to take a chance of breaking your neck.”
       Michael laughed again. “How did you know I was looking at her?”
       Frances cocked her head to one side and smiled at her husband under the brim of her hat. “Mike, darling,” she said.
       “O.K.,” he said. “Excuse me.”
       Frances patted his arm lightly and pulled him along a little faster toward Washington Square. “Let’s not see anybody all day,” she said. “Let’s just hang around with each other. You and me. We’re always up to our neck in people, drinking their Scotch or drinking our Scotch; we only see each other in bed. I want to go out with my husband all day long. I want him to talk only to me and listen only to me.”
       “What’s to stop us?” Michael asked.
       “The Stevensons. They want us to drop by around one o’clock and they’ll drive us into the country.”
       “The cunning Stevensons,” Mike said. “Transparent. They can whistle. They can go driving in the country by themselves.”
       “Is it a date?”
       “It’s a date.”
       Frances leaned over and kissed him on the tip of the ear.
       “Darling,” Michael said, “this is Fifth Avenue.”
       “Let me arrange a program,” Frances said. “A planned Sunday in New York for a young couple with money to throw away.”
       “Go easy.”
       “First let’s go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Frances suggested, because Michael had said during the week he wanted to go. “I haven’t been there in three years and there’re at least ten pictures I want to see again. Then we can take the bus down to Radio City, and watch them skate. And later we’ll go down to Cavanagh’s and get a steak as big as a blacksmith’s apron, with a bottle of wine, and after that there’s a French picture at the Filmarte that everybody says—say, are you listening to me?”
       “Sure,” he said. He took his eyes off the hatless girl with the dark hair, cut dancer-style like a helmet, who was walking past him.
       “That’s the program for the day,” Frances said flatly. “Or maybe you’d just rather walk up and down Fifth Avenue.”
       “No,” Michael said. “Not at all.”
       “You always look at other women,” Frances said. “Everywhere. Every damned place we go.”
       “No, darling,” Michael said, “I look at everything. God gave me eyes and I look at women and men in subway excavations and moving pictures and the little flowers of the field. I casually inspect the universe.”
       “You ought to see the look in your eye,” Frances said, “as you casually inspect the universe on Fifth Avenue.”
       “I’m a happily married man.” Michael pressed her elbow tenderly. “Example for the whole twentieth century—Mr. and Mrs. Mike Loomis. Hey, let’s have a drink,” he said, stopping.
       “We just had breakfast.”
       “Now listen, darling,” Mike said, choosing his words with care, “it’s a nice day and we both felt good and there’s no reason why we have to break it up. Let’s have a nice Sunday.”
       “All right. I don’t know why I started this. Let’s drop it. Let’s have a good time.”
       They joined hands consciously and walked without talking among the baby carriages and the old Italian men in their Sunday clothes and the young women with Scotties in Washington Square Park.
       “At least once a year everyone should go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Frances said after a while, her tone a good imitation of the tone she had used at breakfast and at the beginning of their walk. “And it’s nice on Sunday. There’re a lot of people looking at the pictures and you get the feeling maybe Art isn’t on the decline in New York City, after all—”
       “I want to tell you something,” Michael said very seriously. “I have not touched another woman. Not once. In all the five years.”
       “All right,” Frances said.
       “You believe that, don’t you?”
       “All right.”
       They walked between the crowded benches, under the scrubby city-park trees.
       “I try not to notice it,” Frances said, “but I feel rotten inside, in my stomach, when we pass a woman and you look at her and I see that look in your eye and that’s the way you looked at me the first time. In Alice Maxwell’s house. Standing there in the living room, next to the radio, with a green hat on and all those people.”
       “I remember the hat,” Michael said.
       “The same look,” Frances said. “And it makes me feel bad. It makes me feel terrible.”
       “Sh-h-h, please, darling, sh-h-h.”
       “I think I would like a drink now,” Frances said.
       They walked over to a bar on Eighth Street, not saying anything, Michael automatically helping her over curbstones and guiding her past automobiles. They sat near a window in the bar and the sun streamed in and there was a small, cheerful fire in the fireplace. A little Japanese waiter came over and put down some pretzels and smiled happily at them.
       “What do you order after breakfast?” Michael asked.
       “Brandy, I suppose,” Frances said.
       “Courvoisier,” Michael told the waiter. “Two Courvoisiers.”
       The waiter came with the glasses and they sat drinking the brandy in the sunlight. Michael finished half his and drank a little water.
       “I look at women,” he said. “Correct. I don’t say it’s wrong or right. I look at them. If I pass them on the street and I don’t look at them, I’m fooling you, I’m fooling myself.”
       “You look at them as though you want them,” Frances said, playing with her brandy glass. “Every one of them.”
       “In a way,” Michael said, speaking softly and not to his wife, “in a way that’s true. I don’t do anything about it, but it’s true.”
       “I know it. That’s why I feel bad.”
       “Another brandy,” Michael called. “Waiter, two more brandies.”
       He sighed and closed his eyes and rubbed them gently with his fingertips. “I love the way women look. One of the things I like best about New York is the battalions of women. When I first came to New York from Ohio that was the first thing I noticed, the million wonderful women, all over the city. I walked around with my heart in my throat.”
       “A kid,” Frances said. “That’s a kid’s feeling.”
       “Guess again,” Michael said. “Guess again. I’m older now. I’m a man getting near middle age, putting on a little fat, and I still love to walk along Fifth Avenue at three o’clock on the east side of the street between Fiftieth and Fifty-seventh Streets. They’re all out then, shopping, in their furs and their crazy hats, everything all concentrated from all over the world into seven blocks—the best furs, the best clothes, the handsomest women, out to spend money and feeling good about it.”
       The Japanese waiter put the two drinks down, smiling with great happiness.
       “Everything is all right?” he asked.
       “Everything is wonderful,” Michael said.
       “If it’s just a couple of fur coats,” Frances said, “and forty-five dollar hats—”
       “It’s not the fur coats. Or the hats. That’s just the scenery for that particular kind of woman. Understand,” he said, “you don’t have to listen to this.”
       “I want to listen.”
       “I like the girls in the offices. Neat, with their eyeglasses, smart, chipper, knowing what everything is about. I like the girls on Forty-fourth Street at lunchtime, the actresses, all dressed up on nothing a week. I like the salesgirls in the stores, paying attention to you first because you’re a man, leaving lady customers waiting. I got all this stuff accumulated in me because I’ve been thinking about it for ten years and now you’ve asked for it and here it is.”
       “Go ahead,” Frances said.
       “When I think of New York City, I think of all the girls on parade in the city. I don’t know whether it’s something special with me or whether every man in the city walks around with the same feeling inside him, but I feel as though I’m at a picnic in this city. I like to sit near the women in the theatres, the famous beauties who’ve taken six hours to get ready and look it. And the young girls at the football games, with the red cheeks, and when the warm weather comes, the girls in their summer dresses.” He finished his drink. “That’s the story.”
       Frances finished her drink and swallowed two or three times extra. “You say you love me?”
       “I love you.”
       “I’m pretty, too,” Frances said. “As pretty as any of them.”
       “You’re beautiful,” Michael said.
       “I’m good for you,” Frances said, pleading. “I’ve made a good wife, a good housekeeper, a good friend. I’d do any damn thing for you.”
       “I know,” Michael said. He put his hand out and grasped hers.
       “You’d like to be free to—” Frances said.
       “Sh-h-h.”
       “Tell the truth.” She took her hand away from under his.
       Michael flicked the edge of his glass with his finger. “O.K.,” he said gently. “Sometimes I feel I would like to be free.”
       “Well,” Frances said, “any time you say.”
       “Don’t be foolish.” Michael swung his chair around to her side of the table and patted her thigh.
       She began to cry silently into her handkerchief, bent over just enough so that nobody else in the bar would notice. “Someday,” she said, crying, “you’re going to make a move.”
       Michael didn’t say anything. He sat watching the bartender slowly peel a lemon.
       “Aren’t you?” Frances asked harshly. “Come on, tell me. Talk. Aren’t you?”
       “Maybe,” Michael said. He moved his chair back again. “How the hell do I know?”
       “You know,” Frances persisted. “Don’t you know?”
       “Yes,” Michael said after a while, “I know.”
       Frances stopped crying then. Two or three snuffles into the handkerchief and she put it away and her face didn’t tell anything to anybody. “At least do me one favor,” she said.
       “Sure.”
       “Stop talking about how pretty this woman is or that one. Nice eyes, nice breasts, a pretty figure, good voice.” She mimicked his voice. “Keep it to yourself. I’m not interested.”
       Michael waved to the waiter. “I’ll keep it to myself,” he said.
       Frances flicked the corners of her eyes. “Another brandy,” she told the waiter.
       “Two,” Michael said.
       “Yes, ma’am, yes, sir,” said the waiter, backing away.
       Frances regarded Michael coolly across the table. “Do you want me to call the Stevensons?” she asked. “It’ll be nice in the country.”
       “Sure,” Michael said. “Call them.”
       She got up from the table and walked across the room toward the telephone. Michael watched her walk, thinking what a pretty girl, what nice legs.

