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Posts Tagged ‘films’

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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A series of short films that shine a spotlight on 20th-century women writers who can be considered outsiders includes one on Virginia Woolf, who thought of herself as an outsider in terms of education and writing.

Being “locked out” provided her with more freedom, according to narrator Sue Asbee. She adds that Woolf’s achievements lie in her willingness to take risks and to experiment with form and subject matter.

Other writers in the new English literature module at The Open University include Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys and Jeanette Winterson.

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There are three short 16mm films by Beakus Penrose, filmed in and around Ham Spray in 1929 that are now posted on YouTube. They were conserved by the National Film & Television Archive for “Carrington: the Exhibition,” Barbican Art Gallery, 1995.

The films are:

  • “Dr Turner’s Mental Home,” featuring Saxon Sydney Turner, Rachel MacCarthy, Lord David Cecil, Dora Carrington, Ralph Partridge, Frances Partridge.
  • “Untitled” (‘The Bounder’ to me) starring Dora Carrington, Stephen Tomlin, Julia Strachey, Oliver Strachey.
  • “Topical Budget Ham Spray September 1929” with Dora Carrington, David Garnett, Frances Partridge, Ralph Partridge, Lytton Strachey, James Strachey.

As Todd Avery, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, posted on the VWoolf Listserv, “In the late 1920s, Carrington, Ralph and Frances Partridge, Saxon Sydney-Turner, and others produced four short home-made films—including `Dr. Turner’s Mental Home,’ starring Saxon, which was screened at the Woolfs’ home in London.  Until last year, with the exception of one or two public screenings in the 1990s, these films were available for viewing by appointment only in the tiny basement viewing room of the British Film Institute, in London, and only on VHS.  A BBC presenter seems somehow to have procured a copy of the films, and posted them online (I will resist regaling you with the tale of cultural espionage by which I may or may not, earlier in the year, have tried and failed/succeeded to procure my own copy).

“Among the highlights: Saxon as a deranged doctor in the first film, and a splendid bathtub scene with Rachel MacCarthy; Carrington riding her white horse behind Ham Spray—and in slow motion!  James Strachey snarling at the camera; Lytton Strachey mugging and laughing from an upstairs window; Ralph and Frances and Carrington diving into the pond artistically and then struggling to stay afloat upon inflatable swans.  And so much more!”

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FlushCasting is underway for Flush, the film version of Virginia Woolf’s novel about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning as told through the eyes of Barrett’s cocker spaniel, Flush.

It is a co-production with Robbie Little and Ellen Little of The Little Film Company. Diarmuid Lawrence will direct the late autumn shoot.

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