Archive for December, 2015

The life and death of Irène Némirovsky and the fate of the cycle of novels that inspired ‘Suite francaise‘ could be the subject of a thrilling movie, a different one. Born in 1903 in an Ukrainian Jewish family, she took refuge to France after the First World War with her family flying the Russian revolution, but was never granted French citizenship. Converting to Catholicism and writing French nationalistic (some consider these anti-Semitic) fiction did not spare her the fate of the majority of the French Jews – deportation to the concentration camps and death (at Auschwitz). ‘Suite francaise’ was planned to be a five volumes saga about the years of war, written as the events happened. Irene Nemirovsky wrote only two of them before being deported, the manuscript was unread for more than half of a century until discovered by her daughter and published as what has become a historical novel about the years of the war.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0900387/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0900387/

 

I did not read (yet) the books, but from the synopsis on Wikipedia I understand that the script departs quite afar from the original. The (spectacular) introduction scenes may not be in the book but they are useful to understand the context and the historical moment. Similarly, the final seems to be a Hollywood patch, not necessarily adding anything. The core of the film resides in the building love story between the young French woman whose husband is a prisoner of war and the German officer who is allocated to live in their house. It’s a complex relationship, and the merit of the script is that it avoids the black-white, bad-good nuances and moral judgments leaving room for the feelings and emotions. There is also a strong social content, both in the main story (are love or even co-existence allowed between occupier and occupied? here is a question valid also in other times and places) and in the secondary story of the mayor-viscount who pays with his life the price of collaboration. Ambiguity is however the tone that works here best.

 

(video source Entertainment One UK)

 

One of the hard obstacles for viewers of ‘Suite francaise’ is the fact that the film is American and spoken in English. I do not know whom I should ask, but I would certainly loved to see a French version. Maybe it’s still easier for the non-French to deal with the theme of ‘la collaboration’?Beautiful and fragile and tormented and introspective do both good acting jobs in the main roles, but best of all is  as the mother-in-law who may make you change your mind about the moral fabric of the French high classes.  is only at his third long feature film and directs with kind of an academic touch not exactly to my taste, but there are many good reasons to go and see this film.

I expect something special when I go to a film by . In his long and remarkable career Scott approached many genres from space horror to historical sagas, from road movies to gangster comedies and succeeded exceptionally well in many of these. The secret is of course professionalism, the talent to tell a story, and to build (sometimes) greater-than-life characters which are credible in extreme situations. He tried to do the same with ‘The Martian’ but in my opinion he did not succeed too much.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/

 

Maybe the problem lies in trying to build too much on the combination of two successful genres – the sole survivor story and the big space drama. The second genre was pretty successful in the previous two Academy Awards seasons (with ‘Gravity’ and ‘Interstellar’) and Scott and his producers may aim for a similar fate for ‘The Martian’ - the saga of an astronaut believed dead and left behind on Mars, to be rescued in an extreme action of inter-planetary dimension. We’ll see if he succeeds, but on my scale he rather failed.

 

(video source 20th Century Fox)

 

The sign of such a film not really succeeding is when the day or the days after you remember more the technical aspects. This exactly happens to me with this film. Planting potatoes on Martian soil and sealing a space vehicle with adhesive tape has some fun of itself, but it dangerously competes with the human dimension of the story, with the fight of the lonely astronaut to overcome the elements and his own despair. Matt Damon is a fine action movies lead actor but he’s no Tom Hanks (not yet, at least) and his role here may not get him even an award nomination. This techno-survival story leans too much on the technology side.

