Tag Archive: Harold Pinter


A POST-MODERN GOLDONI FLOP

Carlo Goldoni’s Il Servitore di due padroni (The servant of two masters) rewritten by Ken Ponzio (Teatro Bonci, Cesena)

Spot the difference! The classic Harlequin and Roberto Latini as the post-modern version.

Spot the difference! The classic Harlequin and Roberto Latini in the post-modern version.

Prepositions have never been my strong point. The consequence of this is that I failed to appreciate the significance of the fact that this Venetian theatre company’s production was ‘da’ and not ‘di’ Carlo Goldoni. The first means ‘from’ the second means ‘by’.

The distinction is crucial because the only connection Ken Ponzio’s version had to the original play from 1743 is in the character names and token references to the plot.

In the programme notes Ponzio seeks to justify his presumptions act of literary terrorism: “Our way of perceiving comedies and tragedies has changed. Today’s expressive methods are radically different from those of Goldoni since we have experienced two world wars, been to the moon and we’ve read Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Heiner Müller; our way of seeing has fundamentally changed”.

When the curtain  rose my heart sank. The set was a characterless hotel hall with three doors on each side. A pot plant, some chairs, a telephone and a TV (tuned to American shows) are the only props. Continue reading

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Concluding my list of the fifty greatest British Cult Movies with my top ten of the most groundbreaking, mind expanding or just plain weird films. If I have left out, or down graded, your personal favourite feel free to comment or, better still, make your own list.

10. TRAINSPOTTING Danny Boyle (1996)

Irvine Welch’s superb novel was in sure hands for the transition to the big screen There’s a first rate cast which Boyle directs with real energy and dark humour to show the ups and downs of heroin addiction. Great music too, including Iggy’s Lust For Life and Underworld’s Born Slippy. The screenplay by John Hodge begins with one of the great ‘fuck the system’ monologues:
“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.  Choose your future. Choose life”.

9. JUBILEE Derek Jarman (1977)
JubileeMade before the first wave of British punk had played itself out this movie is, like the music that inspired it, crude and anarchic. Don’t even begin to look for any plot as this is impressionistic, instinctive cinema that sets its own rules. Adam Ant appears before he became a dandy highwayman and Jordan as punk ‘anti-historian’ Amyl Nitrite. Continue reading

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