Source:

http://www.101bananas.com/library2/girlssummer.html

In the story “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses,” Irwin Shaw shows us the day-to-day damage and long-term damage a man’s roving eye can do to a committed romantic relationship or marriage. Although Frances and Michael are in love, they are the kind of couple who might end up on The Dr.Phil Show. Due to his habit of looking at other women and her jealous insecurity, this middle-aged couple have alot of arguments over little things. To Michael’s credit, all he does is ogle. However, the ogling is constant, and drives his wife crazy. To add insult to injury, he keeps defending his behavior instead of trying to control it. Frances keeps bugging him and competing for his attention. It’s more than obvious that she loves him, as she keeps giving him compliments and even has them go to a football game together.

The one thing Frances and Michael are doing right is laughing together. The jokes they make help them roll with the punches, enabling them to have a good time together. Although this good time is sometimes more evocative of Seinfeld’s Jerry and Elaine friendship than passionate love, it is at the very least a working and pleasant truce. The little compliments and gestures of affection they give each other is keeping their love afloat.

Throughout the story, visual details of New York City and its inhabitants, especially women, are brightly depicted. Shaw shows brilliance in this, as men are visual creatures who enjoy a good pursuit. In fact, so much detail is given that we feel as if we are watching a movie starring a couple such as Brooke Shieldes and Tom Hanks on any given New York Sunday. The bustiling, fast-paced, noisy city is a comfortable home for the bantering couple. It is a sunny day. They are both well-rested after a night of great sex and sleeping in. It is a promising start to what turns out to be a mediocre day.

Like many men, Michael has a definite eye for beautiful women. His biggest mistake is making this eye so obvious to his wife by not only turning to look at them in front of her. but then talking about it. Worse still, he laughs. For example, when he says “Excuse me. It was the complexion. It’s not the sort of complexion you see much in New York. Excuse me.” Frances’ response is much like a dog walker jerking her dog away from that attractive bitch in his path. She gives him affection and pulls him back toward her. “Frances patted his arm lightly and pulled him along a little faster toward Washington Square.” She follows this up with verbal affection intended to stroke his ego. “When I have breakfast with you, it makes me feel good all day.” Mike should repay in kind, but instead, he basically agrees with her about how great he is. “Rolls and coffee with Mike and you’re on the alkali side, guaranteed.” Frances is not ready to give up trying for some love. She talks about the great sleep she had, again thanks to him. When he still doesn’t get the hint and give her a compliment, she insults him about his weight.

The couple decide to spend the day alone together. While Frances is describing a proposed plan, Mike is again ogling a girl. The dog is straining at the leash, and this time gets called out bluntly: “‘You always look at beautiful women’, Frances said. ‘At every damn woman in the city of New York.'” Mike starts trying to say he is “casually inspecting the universe.” The “happily married man” presses her elbow. Now Frances really gets mad. The leash tightens, and the proverbial dog starts scrambling. Michael tells her he has not touched a woman in all five years of their marriage. Francis starts elaborating on her feelings and memories of his bad behavior. Over brandies, the man makes his biggest mistake yet. He starts describing how it feels to keep seeing beautiful women all around him, and gives vivid images of the types he enjoys.

Francis is now jealous, emotional, and furious. It’s not ok that he loves her and wants other women at the same time. Is Mike truly committed to Frances? True, he does try to keep the peace. But he seems to be trying to placate her while excusing his sexual fantasies. A man needs to keep the home fire burning, and Mike is not such a fool as to pretend she doesn’t have feelings. He doesn’t want to lose his wife. Problem is, Homer Simpson meets Marge’s needs for affection better than Mike. At least the attraction is still there. “Michael watched her walk, thinking, What a pretty girl, what nice legs.”

Source:

http://www.humanities360.com/index.php/short-story-reviews-the-girls-in-their-summer-dresses-by-irwin-shaw-10006/

John Gleinmeister & Nick Havinga – The Girls in Their Summer Dresses (1981)

Vídeo:

Vídeo:

John Springsteen – Girls in Their Summer Clothes (2007)

Well the street lights shine
Down on Blessing Avenue
Lovers they walk by
Holdin’ hands two by two

A breeze crosses the porch
Bicycle spokes spin ‘round
Jacket’s on, I’m out the door
Tonight I’m gonna burn this town down

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

Kid’s rubber ball smacks
Off the gutter ‘neath the lamp light
Big bank clock chimes
Off go the sleepy front porch lights

Downtown the store’s alive
As the evening’s underway
Things been a little tight
But I know they’re gonna turn my way

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

Frankie’s Diner’s
Over on the edge of town
Neon sign spinnin’ round
Like a cross over the lost and found

Fluorescent lights
Flicker above Bob’s Grill
Shaniqua brings a coffee and asks “fill?”
And says “penny for your thoughts now my poor Bill”

She went away
She cut me like a knife
Had a beautiful thing
Maybe you just saved my life

In just a glance
Down here on Magic Street
Love’s a fool’s dance
I ain’t got much sense but I still got my feet

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

And the girls in their summer clothes
In the cool of the evening light
The girls in their summer clothes
Pass me by

La la la la, la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la la la

Source:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/brucespringsteen/girlsintheirsummerclothes.html

Vídeo:

The Airbone Toxic Event – The Girls In Their Summer Dresses (2007)

It’s so quiet on this wind swept day
The city’s lights
And the golden rays
Of sunlight on a subway’a tracks
Are you mad again??
If you like
I’ll take it back
They’re just your feelings
I wasn’t looking at her hands
Oh, do you mean it??