So after sharks, dynos, extra-terrestrials, WWII, Holocaust, Olympics terrorism, future, Lincoln and handful of other themes, it’s the turn of the Cold War to be processed, re-created and brought to screen in the vision of Steven Spielberg. ‘Bridge of Spies‘ inspired by the historical character of James B. Donovan, defender of the Soviet spy Rudolf Abel and then main negotiator in the spies exchange that set him free for the US pilot Gary Powers downed while in a mission over the USSR, is also the first movie in the political thriller genre directed by Spielberg.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3682448/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3682448/

 

Had the script of this film been written by Ken Follett or the late Robert Ludlum, I would probably have accepted much easier the outcome. However, when brothers Coen are two of the three authors of the script I would have expected more than a smooth narrative structure and well written dialogs (in many moments). There is almost nothing of the sparks or daring insolence of many of the scripts in the films directed by the two. The story is roughly divided into two parts, and the tentative to synchronize the two threads (Abel’s story and Powers’ story) fail not only because they were separated in time by five years but also because it is only the first that has interesting material and consistency. The lawyer who does the right thing defending the rights of a criminal who presumably caused harm to his own country in time of what some perceived as war is too gross an analogy to the contemporary fight against terror viewed from a liberal point of view. The second part is more like the classical East Berlin spy stories, but here again the schematic description of East Berlin and of the Eastern German policemen and even officials lacks authenticity and complexity.

 

(video source 20th Century Fox UK)

 

We are left with enjoying two formidable performances by as James B. Donovan and especially by and Rudolf Abel. I am looking forward to the nominations for the Academy Awards and I hope that Rylance will get at least an Actor in a Supporting Role nomination. His act here is my favorite from all 2015 movies I have seen until now. On the other hand the political messages that this film tries to convey are much too obvious. Yes, they are important, but important messages are not well served when the style gets that close to propaganda. Actually the genre this film is closer than other is the Western. One lonely hero fights for justice against the whole world and wins against all odds. It’s just that the century is the 20th and the hero is not using his gun, but is a lawyer. Problem is that the analogy does not work very well in this recent film of Spielberg.

 

Am I the only one believing that the peak of the career of J.J. Abrams as director and producer was (up to now at least) ‘Lost‘ – the captivating series which dominated the TV screens in the second half of the previous decade? A couple of things are obvious beyond any doubt. Abrams is a passionate of science-fiction, and he has Gargantuan ambitions as he tries to make his mark on many of the major brands of the genre (and some of its action spins) from the MI series, then in Star Trek ( with the 2013 Star Trek Into Darkness) and now with the film that starts the last series in the Star Wars trilogy of trilogies – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He did not convince me yet on the big screen that he is the same original thrilling creator that made of ‘Lost’ the series that made people change their weekly schedules even in the era of Internet availability of everything, but he certainly succeeded commercially and this film is ‘in danger’ of becoming the best cash machine in the history of the movies industry, displacing another film which was not IMO a masterpiece either – James Cameron‘s ‘Avatar‘.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/

 

It’s fun to watch the reactions as well. The enthusiastic fans who rushed to see the movie in the first hours after its premiere or in the first weekend the latest granted it a 8.8 average grade on IMDB. It will go down and I doubt that it will stay in the Top 250 (it’s now in the 22nd place). Some other mourn the new series and its success and prompt it as an example of the decay of the 7th art into an industry of mass consumption. The reality is IMO someplace in the middle.  ‘Star Wars’ belongs before all to the fairy tales cycle. Even the science-fiction and action labels apply only second, and you can enjoy them fully as a viewer only if you accept the fact that you are watching a film with emperors and princesses, with monsters and talking toys and animals who happily live, fight, love and die together. Seen from this perspective ‘The Force Awakens’ is a continuation of the series created by George Lucas , re-using and expanding its mythology, bringing back characters that we knew at younger ages, quoting from the precedent series. Its line of action is not very original and different from the one in the other series, but the demarcation between good and bad is the same, with the ambiguity of the two facets of the Force still being the principal philosophical line along which all the laser swords are fought and space-ships chase are run. As this is the first series in more than two decades that advances in time we are introduced to the new generation of Star Warriors which I guess will become dominant and will fight the final battles in the two series that are expected to premiere in 2017 and 2019.

