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What are you reading?

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 9th, 2013, 8:00 am

JackFavell wrote:Maybe this is the reason it is such a classic? That you come back and see it so differently as a mature person? I felt the same way when I re-read Gatsby a few years back - I read it every so often, but in the last few years I've had less patience with Gatsby and Nick and Daisy. Rather than thinking it a grand love story it is to me a story of friendship in the face of modern age selfishness. Love can't exist in such a practical vacuum, not between a man and woman, and only tentatively between two men.

I've never liked Vronsky quite either, he's too callow in the end for my liking, but I bet GIlbert could have given it a wonderful spin had there been such a thing as miniseries back then. Gilbert was smart enough to have caught the romance of him, but also that waning passion that drove him away as well. I could see him portraying the anger, irritation and guilt equally as well as the love scenes. It sounds weird but I think you'll know what I mean when I say he would have had the depth to play shallow perfectly. Maybe shallow isn't exactly the word for Vronsky, maybe it's just the same things that brought them together passionately are the things that make their relationship dip and sway over the edge into frustration and even boredom at the end.


I reread The Great Gatsby a few months ago, I felt just the same about them as you, I also listened to Tender is the Night, I had the same reaction, the stories are very similar, Gatsby being the more polished by Tender perhaps being more biographical. I've never seen the film of Tender but knew it was Jennifer Jones as Nicole which I could see as great casting when she was young. I saw William Holden as Dick, I've no idea if he played him, I almost don't want to know so firmly did I hold Holden in my head when listening.

I know what you mean about Vronsky, it's what I meant too and I've always disliked him because of what he cost Anna but as I'm older it's far more shaded, I still don't like him but he meant to stay with her, he just can't cope with her lack of status and her disintegration which he helps. Anna, I don't hold as much sympathy with her as I did the first couple of times I read, then I thought she was caught up in something she couldn't stop now I think she could and she could have had had Vronsky too. It's so multi-layered. The downside of audiobooks is the amount of times I have to press stop as a child wants a drink or something, it does interrupt the flow, whereas I'd put aside quiet time for reading with audiobooks I'm quite greedy.

I like the sound of the cat poems, Masha, it's made me chuckle.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby JackFavell » July 9th, 2013, 9:18 am

William Holden would be a good choice... but it wasn't him. :D

I think they are in the planning stages of a new version with Matt Damon and Keira Knightley. I don't know how I feel about that. it could work perhaps.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 9th, 2013, 12:12 pm

I have a feeling it was Rock, I had to cast that out of my mind as it wasn't him in my mind, it was Bill Holden.

I'm getting to the end of Anna, it's quite heartbreaking, she's breaking down and becoming catty with dear Kitty (my favourite although I have a soft spot for Dolly too) but it's so believable. I can't believe a man caught a woman's inner turmoil so well.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby JackFavell » July 9th, 2013, 2:25 pm

It wasn't Rock either. It was Jason Robards Jr. which to me is just plain weird, since I had thought for sure it was Gregory Peck. I've never seen the movie so I have no idea how Robards was in the role. He's a fine actor, but needs good casting to really make a mark with me. Beautiful in O'Neill plays, in the wrong role he can seem quite strident to me. Not sure if I really see him as Dick Diver.

I guess I should re-read Anna one of these days, I am not big on Russian lit anymore, not sure I have the attention span for it. It's better for me than South American lit or Chinese lit. I've never really been able to delve into either of those country's works much. I'm not sure why.

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JackFavell
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby JackFavell » July 9th, 2013, 4:14 pm

That's too funny, Masha! I'll admit, it made me feel better about watching classic films. :D That's a great way to learn English, you and your fiance are so inventive.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 10th, 2013, 8:47 am

If I ever try to learn another language I'll remember the technique.

I gave in and looked, Jason Robards Jnr, that is strange casting, such a big name book and much as I like his work it perhaps needed a bigger named actor. Jennifer Jones is right as Nicole although perhaps a little too old, they wouldn't bat an eye lid today about giving an actress older than she should be a role of a youngish woman.