It’s so lonesome
In “this happens” stance
If you asked me?
Yes, I’d like to dance
Just show me a glove-covered hand
A perfumed dress is more than I can stand..
And you approach me with your hollow hearted hand
And you tell me:
“It’s uncivilized
It’s unfair to me
The blues, the grays, the olive greens”
I’ll take you far away from me

The girls in their summer dresses see
Though you don’t notice
They all look back at me
Is this on purpose??

Oh no, no, no..
Oh no, no, no..
Oh no, no, no..

May offer to you..
This, my olive branch??
It’s not as though they’re always so keen
And we’re both just the victims of circumstance
Do you understand,
Do you know what I mean??

Oh no, no, no..
Oh no, no, no..
Oh no, no, no..
Oh no, no, no..

I’m a husband first
I’m a childless curse
I’m a faithful man
With a face that’s blessed
I’ll stay with you
Oh please don’t sigh
I try to explain
But you would cry, and cry, and cry
And you hate me
When I asked the reason why
You’ll trade me a dollar for some sense?
But don’t blame me
I was only making sense
Oh I’m so sorry
I was only making sense

Source:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/airbornetoxicevent/thegirlsintheirsummerdresses.html

The Graduate

graduateCharles Webb – The graduate (1963)

There were many young, disillusioned heroes being studied in the early 60s, Meursault in Camus’s The Outsider, McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. Like them, Benjamin is not a revolutionary; he doesn’t want to make a new, more free or equitable society. That was to come: in the mid-60s the American scene would brighten wonderfully before it darkened again. No, Benjamin merely wants to inform those around him that he hates the world they have made; it bores him, is stupid, and he cannot find a place in it. Like Melville’s Bartleby, he would just “prefer not to”.

This semi-teenage rite of passage baffles Benjamin as much as it baffles his parents. We see and hear the incomprehension in his very language, which is dull and inexpressive, as if he doesn’t really inhabit the words he uses; like everything else around him, language appears to not quite belong to him and there isn’t much he can make of it. Most of his speech consists of questions, few of which are answered, or even answerable.

But the triumph of the book, as of the film, is Mrs Robinson. If one essential quality of a good writer is the ability to make memorable characters who appear to transcend the work they appear in, then Mrs Robinson is one of the great monstrous creations of our time. Well-off, middle-aged, alcoholic, bitter, disillusioned, perverse and yet to be rescued by feminism, her situation is far worse than Benjamin’s.

Nonetheless, she is the book’s only potent character, a smooth, confident seductress, using Benjamin for sex while he is her more or less passive object. That, presumably, is how she likes them. Mrs Robinson, we know, will never consider her lover to be her equal. For her Benjamin is only of use if he is “just a kid”, and she always addresses him – with enraging superiority – in the firm terms of a mother to a child. “That’s enough,” she often says to him, suppressing his curiosity with her constant scolding.

Read more:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/sep/05/graduate-charles-webb

Mrs. Robinson: What are you so scared of?

Benjamin: I’m not scared, Mrs. Robinson.

Mrs. Robinson: Then why do you keep running away?

Benjamin: Because you’re going to bed. I don’t think I should be up here.

Mrs. Robinson: Haven’t you ever seen anybody in a slip before?

Benjamin: Yes, I have, but I just…Look, what if Mr. Robinson walked in right now?

Mrs. Robinson: What if he did?

Benjamin: Well, it would look pretty funny, wouldn’t it?

Mrs. Robinson: Don’t you think he trusts us together?

Benjamin: Of course he does, but he might get the wrong idea. Anyone might.

Mrs. Robinson: I don’t see why? I’m twice as old as you are. How could anyone think that…

Benjamin: But they would! Don’t you see?

Mrs. Robinson: Benjamin. I am not trying to seduce you!

Benjamin: I know that, but please, Mrs. Robinson. This is difficult..

Mrs. Robinson: Would you like me to seduce you?

Benjamin: What?

Mrs. Robinson: Is that what you’re trying to tell me?

Benjamin: [A long pause] I’m going home now. I apologize for what I said. I hope you can forget it. But I’m going home right now.

Mrs. Robinson: Benjamin, would this be easier for you in the dark?

Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson. I can’t do this.

Mrs. Robinson: You what?

Benjamin: This is all terribly wrong.

Mrs. Robinson: Do you find me undesirable?

Benjamin: Oh, no, Mrs. Robinson. I think, I think you’re the most attractive of all my parents’ friends. I mean that. I find you desirable, but I, for God’s sake, can you imagine my parents? Can you imagine what they would say if they just saw us in this room here right now?

Mrs. Robinson: What would they say?

Benjamin: I have no idea Mrs. Robinson, but for god’s sake, they brought me up, they made a good life for me and I think they deserve better than this. I think they deserve a little better than jumping into bed with the partner’s wife.

Mrs. Robinson: Are you afraid of me?

Benjamin: Oh, no. You’re missing the point. Look. Maybe we could do something else together. Mrs. Robinson, would you like to go to a movie?

Resource:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Graduate

Mike Nichols – The Graduate (1967)

(Mike Nichols) introduces us to a young college graduate (Dustin Hoffman) who returns to a ferociously stupid upper-middle-class California suburb. He would like the chance to sit around and think about his future for several months. You know — think?

His family and their social circle demand that he perform in the role of Successful Young Upward-Venturing Clean-Cut All-American College Grad. At the end of two weeks Benjamin is driven to such a pitch of desperation that he demonstrates a new scuba outfit (birthday present from proud dad) by standing on the bottom of the family pool: Alone at last.

One of his parents’ contemporaries (Anne Bancroft) seduces Benjamin, who succumbs mostly out of weariness and disbelief. Then he falls in love with her daughter (Katharine Ross), and sets in motion a fantastic chain of events that ends with Miss Ross (just married to a handsome blond Nordic pipe-smoking fraternity boy) being kidnapped from the altar by Benjamin. He jams a cross into the church door to prevent pursuit, and they escape on a bus.

This is outrageous material, but it works in “The Graduate” because it is handled in a straightforward manner. Dustin Hoffman is so painfully awkward and ethical that we are forced to admit we would act pretty much as he does, even in his most extreme moments. Anne Bancroft, in a tricky role, is magnificently sexy, shrewish, and self-possessed enough to make the seduction convincing.

Miss Ross, a newcomer previously seen in “Games,” not only creates a character with depth and honesty, but is so attractive that now we know how Ann-Margret would have looked if she had turned out better.

Nichols stays on top of his material. He never pauses to make sure we’re getting the point. He never explains for the slow-witted. He never apologizes. His only flaw, I believe, is the introduction of limp, wordy Simon and Garfunkel songs and arty camera work to suggest the passage of time between major scenes. Otherwise, “The Graduate” is a success and Benjamin’s acute honesty and embarrassment are so accurately drawn that we hardly know whether to laugh or to look inside ourselves.

