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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Painted Veil





When I was a poor and impoverished student in upstate NY, my housemate Sonja would sometimes cut me in on her dogsitting jobs as she worked at a local vet and would often look after some of the dogs when their family was away. This is how I met Ron Nyswaner - he went away to visit his family in Georgia and i would spend my time looking after his dogs, lying in his hammock on his porch and listening to Nina Simone. He got me an Olympics t-shirt when he came back and was very kind to me. When Mr G came to visit me in a fiancee type of way, we used to help out in local plays that some of the jobbing actors, including Ron, from New York city who lived up our way would put on in the local community. One spooky Halloween, when the crunchy leaves were on the ground, Mr G and I were carving pumpkins for a production of Dracula when he nearly cut his finger off and I had to take him to emergency! Ick! We remember the time we spent with them so fondly - they were all so nice to us - and we were really pleased when Ron went on to write Philadelphia (starring Tom Hanks) and was nominated for so many screenplay awards. So we are pleased to see him back on the big screen adapting the Somerset Maugham novel and can't wait to see The Painted Veil (starring Ed Norton). Please let me know if you have seen it and what you thought. The title of the book comes from a poem by Shelley:

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

6 comments:

Kenny Mah said...

The Painted Veil looks lovely and features one of my favourite actors, Ed Norton. Definitely will catch it when I can.

And your friend wrote the screenplay to Philadelphia? That's one of the most powerful films I've watched. O expectations are up for this new film then. :)

Kathryn said...

The movie was excellent. Very moving. I have not read the book. Norton and Watts were excellent as well. It's a great love story and much more in terms of the characters unfoldment.

msiagirl said...

Kenny Let me know what you think when you see it! I was amazed that Philadelphia was written directly for the screen, probably how things should be, instead of endless adaptations :)

msiagirl said...

K-girl, glad you liked it, hope I can get a chance to go before it leaves the cinema!

Yang-May said...

The scenery looks gorgeous. And I'm a great fan of Ed Norton. But I haven't seen the film - yet. So far your reader reviews have been inspiring so it'll go on my list of movies to be viewed.

msiagirl said...

Last day at the Little Theatre, was hoping to sneak off on my own for the 1pm show but 7 year old had earache and stayed home. That is the way of it! Maybe will be at odeon later...