Oct 6 2013 | 1 Comment
ALL LEADS BACK TO BETRAYAL
In the last week I have seen a film, a play and read a book all dealing with the topic of betrayal. I wasn’t seeking it, it just worked out that way.
Each one is memorable and worth checking out if you can.
When the writer of Midnight of in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt suggests you read something you must take him seriously. He is not a man who flings around praise just to be liked or have something to say.
So when he gathered a group of his friends for a book party to celebrate the publication of Flood Of Lies, the new book by New Orleans attorney and now author, James A. Cobb Jr. people showed up. John declared the book a “must read”.
James Cobb is a bear of a man, stuffed with personality and brimming with stories to share. When he stood on John’s staircase and told of the harrowing, nightmare that took place in the now famous case of the St. Rita’s nursing home he had the room enthralled.
He has written a gripping book that tells the tale of Katrina from his families experience and then more importantly his defense of the Mangano family who had been accused of not only betraying but killing the thirty-five elderly people who died in the nursing home they ran in New Orleans, but then it is also a story of the government’s betrayal of its citizens. I don’t want to wreck this page-turner. It’s about disaster, betrayal, justice and is just great story telling.
Wednesday night we went to the third preview of Harold Pinter’s masterpiece Betrayal. The latest production is directed by Mike Nichols, and stars husband and wife team, 007’s Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz.
I have seen several productions of this play, going back to the original in the 1978. It’s a play that gets better with time, or perhaps, more accurately, the older you get the more you can understand and relate to Pinter’s sparse dialogue, but deep subtext about the complexities of human behavior.
This is a case where the play is the star. Mike Nichols kept it simple which was the best thing to do. There is a more homoerotic undertone to this production than others I have seen. And the non movie star cast member Rafe Spall, acts the other two off the stage.
Then last night we saw Enough Said, the second to last film James Gandolfini made before he died.
It is directed by Nicole Holofcener, who is a masterful screenwriter, and a restrained director. She allows her characters to evolve and avoids the manipulative puppeteer direction so many resort to.
This movie is not precisely about betrayal. It’s about people trying to make connections, though because of disappointment, odd circumstances and fear often betray those who they are supposed to protect.
It feels like a final love letter from the talented Gandolfini. It’s a film that stays with you and leaves you thinking about your own life and behavior. Which is exactly what good art is supposed to do.
A wonderful piece about the film by Francine Prose appeared in the New York Review of Books. Worth a read.