Monthly Archives: December 2012

Far From Heaven

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All That Heaven Allows

Sirk and Haynes

About to watch Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, with it’s gay undertones in a story about a woman in a scandalous relationship with a younger man, and then Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, which brings the gay undertones out of the closet, while still tackling the 1950s race issue that Sirk was so interested in, particularly in his film Imitation of Life.

I love the way Hayne’s updates the panoramic technicolor of Sirk’s style, plus the outbursts of melodrama amid stifling repression.

These are two films I highly recommend watching. Sirk’s style has been a huge influence on my writing.

Christmas Heaven

I’m a Christmas song-aholic. This one is my favourite. It features in the very last paragraph of The Forced Redundancy Film Club. Melancholic, nostalgic, heaven!

An Experiment in Love

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I love when an author hits the big time later in his or her career, like Hillary Mantel, who won the Man Booker in 2009 for Wolf Hall, and who won it again this year for its sequel, Bringing Up The Bodies. Having read both books, and loved them, I started searching Mantel’s back catalogue and came up with a piece of treasure, namely An Experiment In Love. 

Set in 1971 its the story of three girls, Carmel, Karina and Juliette who leave their bleak northern town to go to university, and halls of residence, and a whole new world of post-teenage concerns. Beautifully written, with extremely black humor, the book truly comes to sparkling life in the passages about Carmel’s childhood relationship with her angry, dominating mother. They bring to mind Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, andt the same writer’s recent memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?

Carmel’s bleak outlook on life, underpinned by her dysfunctional relationship with her mother and her childhood friend/nemesis, Karina, is the glue that holds this book together, as the girls face anorexia, unwanted pregnancies, and a shocking denouement none of them could ever have imagined.

If you want a good. absorbing read, look no further.