Source:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-graduate-1967

Video:

Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate Soundtrack (1968)

The soundtrack to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate remains a key musical document of the late ’60s, although truth be told, its impact was much less artistic than commercial (and, for that matter, more negative than positive). With the exception of its centerpiece track, the elegiac and oft-quoted “Mrs. Robinson” — which only appears here as a pair of fragments — the Simon & Garfunkel songs that comprise much of the record (a series of Dave Grusin instrumentals round it out) appeared on the duo’s two preceding LPs; Nichols’ masterstroke was to transplant those songs into his film, where they not only meshed perfectly with the story’s themes of youthful rebellion and alienation (and the inner life of the central character, Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock) but also heralded a new era in movie music centered around the appropriation of past pop hits, a marketing gimmick that grew exponentially in the years to follow. The Graduate soundtrack, then, merits the dubious honor of being the earliest and one of the most successful Hollywood repackagings of “found” pop songs, a formula essentially based around coercing fans to purchase soundtrack albums filled with material they already own in order to acquire the occasional new track or two.

The album began its life because of Nichols’ enthusiasm for the duo’s music, and Columbia Records chief Clive Davis’ ability to persuade the pair of the importance of a soundtrack LP. Davis turned the actual making of the album over to producer Teo Macero, who approached it with skepticism — Paul Simon and Mike Nichols had discovered that they really weren’t on the same page, with Nichols rejecting “Overs” and “Punky’s Dilemma,” songs that ended up as highlights of the Bookends album, issued two months after The Graduate soundtrack. Thus, there wasn’t enough Simon & Garfunkel material to fill even one LP side, and only about eight minutes of that were “new” recordings, and barely a quarter of that (the “Mrs. Robinson” fragments) new song material. And there also wasn’t enough of David Grusin’s instrumental music (none of which meshed with the duo’s work) for an album. Macero combined this material into a musically awkward LP that somehow did its job — which, in Davis’ eyes, was to introduce Simon & Garfunkel’s music to the parents of their existing audience (topping the charts in the bargain, and turning Grusin’s “Sunporch Cha-Cha-Cha” into a favorite of easy listening stations). Fans of Simon & Garfunkel likely felt cheated by the presence of the “Mrs. Robinson” fragments, as well as repeats of the 1966-vintage “The Sound of Silence” and “April Come She Will,” and an edited extension of “Scarborough Fair/Canticle.” But there were two curiosities for the completist — a high-wattage, edited rendition of “The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine” (in a style seemingly parodying the sound of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited); and a gentle, subdued acoustic reprise of “The Sound of Silence,” which was possibly the best studio rendition the duo ever gave of the song.

Source:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-graduate-mw0000194820

Video:

Simon & Garfunkel – Mrs Robinson

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself
Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
It’s a little secret just the Robinsons affair
Most of all, you’ve got to hide it from the kids

Coo coo ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it when you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at it you lose

Where have you gone, Joe Di Maggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you woo woo woo
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
“Joltin Joe has left and gone away”
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

Source:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/mrs-robinson-lyrics-simon-and-garfunkel.html

Vídeo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6cR5furQac

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted
In my brain still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams, I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash
Of a neon light that split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices
Never shared and no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written
On the subway walls and tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

Source:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-sound-of-silence-lyrics-simon-and-garfunkel.html

A Room With A View

ventanaE.M. Foster – A Room With A View (1908)

It opens in Florence, where Lucy Honeychurch is on vacation with her older cousin Charlotte Bartlett.

Both women are disappointed that their rooms in the Pension Bertolini do not have views over the river. But when a fellow called Mr Emerson, who is staying at the hotel with his son George, offers to swap rooms, instead of thanking him for the kind offer, the women consider him impudent and ill-bred.

This one act of generosity by Mr Emerson sets off a whole chain of events — including a murder — in which Lucy (and Charlotte) are ever-entwined with both the father and son, not only in Italy, but back in England, too.

When the action shifts to Lucy’s childhood home — Windy Corner in Surrey, England — the reader must forgive one or two grating coincidences, because the Emersons move into a local cottage and suddenly there they are, just as they were in Florence, continually putting their foot in it and upsetting everyone’s sense of propriety.

For most of the novel, Lucy struggles with working out what she wants from her rather cosseted life. Should she continue to travel and seek out adventure, or should she settle down and get married? When she finally accepts Cecil Vyse’s proposal of marriage (she refuses twice), her future looks mapped out for her. But it’s clear the match is not a good one.

While A Room with a View is a kind of treatise about a woman’s right to be independent, it’s actually quite a light-hearted book filled with comic moments. Forster seems particularly scathing of tourists and there’s some delicious references to the writing profession — ” ‘All modern books are bad,’ said Cecil, who was annoyed at her inattention, and vented his annoyance on literature. ‘Everyone writes for money these days.’ ”

Read more:

http://kimbofo.typepad.com/readingmatters/2012/03/a-room-with-a-view-by-em-forster.html

“So, Miss Honeychurch, you are travelling? As a student of art?”

“Oh, dear me, no—oh, no!”

“Perhaps as a student of human nature,” interposed Miss Lavish, “like myself?”

“Oh, no. I am here as a tourist.”

“Oh, indeed,” said Mr. Eager. “Are you indeed? If you will not think me rude, we residents sometimes pity you poor tourists not a little—handed about like a parcel of goods from Venice to Florence, from Florence to Rome, living herded together in pensions or hotels, quite unconscious of anything that is outside Baedeker, their one anxiety to get ‘done’ or ‘through’ and go on somewhere else. The result is, they mix up towns, rivers, palaces in one inextricable whirl. You know the American girl in Punch who says: ‘Say, poppa, what did we see at Rome?’ And the father replies: ‘Why, guess Rome was the place where we saw the yaller dog.’ There’s travelling for you. Ha! ha! ha!”

“I quite agree,” said Miss Lavish, who had several times tried to interrupt his mordant wit. “The narrowness and superficiality of the Anglo-Saxon tourist is nothing less than a menace.”

“Quite so. Now, the English colony at Florence, Miss Honeychurch—and it is of considerable size, though, of course, not all equally—a few are here for trade, for example. But the greater part are students. Lady Helen Laverstock is at present busy over Fra Angelico. I mention her name because we are passing her villa on the left. No, you can only see it if you stand—no, do not stand; you will fall. She is very proud of that thick hedge. Inside, perfect seclusion. One might have gone back six hundred years. Some critics believe that her garden was the scene of The Decameron, which lends it an additional interest, does it not?”

“It does indeed!” cried Miss Lavish. “Tell me, where do they place the scene of that wonderful seventh day?”

But Mr. Eager proceeded to tell Miss Honeychurch that on the right lived Mr. Someone Something, an American of the best type—so rare!–and that the Somebody Elses were farther down the hill. “Doubtless you know her monographs in the series of ‘Mediaeval Byways’? He is working at Gemistus Pletho. Sometimes as I take tea in their beautiful grounds I hear, over the wall, the electric tram squealing up the new road with its loads of hot, dusty, unintelligent tourists who are going to ‘do’ Fiesole in an hour in order that they may say they have been there, and I think—think—I think how little they think what lies so near them.”