 

(video source moviemaniacsDE)

 

J.J. Abrams has done a more than decent work, quite respectful towards the original series, especially the first films. There are no spectacular innovations in this film, the graphics and the visual feeling is very similar to the first movies. Some of the characters return and seeing again and is a true delight filled with melancholia. The new generation offers some interesting acting proposals, with on the side of Good as a Hunger Games-like young lead (who I suspect has some royal blood – to be discovered in the coming installments, the original ones had a similar secret), and playing the lead role on the dark side. There is a new robot in town as well, his name is BB-8, and an interesting future waits for him as for his human colleagues. Even R2-D2 makes a come back, and so does the Furry One. The ‘new blood’ and the action pace that can satisfy even fans of ‘Fast and Furious’ are good reasons to like this film. Again, however, the entry condition is to accept the convention. If you do not like the genre, it’s not ‘The Force Awakens’ that will convince you to become a fan.

I came to know quite late the works of the Russian director Alexander Sokurov, and I cannot say I know them well today either. The first one I have seen was Russian Ark, a splendid exercise in virtuosity, composition and visual beauty, but lacking almost completely any epic structure. Next came the 3rd film in his tetralogy about men and power, The Sun which had emperor Hirohito in his days of defeat at the end of WWII as main hero. Now I have seen the 4th film in the series, a very different, special and personal version of the story of Faust. I am yet to see the first two films in the same series which deal with the portraits of Hitler and Lenin, as well as other of his works that drew the attention of audiences and critics like ‘Father and Son’. So the impressions here are to be seen as partial notes on my route of better knowing one of the major artists in modern cinema. I am yet to form a dependency for his work or to declare admiration for the director, but I may get there some day.

 

sursa http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1437357/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1437357/

 

On many respects this ‘Faust’ is close to ‘Russian Ark’. It is one of the most beautiful and complex pieces of visual art that I have seen lately and I cannot skip mentioning here in this context the name of the director of photography Bruno Delbonnel author of such other wonderfully filmed works like ‘Amélie‘ or ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince‘. Sokurov creates a world of his own with hundred of characters, costumes, and behaviors studied and acted to the smallest detail. The world is a synthesis not only of the German world at the time Goethe wrote the original story but of all that was Europe from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. It can happen and it actually happens at any of the moments in that period.

Sokurov takes inspiration from the work of Goethe but does not follow it closely. This film is certainly not Goethe’s Faust, it is at best ‘inspired’ by it. It is Sokurov’s Faust before all – a work about a man, a scientist and a philosopher searching for the sense of life, mired by an incarnation of the Devil into knowing the savage real world and the wild people who populate it, choosing beauty in the person of a beautiful girl, selling the soul he does not believe it exists in order to spend a night with her, and eventually revolting against the payment he signed for. A more human Faust than in most of the other versions we know.

 

(video source Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films)

 

If this Faust was only a video art work I would have completely fell under its spell. It does have however a narrative dimension, and this is where I found the pace and the style unnecessarily complicated, and the usage of dialog too heavy to follow easily and to be a pleasant experience for the viewers. Acting on the other hand is exquisite – is a Faust torn between the desire to conquer the universe by understanding its mechanics and the passion that burns up his human shell, Russian actor is amazing as the ugly sub-human Moneylender who opens the door to Faust’s meeting with the ugliness of the world, and the contrasting as a young botticellian Margarete who descends directly from Vermeer’s paintings. This is one of these movies where the attention is drawn at any moment by visuals, and when it ends you tell yourself that you must have missed many of the hidden and deeper ideas. This may be true, but not completely, as Sokurov seems to be one of those directors who love to keep some of the details explained for himself only, assuming that he knows them at all.

M-am simtit in acea seara dintre putinele petrecute in scurta mea vizita bucuresteana de acum cateva zile, ca transportat si transfigurat in timp cu vreo patru decenii si mai bine in urma, in anii de vraja in care Liviu Ciulei impreuna cu o cativa colegi regizori de mare talent, profunzime si curaj si cu o echipa de actori care aduna impreuna unii dintre cei mai mari actori ai multor generatii ale scenei romanesti de la Clody Berthola trecand prin George Constantin si Stefan Iordache pana la Florin Pittis si Ion Caramitru, creasera la Teatru Bulandra unul dintre centrele de greutate ale teatrului lumii. Incerc sa evit cuvintele mari si voi spune doar ca in acei ani am vazut pe cele doua scene ale Teatrului Bulandra – cea din Gradina Icoanei si cea de langa Podul Izvor multe dintre cele mai bune spectacole de teatru cu care am fost si voi fi binecuvantat vreodata.

