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Archive for the ‘Woolf on TV’ Category

Editor’s Note: Maggie Humm provided Blogging Woolf with the story and images of her experience working with France Culture radio and the French TV channel ARTE’s series Invitation Au Voyage on programs about Virginia Woolf.

By Maggie Humm

A cold, windy day in April 2019 saw me walking and talking in Kensington for France Culture radio about Virginia Woolf’s London childhood and her own daily walks with her father. Thankfully, my talk didn’t have to be in French or delivered sideways as in The West Wing.

Maggie Humm with the French TV channel ARTE’s series Invitation Au Voyage in St. Ives

France Culture has over 3,000 podcasts and items about Virginia Woolf. Director Simonetta Greggio simply said, “I love Woolf.”

Woolf and France past

As Blogging Woolf readers know, Charles Mauron translated “Time Passes” from To the Lighthouse in Commerce as early as Winter 1926, and Woolf’s works were translated into French more quickly than into other languages.

Woolf knew several leading French intellectuals including Mauron – Jacques Raverat and Jacques-Émile Blanche – and the translation of Mrs Dalloway had a preface by André Maurois. Simone de Beauvoir discusses Woolf in The Second Sex.

To the lighthouse

Top of my bucket list however was visiting Godrevy Lighthouse thanks to Lolita Rivé of Elephant Productions who invited me to present “Cornwall Through the Eyes of Virginia Woolf” as part of the French TV channel ARTE’s series Invitation au Voyage.

It’s not possible to convey my excitement and delight reading To the Lighthouse at Godrevy Lighthouse, as well as reading The Waves on St. Ives beach.

Maggie Humm heads to Godrevy Lighthouse with the French TV channel ARTE’s series Invitation Au Voyage. As Woolf said about St. Ives Regatta Day – it made her ‘think of a French picture’ (MOB: 132). Vive la France!

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This video from UK TV – BBC2’s “The Culture Show” features Patti Smith’s views and photographs of sites connected to the Bloomsbury Group, from Charleston to the River Ouse.

In it, she muses on the special silvery light of the English countryside that shimmers in her black and white photos of Bloomsbury country sites.

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Predictably, the latest collection of Woolf sightings includes many related to the BBC Two three-part drama Life in Squares, along with Charleston, where much of the filming was done. But scroll down for references to Woolf in pop culture — including Downton Abbey — literature and war and peace.

  • Sussex and Charleston are getting a big boost from Life in SquaresLife-in-Squares-_3215726b
  • Was Life in Squares more than a reminder that the Bloomsbury Group liked sex? Many think it was.
  • Life in Squares episode 3 review: The dream fades.
  • Reaction to episode one of Life in Squares.
  • Life in Squares: How the Radical Bloomsbury Group Fares on Screen by Frances Spalding
  • Life in Squares review: ‘absurd, beautiful characters in a ridiculously golden world’ by Lucy Mangen
  • Life in Squares among top 30 shows on the telly.
  • Life in Squares will be available on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on Aug. 17. It can be shipped to the U.S., but it can only be played on a Code 2 DVD player, a Code A Blu-ray player or a code-free player. Visit Amazon UK for details.
  • The Hotel Russell’s mistake in closing the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar.
  • Charleston Farmhouse campaigns for funds.Charleston
  • Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group’s living legacy: A piece in The Daily Mail
  • Bloomsbury Group: Charleston Farmhouse and Berwick Church, an Aug. 14, 2015, blog post.
  • Vanessa Bell steps out of the shadows.
  • Fashion tips from the Bloomsbury Group, including a link to Cressida Bell.
  • A Virginia Woolf primer.
  • Season six of Downton Abbey mentions Lady Edith’s meeting with Virginia Woolf.
  • In Spain, a walk of one’s own, courtesy of the BBC.
  • Clarice Lispector earned comparisons to Virginia Woolf.
  • Virginia Woolf on the wall — in color — at New Cafe at Elliott Bay Books.
  • New collection, Pleasures of the Table: A Literary Anthology, includes Virginia Woolf and is illustrated with vivid historic images from the collection of the British Library.
  • Tavistock Square: A Decade After Terror, A Reminder Of Peace” by Susan Pollack

