Friday, March 4, 2011

JAMB Featured in The Reelists!

Corey Atad of The Reelists approached me to do a regular column on their website. The first article was just posted and you can read it here.

Here's a taste...

A true love of film is a recent development for me but a love of literature was ignited when I was a schoolboy. I fell in love with poetry, novels and especially drama. Perhaps my love of drama and dialogue segues easily to cinema, as does my favorite dramatist, George Bernard Shaw. From the 30s to the 50s and on the BBC in the 70s a number of Shaw plays made their way to the screen, most famously in the musical My Fair Lady, based upon Shaw’s play Pygmalion. This is easy to understand, as Shaw is witty and smart and his themes are deep. On the other hand, his plays, while dramatic, do not emphasize the visual, but the conceptual. The visual presentation of Shaw’s vision is really dependent on the director and his supporters.

It is fascinating then to watch Major Barbara, the only Shaw work on film I’ve seen apart from My Fair Lady. It is fun to see Rex Harrison, a star best known for the My Fair Lady, as a young man, less confident but strong as the man romantically interested in the title character, a Major in the Salvation Army in London. Wendy Hiller is marvelous as the Major in the early scenes of the film where she is strong and in charge, but as her character’s morale falters, so does her performance. The real star of the show is Barbara’s father, Andrew Undershaft, played by Robert Morley. He is despicable in the most charming manner possible, so much so that it is impossible to hate him, especially as he plays his trump card at the end of the film.

Read the rest on The Reelist's website.

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