During this speech the two figures on the box were sporting with each other disgracefully. Lucy had a spasm of envy. Granted that they wished to misbehave, it was pleasant for them to be able to do so. They were probably the only people enjoying the expedition. The carriage swept with agonizing jolts up through the Piazza of Fiesole and into the Settignano road.

“Piano! piano!” said Mr. Eager, elegantly waving his hand over his head.

“Va bene, signore, va bene, va bene,” crooned the driver, and whipped his horses up again.

Now Mr. Eager and Miss Lavish began to talk against each other on the subject of Alessio Baldovinetti. Was he a cause of the Renaissance, or was he one of its manifestations? The other carriage was left behind. As the pace increased to a gallop the large, slumbering form of Mr. Emerson was thrown against the chaplain with the regularity of a machine.

“Piano! piano!” said he, with a martyred look at Lucy.

An extra lurch made him turn angrily in his seat. Phaethon, who for some time had been endeavouring to kiss Persephone, had just succeeded.

A little scene ensued, which, as Miss Bartlett said afterwards, was most unpleasant. The horses were stopped, the lovers were ordered to disentangle themselves, the boy was to lose his pourboire, the girl was immediately to get down.

“She is my sister,” said he, turning round on them with piteous eyes.

Eager took the trouble to tell him that he was a liar.

Phaethon hung down his head, not at the matter of the accusation, but at its manner. At this point Mr. Emerson, whom the shock of stopping had awoke, declared that the lovers must on no account be separated, and patted them on the back to signify his approval. And Miss Lavish, though unwilling to ally him, felt bound to support the cause of Bohemianism.

“Most certainly I would let them be,” she cried. “But I dare say I shall receive scant support. I have always flown in the face of the conventions all my life. This is what I call an adventure.”

“We must not submit,” said Mr. Eager. “I knew he was trying it on. He is treating us as if we were a party of Cook’s tourists.”

“Surely no!” said Miss Lavish, her ardour visibly decreasing.

The other carriage had drawn up behind, and sensible Mr. Beebe called out that after this warning the couple would be sure to behave themselves properly.

“Leave them alone,” Mr. Emerson begged the chaplain, of whom he stood in no awe. “Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there? To be driven by lovers—A king might envy us, and if we part them it’s more like sacrilege than anything I know.”

Here the voice of Miss Bartlett was heard saying that a crowd had begun to collect.

Eager, who suffered from an over-fluent tongue rather than a resolute will, was determined to make himself heard. He addressed the driver again. Italian in the mouth of Italians is a deep-voiced stream, with unexpected cataracts and boulders to preserve it from monotony. In Mr. Eager’s mouth it resembled nothing so much as an acid whistling fountain which played ever higher and higher, and quicker and quicker, and more and more shrilly, till abruptly it was turned off with a click.

“Signorina!” said the man to Lucy, when the display had ceased. Why should he appeal to Lucy?

“Signorina!” echoed Persephone in her glorious contralto. She pointed at the other carriage. Why?

For a moment the two girls looked at each other. Then Persephone got down from the box.

“Victory at last!” said Mr. Eager, smiting his hands together as the carriages started again.

“It is not victory,” said Mr. Emerson. “It is defeat. You have parted two people who were happy.”

Eager shut his eyes. He was obliged to sit next to Mr. Emerson, but he would not speak to him. The old man was refreshed by sleep, and took up the matter warmly. He commanded Lucy to agree with him; he shouted for support to his son.

“We have tried to buy what cannot be bought with money. He has bargained to drive us, and he is doing it. We have no rights over his soul.”

Miss Lavish frowned. It is hard when a person you have classed as typically British speaks out of his character.

He was not driving us well,” she said. “He jolted us.”

“That I deny. It was as restful as sleeping. Aha! he is jolting us now. Can you wonder? He would like to throw us out, and most certainly he is justified. And if I were superstitious I’d be frightened of the girl, too. It doesn’t do to injure young people. Have you ever heard of Lorenzo de Medici?”

Miss Lavish bristled.

“Most certainly I have. Do you refer to Lorenzo il Magnifico, or to Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, or to Lorenzo surnamed Lorenzino on account of his diminutive stature?”

“The Lord knows. Possibly he does know, for I refer to Lorenzo the poet. He wrote a line—so I heard yesterday—which runs like this: ‘Don’t go fighting against the Spring.’”

Eager could not resist the opportunity for erudition.

“Non fate guerra al Maggio,” he murmured. “’War not with the May’ would render a correct meaning.”

“The point is, we have warred with it. Look.” He pointed to the Val d’Arno, which was visible far below them, through the budding trees. “Fifty miles of Spring, and we’ve come up to admire them. Do you suppose there’s any difference between Spring in nature and Spring in man? But there we go, praising the one and condemning the other as improper, ashamed that the same work eternally through both.”

No one encouraged him to talk. Presently Mr. Eager gave a signal for the carriages to stop and marshalled the party for their ramble on the hill. A hollow like a great amphitheatre, full of terraced steps and misty olives, now lay between them and the heights of Fiesole, and the road, still following its curve, was about to sweep on to a promontory which stood out in the plain. It was this promontory, uncultivated, wet, covered with bushes and occasional trees, which had caught the fancy of Alessio Baldovinetti nearly five hundred years before. He had ascended it, that diligent and rather obscure master, possibly with an eye to business, possibly for the joy of ascending. Standing there, he had seen that view of the Val d’Arno and distant Florence, which he afterwards had introduced not very effectively into his work. But where exactly had he stood? That was the question which Mr. Eager hoped to solve now. And Miss Lavish, whose nature was attracted by anything problematical, had become equally enthusiastic.

Source:

http://www.classicreader.com/book/538/6/

James Ivory – A Room with a view (1985)

Directed by James Ivory. With Maggie Smith as Charlotte Bartlett, Lucy Honeychurch as Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott as Mr. Emerson, Julian Sands George as Emerson, Daniel Day Lewis as  Cecil Vyse, Simon Callow as Mr. Beebe,  Judi Dench as Miss Lavish, Rosemary Leach as Mrs. Honeychurch,  Rupert Graves as Freddy Honeychurch,  Patrick Godfrey as Mr. Eager,  Fabia Drake Catherine Alan, Joan Henley as Teresa Alan.

The Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala ”Room With a View” is like a holiday out of time. It’s a journey into another dimension as it travels from the dangerously seductive settings of Florence, with its foul smells and Renaissance glories, to the more serene landscapes of England, where undeclared wars are fought over tea cups. Back home, Lucy compounds her ”muddle” by becoming engaged to the supposedly suitable Cecil Vyse, who is far more in love with himself and his own responses to ”Art” than he is with now increasingly restive Lucy.

”A Room With a View” is full of rich roles, splendidly acted by a cast made up of both newcomers and familiar performers like Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliott, who seem to keep getting better and better with time. Miss Smith plays Charlotte, Lucy’s high-minded but meddlesome cousin, the sort of woman whose worst foible is gossip and not, as she claims, ”the prompt settling of accounts.” Very much her match is Mr. Elliott, who plays George Emerson’s father, a retired Socialist newspaperman and the only character in the film who is capable of expressing his feelings directly.

