NABOKV-L post 0015636, Thu, 1 Nov 2007 07:37:41 -0400

what's wrong with the remake of "Lolita" ...

'Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life' by Alan A. Stone
Scholarly insight from a film critic

By David Thomson, Special to The Times

IT'S a slightly Jamesian title -- "Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life." But why not? Henry James had the opportunity at least to see the earliest movies and to wonder if the medium was susceptible to what he wanted for his own characters: to be moral beings. The "moral adventure of life" seems like one of those deceptively encouraging observations from James on how those characters might see themselves. [ ... ] There's a fine piece on what's wrong with the remake of "Lolita" (though this comes down to a concession speech such as few professional film critics would allow themselves, that there really is no case to be made for attempting to film Nabokov's great novel). Film's crassness is far better suited for something like "American Beauty," which is "Lolita" as done by a bright monkey in a cage. [ ... ]
David Thomson is the author, most recently, of "The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood." His new book, "Have You Seen: An Introduction to 1000 Films" will be published next year.

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