Friday, October 29, 2010


Gentle Readers,

Recently I mentioned a couple of movies that I was watching and I now want to give them the Super-Sized Lola Seal of Approval.

First, 84 Charing Cross Road. I got this from Netflix and then realized Ah hell's bells, I've seen this before. I thought it had been good though, so I watched it and it was better than good. It was lovely and delightful. Anne Bancroft was so good in this story based on fact by Henelen Hanff.

Helene Hanff used to order books from a shop at 84, Charing Cross Road. She had a long-term epistolary friendship with the employees of the shop, especially the gentleman who found the books she wanted.

The movie is simply excellent. Here's a little example:

Helene Hanff: [typing] WHAT KIND OF A BLACK PROTESTANT BIBLE IS THIS! Kindly inform the Church of England they have loused up the most beautiful prose even written. Who ever taught Dr. Tindall the Vulgate Latin. They'll burn for it, mark my words. It's nothing to me, I'm Jewish myself, but I have a Catholic sister-in-law, a Methodist sister-in-law, a whole raft of Presbyterian cousins, through my late Uncle Abraham who was converted, and an aunt who's a Christian Science healer. And I'd like to think none of them would countenance an Anglican Latin Bible if they knew it existed. As it happens, they don't know Latin existed. 

Ms. Hanff then breaks the fourth wall and remarks sweetly to the camera about sending some food to the folks at the shop, who continue to suffer from post World War II rationing.

And then we have the previously remarked upon British mini-series Lost in Austen, which comes complete on one disc from Netflix but would be well-worth purchasing because you will want to watch it over and over and over. 

I don't know how the writers managed to take Amanda Price from present-day London and not make Jane Austen's style seem ridiculous when Amanda joins the Bennett family of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books, but somehow this little series is a rousing success. It's hilarious and sweet and has such a happy ending. Who could ask for anything more?

Here's a little taste of Lost in Austen:

Mr. Bingley: Darcy regards all forms of sudden locomotion as emblematic of ill-breeding. Hunting, tennis, rising precipitately from a chair...
Mr. Darcy: When Miss Price and I dance, sir, there shall be nothing sudden.
Amanda Price: I can't dance this sort of dance.
Mr. Darcy: Nor I. Together we shall make a shambles. But we shall do it with such authority that everyone will stare at us to learn the step. 

And a little more:

Amanda Price: I try not to judge people I've never met
Mr. Darcy: You are a philosopher, Miss Price. I would I could be like you.
Amanda Price: Certainly you would benefit an occupation of some kind. You have no function, Mr. Darcy. No purpose.
Mr. Darcy: Of course not. What a disgusting idea. That is the raison d'etre of society. We must be seen to be unoccupied. 

I'd like to go on and on, but I should give you the chance to watch and listen for yourself.

Happy Movie Viewing Gentle Readers! Send the monsters out turning tricks if they don't get their treats and put a good movie in the player. Then after they're in bed, steal your favorite candies from the Halloweenie goodies.

Infinities of love,


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