The real star of the film, though, is the very beautiful Helena Bonham Carter, seen here recently in the title role of ”Lady Jane.” As Lucy Honeychurch, Miss Bonham Carter gives a remarkably complex performance of a young woman who is simultaneously reasonable and romantic, generous and selfish, and timid right up to the point where she takes a heedless plunge into the unknown.

Spectacular, too, is a new young actor named Daniel Day Lewis, who plays the insufferable Cecil Vyse with a style and a wit that are all the more remarkable when compared to his very different characterization in ”My Beautiful Laundrette” (review on page C8). Julian Sands, who played the English photographer in ”The Killing Fields,” is equally good as the utterly straightforward George Emerson.

Among the noteworthy supporting performers are Judi Dench as Miss Lavish, the ubiquitous ”female novelist” Lucy meets in Florence; Simon Callow as clergyman, Mr. Beebe, and Rosemary Leach as Lucy’s mother.

The film, photographed by Tony Pierce-Roberts, looks terrific, but maybe more important than anything else is the narrative tone. Mr. Ivory and Miss Jhabvala have somehow found a voice for the film not unlike that of Forster, who tells the story of ”A Room With a View” with as much genuine concern as astonished amusement. That’s quite an achievement.

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9A0DE7DC1230F934A35750C0A960948260

Video:

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

moonWilliam Shakespeare – A Midsummer’s Night Dream (mid 1590s)

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream… flows a luxuriant vein of the noblest and most fantastical invention; the most extraordinary combination of very dissimilar ingredients seems to have brought about without effort by some ingenious and lucky accident, and the colors are of such clear transparency that we think the whole of the variegated fabric may be blown away with a breath. The fairy world here described resembles those elegant pieces of arabesque, where little genii with butterfly wings rise, half embodied, above the flower-cups. Twilight, moonshine, dew and spring perfumes are the element of these tender spirits; they assist nature in embroidering her carpet with green leaves, many-colored flowers and glittering insects; in the human world they do but make sport childishly and waywardly with their beneficent or noxious influences. Their most violent rage dissolves in good-natured raillery; their passions, stripped of all earthly matter, are merely an ideal dream. To correspond with this, the love of mortals is painted as a poetical enchantment which, by a contrary enchantment, may be immediately suspended and then renewed again. The different parts of the plot; the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, Oberon and Titania’s quarrel, the flight of the two pair of lovers, and the theatrical manœuvres of the mechanics, are so lightly and happily interwoven that they seem necessary to each other for the formation of the whole.

Oberon is desirous of relieving the lovers from their perplexities, but greatly adds to them through the mistake of his minister, till he at last comes really to the aid of their fruitless amorous pain, their inconstancy and jealousy, and restores fidelity to its old rights. The extremes of fanciful and vulgar are united when the enchanted Titania awakes and falls in love with a coarse mechanic with an ass’s head, who represents, or rather disfigures, the part of a tragical lover. The droll wonder of Bottom’s transformation is merely the translation of a metaphor in its literal sense; but in his behavior during the tender homage of the Fairy Queen we have an amusing proof how much the consciousness of such a head-dress heightens the effect of his usual folly. Theseus and Hippolyta are, as it were, a splendid frame for the picture; they take no part in the action, but surround it with a stately pomp. The discourse of the hero and his Amazon, as they course through the forest with their noisy hunting-train, works upon the imagination like the fresh breath of morning, before which the shapes of night disappear. Pyramus and Thisbe is not unmeaningly chosen as the grotesque play within the play; it is exactly like the pathetic part of the piece, a secret meeting of two lovers in the forest, and their separation by an unfortunate accident, and closes the whole with the most amusing parody.

Source:

http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/midsummer001.html

ACT IV

SCENE I. The same. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA lying asleep.

Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and other Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen

TITANIA Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

BOTTOM Where’s Peaseblossom?

PEASEBLOSSOM Ready.

BOTTOM Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where’s Mounsieur Cobweb?

COBWEB Ready.

BOTTOM Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your
weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good
mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and,
good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not;
I would be loath to have you overflown with a
honey-bag, signior. Where’s Mounsieur Mustardseed?

MUSTARDSEED Ready.

BOTTOM Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you,
leave your courtesy, good mounsieur.

MUSTARDSEED What’s your Will?

BOTTOM Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb
to scratch. I must to the barber’s, monsieur; for
methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
I must scratch.

TITANIA What, wilt thou hear some music,
my sweet love?

BOTTOM I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let’s have
the tongs and the bones.

TITANIA Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

BOTTOM Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good
dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

TITANIA I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel’s hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

BOTTOM I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

TITANIA Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

Exeunt fairies

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

They sleep

Enter PUCK

OBERON [Advancing] Welcome, good Robin.
See’st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowerets’ eyes
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had at my pleasure taunted her
And she in mild terms begg’d my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair
And think no more of this night’s accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see:
Dian’s bud o’er Cupid’s flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

TITANIA My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour’d of an ass.

OBERON There lies your love.

TITANIA How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

OBERON Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

TITANIA Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!

Music, still

PUCK Now, when thou wakest, with thine
own fool’s eyes peep.

OBERON Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus’ house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

PUCK Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.

OBERON Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night’s shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.

TITANIA Come, my lord, and in our flight
Tell me how it came this night
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.

Source:

http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

Video:

Max Reinhardt – A Midsummer Night’s dream (1935)

Directed by Max Reinhardt. With James Cagney (Bottom), Dick Powell (Lysander), Joe E. Brown (Flute), Jean Muir (Helena), Hugh Herbert (Snout), Ian Hunter (Theseus), Frank McHugh (Quince), Victor Jory (Oberon), Olivia de Havilland (Hermia), Ross Alexander (Demetrius), Verree Teasdale (Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons), Anita Louise (Titania), Mickey Rooney (Puck), Arthur Treacher (Ninny’s Tomb), Billy Barty (Mustard Seed), Kenneth Anger (Changeling Prince), Angelo Rossitto (Gnome).
BW-144m. Closed captioning.
…Reinhardt’s Dream is a relic of the kind of Shakespeare that was being staged in the Edwardian era. Shakespeare had been a source for motion pictures since the art form was invented, but this Midsummer Night’s Dream represents the first big-budget Hollywood production of The Bard in the talkie era. That it came from Warner Brothers is integral to its curious composition, for that studio was best known for gangster thrillers and romantic musicals (thus, studio-contracted actors such as James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, and Dick Powell play major roles). In the long view, it seems fitting that a studio specializing in such mass-appeal fare would be best suited to do Shakespeare, and do him right.

However, in Depression-era America, Shakespeare was high art and an Old Country import. Warner Brothers wanted to make a prestige film, and the studio not only considered Shakespeare the epitome of prestige, it hired a man who, by Hollywood standards, was the most prestigious theater practitioner of the day. Reinhardt, a visionary who developed the concept of spectacle theater, had staged an elaborate Dream in his native Austria that he reprised at the Hollywood Bowl. Jack Warner saw this show, and his studio hired Reinhardt to replicate the spectacle on film. Reinhardt’s movie-making and English-speaking skills were scant, so William Dieterle was brought in to be co-director. What we get is Reinhardt’s extravagances combined with Dieterle’s technical skills.

