Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A further film note and a bit on Sterne

Talking of excellent films directed by Tourneur, J., I omitted to mention Cat People, another 1940s horror classic, this one starring the delectable and kittenish French actress Simone Simon. Quite a track record for a director all but forgotten these days, though treasured by every true cinephile…

Also forgot to mention that Martin Rowson has to his credit, as listed in his excellent book Stuff, a graphic novel version of Tristram Shandy. This sounds a curiously eccentric yet appropriate thing to have done. But then Laurence Sterne's influence has been widespread: his weird and hilariously experimental 'novel' seems to continue to prompt or encourage equally ambitious and/or extraordinary projects. Two dear friends of ours, who for many years ran The Mirror and The Lamp bookshop in St Ives – radio producer Jan Starink, and his late wife, the artist and prizewinning poet Gertrude Starink – spent no fewer than fourteen years translating this singular classic into Dutch. Jan is in his mid-80s now and lives in the hometown of one of our favourite artists, Hieronymous Bosch. If you should chance to read this, Jan, I raise my glass to you and wish you lots more oud genever and strong black coffee!

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