 

sursa http://agenda.liternet.ro/articol/18952/Mihaela-Marin/Galerie-foto-Omul-cel-bun-din-Seciuan.html

sursa http://agenda.liternet.ro/articol/18952/Mihaela-Marin/Galerie-foto-Omul-cel-bun-din-Seciuan.html

 

Revederea cu spatiul din Gradina Icoanei este intr-un fel pentru mine o calatorie in timp. Uitasem de adancimea scenei. Imi amintesc spatiul ca multi-functional si flexibil ca pozitie a scenei – ‘Elisabeta’, ‘Furtuna’, si altele cred, mi le amintesc cu scena in mijloc. Acum insa se revine la configuratia ‘proscenium’ si la sala in panta, ceea ce aduce actorii mai jos de ochii majoritatii publicului. Intr-o perioada in care fragilitatea constructiilor in care isi joaca de multe decenii spectacolele teatrele romanesti de traditie, sala din Gradina Icoanei nu este – sper – amenintat acu vreo relocare sau inchidere, desi foierul si caile de acces tare ar mai putea beneficia de o renovare. Pentru mine a fost parca un motiv in plus de nostalgie, dar indisponibilitatea unui program de sala pentru un spectacol de o asemenea tinuta cum este ‘Omul cel bun din Seciuan’, care se joaca de mai bine de un an, si care a apucat deja sa fie premiat cu un important premiu al anului teatral care a trecut, a adaugat un element ne-necesar de reamintire a timpurilor de restriste.

 

sursa imaginii http://stiri.tvr.ro/happening-marca-andrei-serban-la-muzeul-de-arta-contemporana-din-capitala_33641.html

sursa imaginii http://stiri.tvr.ro/happening-marca-andrei-serban-la-muzeul-de-arta-contemporana-din-capitala_33641.html

 

Nu l-am cunoscut niciodata personal pe Andrei Serban, dar am totusi cu el o intersectie biografica interesanta. Prin anii 60 invatam in particular engleza de la aceeasi profesoara – Doamna Ghinopol, fie odihnita, o femeie cu o biografie franta de o condamnare politica, singura ei vina fiind ca in anii imediat de dupa razboi lucrase la Biblioteca Americana. Eu eram un baietel in pragul adolescentei cand dansa imi povestea despre perechea de prieteni – un tanar regizor extrem de talentat, si un critic de teatru pe masura – care ii sunt elevi si de care era extrem de mandra. Cativa ani mai tarziu numele lui Andrei Serban si George Banu incepeau sa faca istorie in teatrul romanesc, si apoi in teatrele lumii. Engleza invatata de la profesoara noastra comuna a fost suficienta pentru a-i permite lui Andrei Serban, ajuns in lumea cea mare in 1969, sa frecventeze studiile cu Peter Brook si apoi sa realizeze in 1971 prima sa punere in scena importanta in Statele Unite, cea cu ‘Medeea’ la teatrul ‘La MaMa’ din New York.

Andrei Serban a fost in Romania si in acest an si am avut ocazia sa-l vad intr-un interviu televizat. Pare mult mai tanar decat cei 72 de ani pe care ii are astazi, si tineretea sa nu este doar fizica si ci spirituala, si pare sa vina in mare parte din interior. Seamana mult fizic cu Paul McCartney, unul dintre cei doi supravietuitori Beatles, dar isi poarta varsta (foarte apropiata) mult mai bine decat acesta. Dar inainte de toate pare a fi in plina forta creativa, si ‘Omul cel bun din Seciuan’ la Teatrul Bulandra este o excelenta dovada.

