The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Finnegan's Wake" didn't particularly appeal to me, but the fault may have been mine and not the film's. I haven't read the novel by James Joyce (it has crouched there on the shelf these many years, pointing its accusing spine at me), and I suspect a knowledge of the book would enrich the film experience. This was not the case with Joseph Strick's "Ulysses," which communicated directly as a movie, rather than depending on a familiarity with Joyce. (Still, I have read "Ulysses," so perhaps I'm biased in the other direction on that one.) Mary Ellen Bute's film, of "Finnegan's Wake" is more directly a "treatment," almost a literal illustration of passages from the novel.
Her method is interesting. The novel is the record of an epic night's journey through the dreams and semiconscious waking mind of H. C. Earwicker (Finnegan). His language is the dream language of puns, snatches of song, bursts of conversation and bits of interior monologue. It is uniquely suited to the printed page, where the puns and subtly altered spellings can be seen but not heard.
When the book is read aloud, however, you hear some of the puns but entirely miss others. Miss Bute has solved this problem by having her actors "peak the lines while subtitles provide a 'simultaneous record of the actual Joyce language.
This business of subtitling films already in English is an interesting one, allowing the use of dialects that might not otherwise be understood by most audiences. In "Sparrows Can't Sing," Joan Littlewood used thick Cockney dialect on her sound track, then provided Subtitles for American audiences.
Meryl Streep and other awards recipients shared their thoughts on an America under Donald Trump during last night's G...
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.
A look at highlights from the career of the great Peter Cushing.