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Archive for the ‘Vita and Virginia’ Category

From the release of details about the film in 2015 to cast selection in the winter of 2017 to additional preparations made later that year, Blogging Woolf has kept readers informed about Vita and Virginia, the new film telling the love story of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

Now that Chanya Button’s UK-Ireland feature film is about to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow, we have an update that includes the brief official trailer and a review link.

I imagine that most readers of Woolf are eager to see the film, which stars Elizabeth Debicki as Woolf and Gemma Arterton as Sackville-West. Arterton also served as the movie’s executive producer. And although I don’t know when it will be available in theaters, I am already enjoying this quote from the trailer:

Independence has no sex.

The Toronto Review wrote a negative review, stating that the film “attempts to manufacture chemistry by regurgitating chunks of the letters that Vita and Virginia wrote to each other.”

I guess we’ll have to wait until we see it ourselves before we can decide whether the film does more than that. I, for one, am hopeful that it does justice to both women.

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Here’s a new take on Vita and Virginia. Vita Sackville West’s miniature book, written as an accessory for a famous doll house in 1922, is said to have been the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando.

The story, encapsulated in a volume about the size of a matchbox with just 20 words per tiny page, is titled “A Note of Explanation.” It was one of 200 volumes produced for the library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a replica of an Edwardian residence made as a gift for the consort of George V, according to The Telegraph.

Vita was among the greats

Some of the greatest authors of the day were commissioned to write works for the doll habitat, now on display at Windsor Castle. Besides Vita, they included Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The theme of Vita’s story will sound familiar to anyone who has read Woolf’s pseudo-biography. It tells the tale of an ageless figure who is present for major moments in history. However, in Vita’s version, the ageless figure is a sprite and the history the sprite lives through is fairytale history — from Cinderella’s ball to Sleeping Beauty’s kiss.

Woolf always acknowledged that Orlando had been inspired by Vita and her family, but apparently did not acknowledge that Vita had written a tiny book with a similar theme.

Get the book

A hardback cloth-bound publication of the book, sized 9.8 inches x 6.8 inches, went on sale Oct. 16 by the Royal Collection Trust, according to the BBC. It includes illustrations by Kate Baylay and an afterword by Sackville-West’s biographer, Matthew Dennison, The Guardian reported.

You can order it through the RCT shop. You can also find it on Amazon.

 

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Gemma at Flower Show

Gemma Arterton at the Chelsea Flower Show (image via IrishNews.com).

Preparations for the upcoming film Vita and Virginia are well underway. British actress Gemma Arterton, will play Vita Sackville-West in the film about the friendship between Vita and Virginia Woolf. Sackville-West was a celebrated gardener whose work continues to inspire gardeners today, so Arterton has been has been preparing for her role by gardening and spending time around flowers.

Arterton visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last month where she talked about her experience gardening and her work preparing to play such a respected gardener. The Irish News writes that Arterton became a “devoted gardener” while researching for the role in the film:

 

“I would like to be a big gardener and I am constantly trying to find new ways to bring it to life. I am moving house soon just so that I can have a garden.

“The role came before the passion. Vita was one of the world’s most famous gardeners, so I have been trying to get into the zone for that.”

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Andrea Riseborough will play Virginia Woolf.

 

We learn from the article that filming will take place this summer at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. The article also states that the role of Virginia Woolf will be played by Andrea Riseborough, which is different from the original cast that was announced, which had Eva Green lined up to play Woolf.

Riseborough has been featured in such films as Brighton Rock, Oblivion, and the Oscar winning film Birdman.

The director of the film, Chanya Button, has been preparing in other ways. In May she tweeted about attending lectures on the Hogarth Press at the Charleston Literary Festival:

 

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Actors have been chosen for the roles of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West for the upcoming film Vita and Virginia, according to The Guardian.

The part of Woolf will be played by French actress, Eva Green, and the role of Seckville-West will be played by English actress, Gemma Arterton.

Both Green and Arterton have appeared in several major motion pictures, and both have experience playing “Bond Girls” in James Bond films.

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Actress Eva Green will play Woolf (image via Pinterest).

Eva Green has appeared in many films including Dark Shadows, 300, and recently, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

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Actress Gemma Arterton will play Sackville-West (image via BBC).

Gemma Arterton has also appeared in many films including Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Byzantium, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Harper’s Bazaar has created side-by-side images of the actresses and of their subjects for a visual analysis:

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Green and Woolf (image via Harper’s Bazaar).

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Arterton and Sackville-West (image via Harper’s Bazaar).

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Chanya Button will direct the upcoming film Vita and Virginia (image from TheFrisky.com).

Chanya Button, the director for the upcoming film Vita and Virginia, which will be about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, recently spoke with ScreenDaily.com about her upcoming film.

According to the article shooting for the film will start in March or April of 2017.

Button is now an up and coming director, but as a student she studied English Literature at Oxford University. She admits that she has had a long relationship with Woolf. From the article:

Virginia Woolf has been a passion for me for a long time,” Button said.

Button states that Woolf inspired her recent film Burn Burn Burn, an independent feature which will be available to stream on Netflix soon:

Woolf has influenced how I think about everything, there is even an essay she wrote, On Being Ill, that influenced Burn Burn Burn.”

According to the article, the film will cover about 15 years of the relationship between Woolf and Sackville-West, but we are now learning that it will focus specifically on events that occurred between 1925-1927. From Button:

“It’s about how their relationship inspired Orlando, It’s the study of a complex female relationship…

“It’s a fresh period drama…Also, you get a view into her creative genius, and some bonkers surreal visions.”

You can follow Chanya’s Twitter page where she has been documenting some of her research expeditions for the film including a trip she made to Vita’s home Knole House.

 

 

 

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Chanya Button will direct Vita and Virginia

Deadline.com is reporting that the film Vita and Virginia is now set to be directed by British Director Chanya Button.

Button recently directed Burn Burn Burn (2015), and tweeted her excitement with her new project, writing, “Thrilled to be Directing this. Collaborating with & celebrating brilliant women!”

This is a switch from the news we got last year which indicated that the film would be directed by Sacha Polak, the Dutch director of such films as Hemel (2012) and the documentary New Boobs (2013).

The film is based on Dame Eileen Atkins’s script Vita and Virginia, which is based on her play by the same name. The film is still set to be produced by Mirror Productions and Blinder films, and casting choices have not yet been announced.

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Virginia and Vita in 1933

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Yesterday was the day in 1926 that Vita Sackville-West wrote a love letter to Virginia Woolf.

You can listen to the lovely podcast of Garrison Keillor reading the letter onPBS’ The Writer’s Almanac website here or read the transcript here.

Thanks to Karen Levenback who sent the VW Listserv the link.

More on Woolf podcasts and broadcast media sightings

  • Three podcasts of Woolf lectures are now available on the New York Public Library website. Get details here.
  • Listen to a variety of earlier podcasts about Woolf and her circle. Find out more here.
  • For more links to broadcast media coverage of Woolf, visit the Woolf Sightings page.

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