Read more:

http://www.shakespeareances.com/willpower/onscreen/Midsummer-WB35.html

Video:

Benjamin Britten – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1960)

The opera begins with Shakespeare’s sec­ond act — in the woods — and there are only six words in the libretto that are not in the orig­i­nal play. To clar­ify why Her­mia and Lysander are flee­ing Athens (one of the major plot points in Shakespeare’s first act), Brit­ten and Pears added the line, “com­pelling thee to marry with Demetrius,” for Lysander to explain Hermia’s plight.

One of the things I like about Britten’s adap­ta­tion is that he starts in the woods,” says Edward Berke­ley, direc­tor of Aspen Opera The­ater Cen­ter. “The music at the begin­ning has the feel­ing of threat, of some­thing omi­nous going on. In the play, and the opera as well, the Shake­spearean tan­gle is actu­ally a place where peo­ple go to essen­tially resolve inner issues that they can’t resolve in soci­ety.  So the Shake­spearean wild is like a place of psy­cho­log­i­cal night­mare.” By start­ing in the woods, it means that only the final scene of the opera takes place else­where — after the char­ac­ters have resolved their dilemmas.

The music Brit­ten wrote for the open­ing of the opera, plus a lot of the Fairy music and for Oberon and Tyta­nia, has a sense of dis­or­der,” Berke­ley points out. “I think the best of the lovers’ music comes when they start fight­ing, and the music is at its most dis­or­derly. There’s the sense the lovers have left orga­nized soci­ety, ready to bat­tle it out. They’ve had to go to another place. It’s as if we have to leave soci­ety to resolve things.”

The orches­tral music with which Brit­ten opens the opera imme­di­ately places us in the woods, the glis­san­dos in the muted strings — repeat­edly mov­ing up and down the scale — sug­gest­ing the breath­ing of some­one deep in sleep. Or per­haps it is the sound of the wood at night, with creak­ing branches; or the sound of the magic spell that is on the wood and every­one who comes within it.

Britten’s music bril­liantly depicts the three dif­fer­ent worlds of the play – the world of the Fairies, the world of the human lovers, and the world of the Rus­tics, as Brit­ten called Shakespeare’s “rude mechan­i­cals” – by giv­ing them each a dis­tinc­tive musi­cal sig­na­ture. The fairies have a rather del­i­cate sound from the orches­tra: harps, harp­si­chord, celesta and per­cus­sion. Oberon, King of the Fairies, is a coun­tertenor (see side­bar), his Queen, Tyta­nia, is a col­oratura soprano, and the fairies are sung by a children’s cho­rus. Puck is a speak­ing role, accom­pa­nied by drum and solo trum­pet, though the exact rhythm of his words is notated in the score. “I got the idea of doing Puck like this in Stock­holm where I saw some Swedish child acro­bats with extra­or­di­nary agility and pow­ers of mim­icry,” Brit­ten explained.

Read more:

http://paulthomasonwriter.com/a-midsummer-nights-dream-benjamin-britten/

Video:

George Balanchine (Felix Meldenssohn’ music) – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1962)

A ballet about the transforming power of love, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is based on William Shakespeare’s comedy about the romantic adventures and misadventures, quarrels and reunitings, of two pairs of mortal lovers and the king and queen of the fairies. The ballet, through its themes of reality versus illusion, and change versus constancy, displays love in all its guises. In the first act there are dances of unrequited love and love that is reconciled. There is a pas de deux for the Fairy Queen Titania and Bottom, who has been turned into an Ass — a perfect illustration in dance of the old proverb, “love is blind.” In the second act, which opens with Mendelssohn’s familiar Wedding March, there is a pas de deux representing ideal, untroubled love.

Shakespeare’s 1595 play has been the source for films, an opera by Benjamin Britten (1960), and a one-act ballet by Frederick Ashton, called The Dream (1964). George Balanchine’s version, which premiered in 1962, was the first wholly original evening-length ballet he choreographed in America. On April 24, 1964, A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened the New York City Ballet’s first repertory season at the New York State Theater. Balanchine had been familiar with Shakespeare’s play from an early age. At age eight he had appeared as an elf in a production in St. Petersburg, and he could recite portions of the play by heart in Russian. Balanchine loved Mendelssohn’s overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (composed respectively in 1826 and 1843), and it is this score, Balanchine later said, that inspired his choreography. Mendelssohn had written only about an hour’s worth of music for the play (not enough for an evening-length dance work), so for twenty years Balanchine studied the composer’s other oeuvre, finally selecting a number of additional overtures, a nocturne, an intermezzo and a portion of Symphony #9 to weave together the ballet score.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was a German composer of the Romantic Era. Like Mozart, he was a child prodigy who excelled in every aspect of music: he was one of the finest pianists of his time, as well as an excellent conductor and well-known educator. Mendelssohn was only 17 when he wrote the overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which musically introduces all of the ballet’s characters and themes.

Source:

http://balanchine.com/a-midsummer-nights-dream/

Video:

Michael Hoffman – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)

Directed by Michael Hoffman. With Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Stanley Tucci, Calista Flockhart, Anna Friel, Christian Bale, Dominic West, David Strathairn, Sophie Marceau, Roger Rees, Max Wright, Sam Rockwell, Bernard Hill, John Sessions

Much of the play’s fun comes during a long night in the forest, where the mischiefmaker anoints the eyes of sleeping lovers with magic potions that cause them to adore the first person they see upon awakening.

This causes all sorts of confusions, not least when Titania, the Fairy Queen herself, falls in love with a weaver who has grown donkey’s ears. The weaver is Bottom (Kevin Kline), and he and the mischievous Puck (Stanley Tucci) are the most important characters in the play, although it also involves dukes, kings, queens and high-born lovers. Bottom has a good heart and bumbles through, and Puck (also called Robin Goodfellow) spreads misunderstanding wherever he goes. The young lovers are pawns in a magic show: When they can’t see the one they love, they love the one they see.

Michael Hoffman’s new film of “William Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream” (who else’s?) is updated to the 19th century, set in Italy and furnished with bicycles and operatic interludes. But it is founded on Shakespeare’s language and is faithful, by and large, to the original play. Harold Bloom complains in his wise best seller, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, that the play’s romantic capers have been twisted by modern adaptations into “the notion that sexual violence and bestiality are at the center of this humane and wise drama.” He might approve of this version, which is gentle and lighthearted, and portrays Bottom not as a lustful animal but as a nice enough fellow who has had the misfortune to wake up with donkey’s ears–“amiably innocent, and not very bawdy,” as Bloom describes him.