 

sursa http://www.danasota.com/omul-cel-bun-din-seciuan/

sursa http://www.danasota.com/omul-cel-bun-din-seciuan/

 

Andrei Serban descifreaza textul lui Brecht dintr-o perspectiva contemporana care combina politicul cu umanul. Personajul principal, tanara Shen Te din Seciuan, este pusa la proba de zei, asa cum se intampla intotdeauna in teatrul lumii de la clasicii greci incoace. Este ea ultimul om bun de pe suprafata planetei, cea a carei bunatate poate salva omenirea, macar in ochii zeilor? Ea se va stradui, dar sunt oare suficiente bunele intentii in lumea in care traia Brecht sau in lumea in care traim astazi? Inactiunea este condamnabila din start. Actiunea insa are de multe ori consecinte neasteptate si contrare intentiilor, lumea este construita stramb si oamenii sunt manati de interese meschine, cel care actioneaza in numele binelui este folosit, furat si manipulat iar actiunile grupurilor sociale protestatare nu numai ca nu dau rezultatele asteptate dar se intorc impotriva celor care ar trebui sa beneficieze in urma lor. Putem discuta desigur daca intrebarile puse de Andrei Serban in mod destul de explicit despre protestele sociale de acum cativa ani si ‘primaverile’ de tot felul care s-au transformat repede in toamne reci si ploioase prevazand ingheturile iernilor, sunt puse dintr-o perspectiva personala conservatoare. Eu cred ca ele intentioneaza sa genereze o discutie intre spectatori si in mintile si sufletele acestora. Si asta este bine – este unul dintre scopurile teatrului bun, care poate fi politic fara a fi propagandistic.

A trecut vreo jumatate de secol de cand Andrei Serban epata burghezia proletcultista a Romaniei anilor 60 cu un ‘Iulius Cezar’ in stilul teatrului Kabuki, despre a carui moarte lenta, in ‘slow motion’, s-a scris si s-a discutat enorm. In spectacolul de acum am putut descoperi sau redescoperi aceeasi maiestrie a alegerii formei care pune in cea mai buna si mai expresiva forma continutul. Remarcabil este si faptul ca alegerea este facuta dintr-un registru larg de traditii si tehnici teatrale, care sunt combinate intr-un ansamblu de joc actoricesc, muzica, miscare, costume perfect integrate. Si in plus spectacolul distreaza. Teatrul este o arta si o forma de divertisment, si nici unul dintre marii regizori ale caror puneri in scena am avut sansa sa le vad nu omite aceasta – de la Brook la Ciulei, Pintilie, Andrei Serban sau Purcarete. ‘Omul cel bun din Seciuan’ combina elemente din teatrul antic, ‘commedia dell’arte’, circul, baletul modern, costumele orientale, cabaretul perioadei lui Brecht si un fond muzical inspirat dar evitand sa devina dominant. Am remarcat o singura nota stridenta, in parodierea vorbirii evreiesti a unuia dintre personajele negative – o tipologie etnica nenecesara si de gust indoielnic dupa parerea mea. Altfel este de admirat realizarea unui spectacol unitar si consistent care nu ar fi fost posibila fara o perfecta sincronizare a tuturor componentelor spectacolului, fara o munca sisifica si perfectionista la nivelul ultimului detaliu. Rezultatul este spectaculos. Intreaga echipa de actori joaca la nivelul marilor echipe de actori ale Teatrului Bulandra pe care le-am vazut cu decenii in urma. Nu pot sa nu mentionez numele lui Vlad Ivanov (actor urias si pe scena si in film), Ana Ularu sau Rodica Matache, dar facand asta simt ca fac o anumita nedreptate restului echipei, caci toti au fost excelenti.

Un spectacol de mare tinuta, demn de traditia acestui mare teatru.

