Nonrealism in fiction.

William Boyd, who reviewed Lanark for the Times Literary Implement when it was originally published, commented on rereading the book and his review last week in the article Return to Unthank: "I still prefer Thaw's story to Lanark's, but I recognise now what I didn't see 25 years ago: that it was Lanark's very awkward bulky scale, its ostentatious manipulations of structure, its extra-parochial pretensions, its allusiveness and its overt and purposeful invitation to exegesis and literary comparison that raise the book to another level."

I went to see Lunacy (Sileni, originally), the most recent Svankmajer film, at the FIlmhouse. After Conspirators of Pleasure, I was very disappointed. I didn't really think it was up to much at all, apart from the meat animation sequences between each scene. It's based on Poe and de Sade, and the Marquis character was given to launching into enormous expository diatribes that made me want to stab him with bicycle spokes, fall asleep or go home. There's a scene with a blasphemous mass which reminded me too strongly of the Onion article with Madge Manson going round doors begging people to be offended. The characters in Conspirators of Pleasure managed to be entirely mute and yet speak eloquently. In Lunacy, they drone on ceaselessly and still say nothing. The scenes in the mental hospital are pitifully weak - I visit one every week, and frankly unless you're going to set your piece in the past (which Svankmajer hasn't) you're just going to look irrelevant if you come across as not having any idea what the places have been like at any point in the last century. Using psychiatry as a metaphor for society is all very well (perfectly fine, in fact) unless you lose touch with the fact that neither society nor psychiatry currently have the properties you're discussing. In conclusion: F. Try again, and this time make it as good as your previous two films.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: disappointed
  • Current Music: odd beepings
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