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September 1998, Week 1


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Darryl Wiggers <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 00:42:15 -0400
text/plain (33 lines)
>"The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon" the book and "Barry Lyndon" the movie are
>both guided by narrators whose facts are skewed. The book and moveie's
>narrators are, however, different to each other. The book is first person,
>and it is only through the text that we must decipher the reality of the
>situation, before Barry distorts it. The device is used very differebtly in
>the movie.
>John Nikolakopoulos
>[log in to unmask]
Kubrick explains this in an interview with author Michel Ciment for his
book 'KUBRICK' (1980, Holt, Rinehart and Winston)
Q: How did you come to adopt a third-person commentary instead of the
first-person narrative which is found in the book?
A: I believe Thackeray used Redmond Barry to tell his own story in a
deliberately distorted way because it made it more interesting. Instead of
the omniscient author, Thackeray used the imperfect observer, or perhaps it
would be more accurate to say the dishonest observer, thus allowing the
reader to judge for himself, with little difficulty, the probable truth in
Redmond Barry's view of his life. This technique worked extremely well in
the novel but, of course, in a film you have objective reality in front of
you all the time, so the effect of Thackeray's first-person story-teller
could not be repeated on the screen. It might have worked as comedy by the
juxtaposition of Barry's version of the truth with the reality on the
screen, but I don't think that BARRY LYNDON should have been done as a
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