Read more:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/william-shakespeares-a-midsummer-nights-dream-1999

Video:

The Talented Mr Ripley

ripleyPatricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr Ripley (1955)

“Forever, Tom thought. Maybe he’d never go back to the States. It was not so much Europe itself as the evenings he had spent alone, here and in Rome, that made him feel that way. Evenings by himself simply looking at maps, or lying around on sofas thumbing through guidebooks. Evenings looking at his clothes – his clothes and Dickie’s – and feeling Dickie’s rings between his palms, and running his fingers over the antelope suitcase he had bought at Gucci’s. He had polished the suitcase with a special English leather dressing, not that it needed polishing because he took such good care of it, but for its protection. He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality.
Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take money, masses of money, it took a certain security. He had been on the road to it, even with Marc Priminger. He had appreciated Marc’s possessions, and they were
what had attracted him to the house, but they were not his own, and it had been impossible to make a beginning at acquiring anything of his own on forty dollars a week. It would have taken him the best years of his life, even if he had economised stringently, to buy the things he wanted. Dickie’s money had given him only an added momentum on the road he had been travelling. The money gave him the leisure to see Greece, to collect Etruscan pottery if he wanted (he had recently read an interesting book on that subject by an American living in Rome), to join art societies if he cared to and to donate to their work. It gave him the leisure, for instance, to read his Malraux tonight as late as he pleased, because he did not have to go to a job in the morning. He had just bought a two-volume edition of Malraux’s Psychologic de I’art which he was now reading, with great pleasure, in French with the aid of a dictionary.”

Source:

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1817520-the-talented-mr-ripley

Vídeo:

Early one morning in the summer of 1952, Patricia Highsmith awoke in a room at the Albergo Miramare hotel in Positano, Italy. The 31-year-old author had been traveling through Europe with her girlfriend, Ellen Blumenthal Hill, and the two weren’t getting along. Leaving Hill in bed, Highsmith walked to the end of a balcony overlooking the beach. It’s not as if things weren’t going well for her—her novel Strangers on a Train had just been adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock. But the tumultuous relationship was taking a toll. As she gazed out at the sand, pulling on a cigarette, she watched “a solitary young man in shorts and sandals, with a towel flung over his shoulder, making his way along the beach. There was an air of pensiveness about him, maybe unease,” she recalled in a 1989 issue of Granta magazine. She started to wonder: “Had he quarreled with someone? What was on his mind?”

The intrigue stuck with her. Two years later, while living in a cottage rented from an undertaker in Lenox, Mass., Highsmith drew from that image as she began a new novel, about a man named Tom Ripley. Even then, she sensed that she was onto something special. “She considered [The Talented Mr. Ripley] ‘healthier’ and ‘handsomer’ than her other books at its ‘birth,’” Joan Schenkar writes in her excellent biography The Talented Miss Highsmith.

Highsmith’s instincts were correct: With the charming sociopath Ripley, she’d created a new type of character entirely. In five novels over the next four decades, he’d become not only her most acclaimed and memorable creation but the prototype for a new kind of antihero: the unlikable, immoral, cold-blooded killer we can’t help but like anyway. Ripley was a character so fully realized, so simultaneously compelling and disturbing, it seemed as if he were based on someone Highsmith knew intimately. In a sense, he was:

An orphan unhappily raised by an icy aunt, 23-year-old Tom Ripley is living in New York City when we first meet him, trying his hand at casual extortion. In a bar one night, he’s approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf, father of an acquaintance, Dickie. Greenleaf is looking for someone who might persuade his son to return home from the bohemian life he’s been leading in the Italian village of Mongibello, and Tom seizes the opportunity. But what he finds when he locates Dickie is something he hadn’t expected: a glimpse of the privileged existence he’s always dreamed of.

Read more:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/56628/101-masterpieces-talented-mr-ripley

René Clement – Plein Soleil (1960)

Tom Ripley – sociopath, parasite, killer – is the famous creation of Patricia Highsmith, and René Clément’s 1960 film Plein Soleil, or Purple Noon is re-released in cinemas, his adaptation of Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley, the first in a sequence of five Ripley novels. This approaches the book very differently from Anthony Minghella’s 1999 version, plunging us straight into the envious, unwholesome intimacy of Ripley (an eerily beautiful Alain Delon) with rich pal Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) on vacation on his luxury motoryacht; Clément fills in the backstory details later. As a thriller, it has to be said that this story has dated a good deal. In the late 1950s and 60s, what Ripley was able to get away with in terms of violence and impersonation in far-flung Europe was just about plausible; now in the era of forensic investigation, CCTV and Google Images, it is all pure fantasy, and I have always found the action that follows Ripley’s first ruthless act a little farcical. But Delon is a terrifically good in the role: his almost unearthly perfection is creepy itself, as if he is imitating a human being. This is a man, you think, who has grown used to a dazed, rapt expression on the faces of people talking to him, accustomed to their submissive awe, and yet with a diabolical insight into how that magnetism can be harnessed to manipulate and coerce. Delon’s Ripley is a Dorian Gray portrait of male beauty and unscrupulous daring, untroubled by conscience.

Source:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/aug/29/plein-soleil-review

Vídeo:

Anthony Minghella – The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

Written and directed by Anthony Minghella; based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. With Matt Damon (Tom Ripley), Gwyneth Paltrow (Marge Sherwood), Jude Law (Dickie Greenleaf), Cate Blanchett (Meredith Logue), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Freddie Miles), Jack Davenport (Peter Smith-Kingsley), James Rebhorn (Herbert Greenleaf) and Sergio Rubini (Inspector Roverini).

A FLOOD of adjectives bursts onto the screen at the start of Anthony Minghella’s glittering new thriller, considering ways to describe Tom Ripley before settling on ”talented” as le mot juste. This is only a minuscule show of ingenuity, but it’s also a promise that the film will keep. ”The Talented Mr. Ripley” offers diabolically smart surprises wherever you care to look.

His hypnotic, sensually charged adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s fascinatingly reptilian murder story has the same kind of complex allure that made ”The English Patient” so mesmerizing. This is a more conventional opportunity, being essentially the story of a homoerotic Faustian bargain played for keeps. But Mr. Minghella, who wrote and directed ”The Talented Mr. Ripley” with acute attention to every nuance, significantly broadens what Ms. Highsmith had in mind. Adding a couple of important new characters and bringing the secrets of Tom’s sexual longings to the surface, he risks losing the profound chill that made Ripley so disturbing in the first place. The character is several shades less loathsome and more conscience-stricken than he was to begin with, and his homosexuality is more openly expressed. But as played by Matt Damon with a fine, tricky mix of obsequiousness and ruthlessness, the nicer new Ripley is in no danger of losing his sting.

In a scenic, voluptuously beautiful film (kudos to the cinematographer, John Seale) that has a traffic-stopping cast, Mr. Minghella carefully plants the seeds of mayhem. When Tom is hired by Dickie’s father (James Rebhorn) to bring the ne’er-do-well Greenleaf scion home from Italy, he contrives to bump into Dickie on the beach and to echo Dickie’s infatuation with American jazz. The year is 1958, and it seems an impossibly glamorous time as depicted among pampered American expatriates in some of Italy’s most breathtaking settings.

Tom’s tricks, from wearing an embarrassingly skimpy chartreuse bathing suit to casually flashing some of Dickie’s favorite record albums, neatly accomplish their purpose. Soon he has made himself Dickie’s latest diversion, and managed this without even alienating Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), Dickie’s girlfriend. Marge was a thick, lumpen target for Tom’s misogyny in Ms. Highsmith’s version. Here, though still hopelessly oblivious to sexual currents between the men, she becomes a reminder that Ms. Paltrow makes as savvy a character actress as she does a swanlike leading lady.

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http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F06E7DE1239F937A15751C1A96F958260

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