‘Elle’ is a 2016 internationally co-produced psychological thriller directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by David Birke, based on the novel Oh… by Philippe Djian. Djian’s novel was released in 2012 and received the Prix Interallié (National Literary Award). The film stars Isabelle Huppert. (Source: Wikipedia)
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym “Ellis Bell”; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte’s novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily’s death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850. (Source: Wikipedia)
I was born tomorrow. Today I live. Yesterday killed me.
Kidman is Christine, a middle-aged woman who wakes every morning with no memory of her life from her mid-20s onwards. Recognising neither the man in her bed nor her own face in the mirror, Christine must begin every day with a catch-up lesson delivered in tired but endlessly patient tones by Ben (Colin Firth): he is her husband; she was in an accident; she has amnesia; tonight she will fall asleep and forget everything – again. On the wall of their bathroom, photographs tell the story of a life lost; of romance, marriage, holidays – mementoes of an unremembered past. But while Ben is out at work, a phone call from the mysterious Dr Nasch (Mark Strong) alerts Christine to the existence of a camera on which she has been keeping a secret video diary. According to Nasch, Christine was the victim of a brutal attack, the details of which her husband is hiding. Whom should she trust – her oddly evasive spouse or the not-so-good doctor…
Marguerite Donnadieu, known as Marguerite Duras (French: [maʁ.ɡə.ʁit dy.ʁas]; 4 April 1914 – 3 March 1996), was a French novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, essayist and experimental filmmaker. She is best known for writing the 1959 film ‘Hiroshima mon amour’, which earned her a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
Marguerite Duras’ THE LOVER, an excerpt.
The meetings with the family begin with big meals in Cholon. When my mother and brothers come to Saigon I tell him he has to invite them to the expensive Chinese restaurants they don’t know, have never been to before.
These evenings are all the same. My brothers gorge themselves without saying a word to him. They don’t look at him. They can’t. They’re incapable of it. If they could, if they could make the effort to see him, they’d be capable of studying, of observing the elementary rules of society. During these meals my mother’s the only one who speaks, she doesn’t say much, especially the first few times, just a few comments about the dishes as they arrive, the exorbitant price, and then silence. He, the first couple of times, plunges in and tries to tell the story of his adventures in Paris, but in vain. It’s as if he hadn’t spoken, as if nobody had heard. His attempt founders in silence. My brothers go on gorging. They gorge as I’ve never seen anyone gorge, anywhere.
He pays. He counts out the money. Puts it in the saucer. Everyone watches. The first time, I remember, he lays out seventy-seven piastres. My mother nearly shrieks with laughter. We get up to leave. No one says thank you. No one ever says thank you for the excellent dinner, or hello or goodbye, or how are you, no one ever says anything to anyone.
My brothers will never say a word to him, it’s as if he were invisible to them, as if he weren’t solid enough to be perceived, seen or heard. This is because he adores me, but it’s taken for granted I don’t love him, it’s impossible, that he could take any sort of treatment from me and still go on loving me. This is because he’s Chinese, because he’s not a white man. The way my brother treats my lover, not speaking to him, ignoring him, stems from such an absolute conviction it acts as a model. We all treat my lover as he does. I never speak to him in their presence. When my family’s there I’m never supposed to address a word to him. Except, yes, except to give him a message. For example, after dinner, when my brothers tell me they want to go to the Fountain to dance and drink, I’m the one who has to tell him. At first he pretends he hasn’t heard. And I, according to my elder brother’s strategy, I’m not supposed to repeat what I’ve just said, not supposed to ask again, because that would be wrong. I’d be admitting he has a grievance. Quietly, as if between ourselves, he says he’d like to be alone with me for a while. He says it to end the agony. Then I’m not supposed to catch what he says properly, one more treachery, as if by what he said he meant to object, to complain of my elder brother’s behaviour. So I’m not supposed to answer him. But he goes on, says, is bold enough to say, Your mother’s tired, look at her. And our mother does get drowsy after those fabulous Chinese dinners in Cholon. But I still don’t answer. It’s then that I hear my brother’s voice. He says something short, sharp, and final. My mother used to say, he’s the one who speaks the best out of all the three. After he’s spoken, my brother waits. Everything comes to a halt. I recognise my lover’s fear, it’s the same as my younger brother’s. He gives in. We go to the Fountain. My mother too. At the Fountain she goes to sleep.
In my elder brother’s presence, he ceases to be my lover. He doesn’t cease to exist, but he’s no longer anything to me. He becomes a burned out shell.
His stories…stretch your nerves with unsaid things. — The Spectator
Published in 1999 to coincide with the release of Bernardo Bertolucci’s film “Besieged” (based on Lasdun’s story “The Siege”), this selection draws on Lasdun’s first two collections of short stories, The Silver Age (published in the US as Delirium Eclipse) (1985) and Three Evenings (1992).