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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Friday, August 4, 2017

G.K. Chesterton

Following on yesterday's post in fact there is a movie based on Chesterton's The Man who Was Thursday in fact a recent (2016) movie, which I guess was unsuccessful- and no surprise there either as it would require a deft hand to strike the right balance between a politics thriller about thwarting a terrorist sect (in the novel they're planning an assassination of the king of France) and a satiric-comic story about weird eccentrics, secret cults, a messianic leader. Who could bring this off? Maybe Tarantino? In any event: the novel centers on a group of 7 anarchist leaders each of whom adopts the moniker of a day of the week (hence the title) - think Reservoir Dogs - w the protagonist, Thursday, being a member of the British police anti-terrorism squad. Part of the joke is we gradually learn that each of the members except (perhaps) the president, Sunday, is a member of the police - so they've been spying on one another. Of course we expect a realization about Sunday as well - is he the only terrorist among them? Or has he shrewdly led the police down a false trail while the anarchist terrorists proceed w their planning? If taken literally some of the scenes in which Thursday (aka Syme) feels endangered could be quite dramatic- yet GKC can't resist going for broad comic devices that the that use to effect their disguises, such as fake beards, dark glasses, stage makeup, and fake polish accents - as well as some weird scenes in which the characters "converse" thru an elaborate system of finger tapping. In short it's a move that's all over the place and never quite clear about its progeny or its intention, which may be why today it's obscure - certainly in comparison w conrad's novel on a similar theme, the secret agent.

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