Peter Carey a implinit acum doi ani 70 de ani si este considerat astazi un ‘monument’ cultural australian. Portretul sau a figurat chiar pe un timbru dintr-o serie de marci postale cu aceasta tema. Nu a fost insa intotdeauna asa, pana a ajunge sa fie scriitorul popular si consacrat, castigator a doua premii Booker, Carey a avut o tinerete tumultoasa presarata de tot felul de experimente, o cariera scriitoriceasca sinuoasa, si multe alte evenimente mai mult sau mai putin personale intre care refuzul de a se intalni cu regina (Carey este republican) si un divort (al doilea de fapt) foarte public terminat desigur … cu o carte. Din 1990 Peter Carey traieste la New York, temele cartilor sale ocupandu-se alternativ sau combinat de Australia natala, Anglia si Statele Unite, locurile pe care le cunoaste bine si in care a trait si creat timp de multi ani.

‘Oscar si Lucinda’ aparuta original in 1988 i-a adus primul premiu Booker. A fost ecranizata in 1997 intr-un film care nu s-a bucurat de un succes critic rasunator, desi in rolurile principale apar superbii actori Ralph Finnes si Cate Blanchet. Nu am vazut filmul si chiar sunt curios ce l-a despartit de succes comercial. Sa fie o excesiva cumintenie care nu reuseste sa reflecte anarhismul subteran al prozei lui Carey? Sau poate Finnes, actorul interiorizarilor zgomotoase, a fost pus la incercare de o usoara contradistibuire intr-un rol care cere exuberanta exterioare in contrast cu calitatea interioara a personajului?

In Romania cartea a aparut in 2013 in Editura ART, tradusa impecabil de Iulia Gorzo in ceea ce pare sa fie o serie de autor. Initiativa dupa parerea mea excelenta.

Actiunea cartii se petrece la mijlocul secolului al 19-lea in Anglia si Australia. Cele doua personaje care dau titlul cartii sunt despartite la nastere de oceane si prima parte a cartii construieste biografiile lor paralele pregatind prima lor intalnire care are loc aproximativ la mijlocul cartii. Oscar Hopkins este fiul unui preot baptist sarac lipit dintr-un colt de coasta engleza, vaduv ascet, manat de pasiune stiintifica dar intolerant fata de orice abatere de la doctrina sa ultra-puritana. Fiul va fi atras spre credinta anglicana dominanta si mai toleranta, dar in timpul studiilor teologice isi descopera si pasiunea pentru jocurile de carti si pariuri la cursele de cai. Pasiunea pentru metode stiintifice este canalizata in inventarea unui sistem care ii permite sa castige la curse, desi el atribuie norocul mai degraba protectiei divine decat metodei. Lucinda Leplastier este o orfana binecuvantata cu o avere importanta, care ii permite sa cumpere o fabrica de sticla, a carei administrare este insa ingreunata de conventiile sociale care nu permit femeilor nici macar in Australia sa ocupe in societate un rol diferit de cel de sotie. Jocul de carti devine pentru ea o alternativa, un refugiu, un mod de a invinge conventiile si a deveni egala macar la masa de joc.

‘Era fara doar si poate un pacat, dar ii placea sa joace cribbage. Ii placea chiar foarte mult. Se pomenea in timpul zilei asteptand cu nerabdare jocul asa cum pana nu de mult ar fi asteptat cu nerabdare galustele cu sirop de zahar. Cand juca carti nu era nici anosta si nici furioasa. Radea. Parea mai frumoasa. Simtea si ea schimbarea. Oamenii ii zambeau. Jocul de carti o misca intr-un fel pe care nu si-l putea explica nici macar pentru sine.’ (pag. 157)

 

sursa imaginii http://www.cartepedia.ro/speciale/premiul-man-booker-4286

sursa imaginii http://www.cartepedia.ro/speciale/premiul-man-booker-4286

 

