NABOKV-L post 0005899, Mon, 9 Apr 2001 10:24:44 -0700

Re: Film: The Luzhin Defence]
Old news indeed, "The Luzhin Defense" had its international premiere at
the 25th Annual Toronto International Film Festival in September 2000.
What struck me most about this movie is the guinea pig disguised as a
microphone that is blatantly showing its behind in the upper periphery
the screen in no less than a dozen scenes, including what ought to be
most romantic scene of the movie.

In search of a meaningful finale, and to satisfy the audience, Gorris
has come up with a scene that illustrates she has completely
the spirit of chess -- and perhaps also Nabokov's novel. In this
apotheosis absurdis, Natalia replaces deceased Luzhin behind the
chessboard to finish his adjourned game against Turati, delivering
checkmate in five from a note left behind by Luzhin. I guess that not
those who know a little bit more about chess than "how-the-knight-goes"
took offence to this scene.

EDITOR's NOTE. You are right. The ending made a mockery of what was
otherwise a rather good film.
--Anne Pier Salverda

> ------------------
> Old news?
> There is a new film, "The Luzhin Defense," playing on closing night of
> the
> San Diego International Film Festival on April 12. According to one
> movie
> site, it goes into NY/LA release (via Sony Pictures Classics) on April
> 20
> and wider after that. I believe it was released in Britain last year.
> It is based (natch) on "The Defense" and is listed as a French
> production
> (though filmed in Italy and Hungary with a mostly British cast). It is
> directed by Marleen Gorris (Mrs. Dalloway) and starring John Malkovich
> and
> Emily Watson.
> Some links:
> San Diego International Film Festival:
> Upcoming Films preview:
> Review in Variety:
> Forgive me if this has come up for discussion before; I have been a bit
> distracted and may have missed it.
> / Rick VanderKnyff