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Camden Connections that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

    A screenshot of the YouTube video trailer for Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters that shows the Virginia Woolf portrait

  • Schoolchildren choose Woolf for “Creative Connections: Camden Radical Characters,” a NPG exhibit that fetes the famous faces who have lived, worked in, or studied in the north London area.
  • Review of Pat Barker’s Noonday mentions Woolf: “If Life Class and Toby’s Room were benevolently haunted by Vera Brittain and Virginia Woolf, the ghosts of Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay and Graham Greene walk the bombsites of Noonday.”
  • Review says second section of Among the Ten Thousand Things, by Julia Pierpont pays homage to Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, “as time passes and characters are killed off, their lives synopsised.”
  • An article about scholar and performance artist Coco Fusco, whose 2006 work A Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America, uses Virginia Woolf as a springboard to talk about female interrogators in U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Ruth Scurr on Virginia Woolf: A review of Viviane Forrester’s Virginia Woolf: A Portrait. From the Aug. 14, 2015, issue of the Times Literary Supplement.
  • Prettiot’s “Suicide Hotline” song invokes Woolf.

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Life-in-Squares-_3215726bLife in Squares, the BBC Two show that tells the story of the tangled relationships of the Bloomsbury Group from 1901 to 1945, will be on the air this year, shown as three 60-minute episodes.

The program was announced by the BBC last summer.

Filming also began last summer at Charleston Farmhouse, known as Bloomsbury in the country, for scenes set in the 1930s and 1940s. In the rooms where filming took place, much of the original collection was removed, and the art department improvised to make the place more bohemian than it may have been in real life. Domestic clutter that is part of the staging includes posed photographs of the actors based on old family photographs. Filming in London took place last fall.

Two actors play the role of each character in the show, which complicated the casting process. One bit of casting seems pitch-perfect: James Norton, the crime-solving vicar on Grantchester, will play Duncan Grant. Lydia Leonard  of Ambassadors will play a young Virginia Wolf and Phoebe Fox of Switch will star as a young Vanessa Bell.

Discussions with Vanessa’s granddaughter Virginia Nicholson were key in making the show a reality.

Life in Squares gets under the skin of the Bloomsbury group to lay bare the very human and emotional story of a group of people determined to find their own path in life,” said Lucy Bedford, executive producer.

“At heart, Life in Squares is about family: about the families we try to escape, the ones we end up creating and the different kinds of damage love can do,” she added.

 

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BBC Two announced the production of a three-part television drama set over a 40-year period about the Bloomsbury group called, Life In Squares, which will focus on the relationships between Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Bloomsbury Group From the BBC:
Life In Squares tells the story of the Bloomsbury group over 40 years, from the death of Queen Victoria to the Second World War, as they attempted to forge a life free from the constraints of the past. Their pursuit of freedom and beauty was always passionate, often impossible and ultimately devastating, yet their legacy is still felt today.”

The series was written by Amanda Coe and will be directed by Simon Kaijser. Production starts this summer.

Other performances of Woolf in the works:

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Readers of Virginia Woolf and fans of Downton Abbey have a double treat in store for them when the new season of the PBS Masterpiece series begins. Woolf will make a cameo appearance on the show.DOWNTON-WOOLFE_2668530c-1

Christina Carty, who starred in Belonging to Laura and The Vessel, will play the part.

Speculation is that middle sister Edith will draw the famous author into the story in her role as budding journalist. While venturing into a “bohemian lifestyle” and experiencing the “thrill of rebellion,” Edith will encounter Woolf at a glamorous house party with her Bloomsbury friends.

Woolf’s appearance will mark just the second time the series has included an actual historical character. The other is the appearance of Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian opera singer, played by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa this season.

Inserting Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group into the storyline helps the show focus on the culture of the 1920s, which is creator Julian Fellowes‘ goal.

As he told the London Telegraph: “The fourth [season] is more about getting into the ’20s: what young people wanted, the changes in music, the arrival of the movies, cars, transport and all of that stuff.”

Season four of Downton premieres Sept. 22 in the UK and Jan. 5, 2014, in the U.S. The storyline picks up four months after end of season three. And producers are promising no more deaths!

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