I've got to the end of Anna, I remember reading it in the hiatus of finishing work before I had Libby and I loved it then, now I was somewhat out of patience with some of it. There is a great deal devoted to Levin, more than Anna herself, without getting into the realms of literature critiquing, he is the opposite of Anna, he dissects things, he worries, procrastinates, is morose, doesn't care if he's rude to people whereas she cares a great deal, there is so much to Levin and his story which is about Russia and the questions of the time, some unanswered even today. In the between time of reading Anna I realise I have watched at least 3 versions and some on more than one occasion and the story breaks down to the rending apart of a marriage for a great passion and the suffering of the mother for the loss of her little boy. It's not true, she does suffer for the loss of her little boy but it's not her reasoning for her actions, it is her despair at her situation and the fear that she is losing Vronsky. My compassion for Anna is barely there, I can understand her mental anguish but not her final decision, it is done as much to make Vronsky suffer as to alleviate her pain. I'm afraid I agree with Vronsky's mother who feels she is heartless. Anna Karenina was captured totally by Vivien Leigh for me but Vivien added some sympathy, the feelings for the boy, as did Garbo. I just can't believe how much I can't sympathise with her. I'm left with asking myself is it because I'm listening to an audio book and so much is imparted by the way someone says something, this was read very well by a man. I wonder, I guess it's a book I'll have to read again in years to come to reassess my feelings on Anna once again..
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby JackFavell » July 10th, 2013, 10:37 am

That's so interesting Alison, I wonder also if it's the time of your life that you are reading it....things have changed drastically for me after having Alice than they were before. I cannot sympathize as much with a woman leaving her child now.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 10th, 2013, 2:46 pm

I don't think I could sympathise then, heavily pregnant with all the ensuing emotions but I really can't sympathise with a woman who leaves her son and cannot love her daughter with Vronsky. I know that child is a representation of what is wrong between them and it's why she can't love her but I don't think we are built like that to blame innocent babes for the faults of the elders. I did think it was a wonderful book last time around, this time Anna doesn't ring as true and to me there wasn't enough Anna and Vronsky and when she did demise it happened so quickly, I was taken aback, a woman who is going under I would have thought would have gone under in stages and it would have been more apparent to the people around her. I think too having gone through bad post natal depression I'm more in tune with how bad a person can feel and how rationality doesn't always enter into what we do. I'd have liked to have understood her more, I'd have liked a more gradual demise, I'd have liked to have understood more why she did it and not felt that it was in no small part down to her wanting to make Vronsky feel bad. I wanted to see her as a heroine or even as a frail, mortal woman washed away in something that was too big for her but I saw it as something else. How things change in 11 years.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Professional Tourist
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Professional Tourist » July 10th, 2013, 6:44 pm

Masha wrote: The reason most people speak a foreign language with an accent is that they are applying their native language's phonics to the written words. That is why you can differentiate between an Italian speaking English and a German speaking English. An absence of written words during learning the language prevents that.

May I disagree with you? There are various reasons why people speak a non-native language with an accent, which are not necessarily related to (mis-)interpretation of the sounds of written words. I've known people who were illiterate when they immigrated to America, or who could read/write their native languages but never learned to read/write english, and many of them spoke english with the accent of their native tongues for the rest of their lives, whether they came over as adults or as older children.

This can happen because it's the "rhythm" that is natural for them, or because the new language uses sounds they either don't know how to make or that they find to be counter-intuitive. For example, the front-rounded vowels found in french, portuguese, german, etc., can be difficult for native speakers of english to learn how to form. An example can be found in the movie "Story of Three Loves," where french governess Leslie Caron is trying to teach her young charge to pronounce "suspendu" the french way, but all he can manage is "sispondoo." :)

The solution? Perhaps a course in phonetics first. Learn to form all the sounds occurring in human languages. Then learn a new language and use the phonetic alphabet as pronunciation guide. It's not a complete solution because there are regional variations. And then there are tonal languages, which change the relationship between emotional expression and speech. . . . Well, I don't mean to ramble on like this. I used to be a student of languages and linguistics decades ago; the one-semester course I took in phonetics was my best tool. :)


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