Patima jocului si a pariurilor ii aproprie pe cei doi eroi. Intr-o scena cheie din mijlocul cartii, pe un vapor care ii transporta pe amandoi dinspre Anglia spre Australia (Oscar plecat pentru a-si implini ceea ce considera a fi chemarea misionara, Lucinda intorcandu-se dupa o calatorie care reprezentase de fapt o incercare nereusita de a gasi o partida matrimoniala pe masura averii sale) cei doi vor juca un joc de carti caruia doar o cumplita furtuna ii pune capat. In relatia dintre cei doi care de fapt in acel moment doar se infiripa, viciul jocurilor de noroc este fapt un surogat al abstinentei sexuale impuse de normele epocii victoriene dar si de educatia religioasa a celor doi. Presiunea sociala este una dintre temele principale ale cartii – presiunea care ii reprima si inhiba pe eroi in a nu-si exterioriza sentimentele si creaza contratimpul sentimental cu efecte comice pe termen scurt si tragice spre final, presiunea care ii determina sa-si ascunda pasiunea pentru jocurile de carti si pariuri, presiunea care le distruge carierele si ii indreapta spre pariul lor extrem. Aceeasi presiune insa ii si arunca pe unul in bratele celuilalt, desi impratisarea si apropierea fizica au loc tarziu, mult prea tarziu.

Credinta religioasa si formele pe care o imbraca aceasta este una dintre temele secundare importante. Evolutia lui Oscar cel iesit de sub tutela interpetarilor intolerante ale doctrinei crestine predicate de tatal sau si ajuns in mediul mai rational al doctrinei anglicane ‘mainstream’ este descrisa in amanunt in prima parte a cartii, desi abandonata oarecum dezamagitor in jumatatea ‘australiana’ (a doua):

‘Doamna Stratton a zis ca trebuie sa judecam atunci cand alegem doctrina.

A mai zis si ca indoiala este un pacat.

A mai zis si ca indoiala este starea cea mai inalta pentru un crestin.

Oscar s-a tinut tare, ca un baiat infricosat pe un catarg inalt, pe o mare nesfarsita.’ (pag. 75)

 

sursa imaginii http://observer.com/2012/05/scientific-american-peter-carey-on-the-weirdness-of-history/

sursa imaginii http://observer.com/2012/05/scientific-american-peter-carey-on-the-weirdness-of-history/

 

Pasiunea pentru sticla este o alta tema a cartii. Ceea ce la inceput este o afacere care are ca scop sa dea o baza economica productiva averii Lucindei si sa o transforme intr-o activitate utila social, devine in timp substanta unui vis impartasit de cele doua personaje, o fantasmatica biserica din sticla care sa fie transportata in mijlocul desertului australian, devenind un simbol al iubirii si credintei intr-o zona salbatica si ostila. Se combina aici cateva teme ale literaturii lui Carey dar combinatia include si elemente din creuzetul mitic al Australiei: credinta, pasiunea explorarii, sfidarea imposibilului, frumosul si transparenta.

‘Adevarata ei ambitie , cea pe care nu i-ar fi marturisit-o, era sa construiasca ceva Extraordinar si Ales din sticla si fonta. Un Palat de Cristal, dar nu chiar un Palat de Cristal. O sera, dar nu chiar o sera. Sticla cu dantelarii de otel, intinsa ca o panza de paianjen – ideea asta juca undeva la marginea campului ei vizual, intotdeauna prea fugitiv ca sa se limpezeasca. (pag. 351)

‘Dar Oscar nu vedea acelasi lucru ca Lucinda. In timp ce praful dansa in tunelul luminos al soarelui la apus, n-a vazut o constructie mica si indesata si nici o banala latrina, ci lumina, gheata, spectre. A vazut sticla asa cum o percep cei care o iubesc. A inteles ca acesta este materialul brut care seamana cel mai bine cu sufletul sau spiritul (sau cu sufletul sau spiritul asa cum si le-ar fi dorit el), ca era neatins de imperfectiune, de praf, de rugina, ca era un drum spre glorie.’ (pag. 364)

Este remarcabil talentul de povestitor al lui Carey, capacitatea de a descrie oameni si relatii, de a crea in cateva paragrafe personaje vii, complexe, colorate, expresive. Cartea sa este o lume. Nu stiu cat de apropiata si de verosimila este aceasta lume in raport cu realitatea istorica a Angliei si Australiei la mijloc de secol 19, dar este cert o versiune a ei care se intipareste in memoria oricui are sansa sa citeasca aceasta carte.