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August 1999, Week 1


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Richard Davies <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 2 Aug 1999 17:27:54 +0100
text/plain (31 lines)
> Jim Marsden wrote:
> I haven't seen the film, but having taught the original James novel I'm
> to ask if you mean the movie absent those cuts pushes the psychological
> interpretation (that the governess imagines the ghosts). Because if the
> in the film can be taken equally convincingly as involving either
> hallucinations or the presence of real ghosts, then it would seem
> cuts (if indeed his) would keep the adaptation very close to the James
> work--and thus more, not less, ambiguous.

My muddy prose I'm afraid. I think the cuts push the movie towards the
'it's all in her mind' view. This is because both the shots removed in the
US version are 'objective' - i.e. no close up of the governess before we
see Miss Jessell so as to suggest a point of view, while the close up of
Quint does seem like a vindication of the Governess' fears - fears of
course that prove fatal.

I might just add I think it a shame that Clayton felt (if he did) compelled
to try and be faithful to James. I belong to the school that believes the
faithful ones are dull, and the unfaithful ones pretty and more interesting
- or in this case a good deal less scary.

Richard Davies

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