[ilds] Durrell the moviegoer

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Apr 26 15:33:23 PDT 2015

Hi Bruce,

I suppose the plain answer is that we don't know how often, but he 
certainly did see films.  He complained about television, and so far as 
I know didn't have or didn't particularly use one.

Susan MacNiven also wrote a note on Durrell and film in /Deus Loci/:

MacNiven, Susan S. “A Matinee Idyll?” /Deus Loci: The Lawrence Durrell 
Journal/ NS 2 (1993): 163–64.

There's also Durrell's own film script for Cleopatra, which eventually 
became the Elizabeth Taylor feature.  I think his script is unfilmable 
but fascinating.  He notes other possible film ideas and film treatments 
in his mss. and a number of times refers to filmic notions for fiction 
(Pursewarden's "being over and over again fast enough to seem like a 
personality" comes to mind [paraphrased] and also references to "cuts" 
like film).

That's about all I've got!


On 2015-04-26 11:38 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:
> How often did Durrell go to the movies?  He was primarily a reader, but
> Ian McNiven reports in his biography that Durrell saw the film /Lost
> Horizon/ (1937) “three or four times” and that in Paris, during his
> Villa Seurat days, he “was determined to see those [films] he had missed
> by living on Corfu” (p. 180).  This would suggest he was a frequent
> moviegoer.  It may also suggest he was influenced by some of them.
>   Recall the film /Judith/ (1965) and his involvement with the
> production.  In “Egyptian Moments” (1978), Durrell mentions several
> actors on the cast of the making of Agatha Christie’s /Death on the
> Nile:/  Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Peter Ustinov, and David Niven.  I
> would suggest movies were more than recreation for LD.
> Bruce
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