(rants and observations on outsider culture, music & cinema in The Big Wet)
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Two Faces of January: a new Patricia Highsmith film at the VIFF!
Damn I love Patricia Highsmith (seen above in a rare nude photo). Gotta love a cranky old misanthropic weirdo writing stories about snails killing people (she has two completed ones on that theme, and a third unfinished one about a planet that has been taken over by snails). I love that she was a lesbian who apparently hated women (cf. Little Tales of Misogyny) and who tends to write novels involving sexually ambivalent male characters who commit murder and get away with it. I love her for being an alcoholic with Aspergers, for her occasional anti-Semitic rants, for her charismatic poses for photos, and for her novels, which are often brilliantly observed (my favourites are the first Ripley, The Cry of the Owl, and Deep Water; the only one I don't recommend is The Tremor of Forgery, which feels like she's trying to be Graham Greene or something, which might explain why he praised it so). And I've yet to see a really bad film made from one of her novels, and there's quite a few great ones: Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Purple Noon (both from the same novel), Ripley's Game, The American Friend, The Cry of the Owl (two versions - I'm partial to the English language one). All are great; and while I'm particularly excited to see what Todd Haynes is doing with her pseudonymously-published lesbian novel, The Price of Salt (AKA Carol), I'm also keen on the newest film adaptation of a novel of hers, The Two Faces of January. It's upcoming at the VIFF, and will then promptly open at the Vancity Theatre. Haven't seen it yet, but I'm excited.
Now someone just has to make a film out of "The Quest for Blank Claveringi" (my story about that story is here, but here's someone else's. My thanks to Bill Chance, I presume, for tracking down the illustration below).