3 items from 2013
Maisie goes to Manhattan in this fine modern-day adaptation of Henry James's novel of irresponsible parenting
Henry James famously failed in his attempts to become a popular playwright in the 1890s and apparently never thought, like his friend Joseph Conrad, to engage with the new medium of the cinema. But starting some 30 years after his death, his fiction has reached a larger audience as a source of screenplays. Immediately after the second world war The Aspern Papers, shot in Hollywood on stylised Venetian sets, became the underrated The Lost Moment (the only film directed by the actor Martin Gabel) and was followed by William Wyler's highly regarded The Heiress (a version of Washington Square). Since then there have been a dozen or more James movies, adapting such complex books as The Golden Bowl, The Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove, and "the Master" has »
- Philip French
Filmmaker duo David Siegel and Scott McGehee have been making movies since 1993 and their black-and-white thriller Suture, starring Dennis Haysbert as a car bomb survivor who fights to regain his memory and rebuild his damaged face while figuring out the person responsible for the blast. Their filmography is unique, a diverse collection of dramas including The Deep End, a mother/son thriller starring Tilda Swinton; Bee Season, about a father (Richard Gere) obsessed with his 11-year-old daughter’s training to win the national spelling bee and the twisty romance Uncertainty, two distinct parallel stories featuring the same characters played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins. For their highest profile movie to date, the family-in-crisis drama What Maisie Knew, Siegel and McGehee tackle the 1897 Henry James novel, their first adaptation of a literary classic. »
Chicago – The story of “What Maisie Knew” may be unusual, but the reflection of the subject matter fits perfectly within the patterns of contemporary family culture. Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel create a scenerio in which a custody battle for a little girl named Maisie becomes more about the parent’s egos than her care.
“What Maisie Knew” is amazingly based on a novel by Henry James (“The Turn of the Screw,” “The Bostonians”) written in 1897. Two screenwriters adapted the story into contemporary times 18 years ago, and the co-directors McGehee and Siegel brought it up to date in the post technological age. They worked with a stellar cast, including Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgard, plus a child actor named Onata Aprile, who brings Maisie to life with heartbreaking sensitivity.
Photo credit: Millennium Entertainment
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3 items from 2013
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