Thoughts on Ian McEwan… cinema and book

I utilized some of the time-off given by this blessed snowstorm to watch for the third time the film Atonement, which was adapted from English writer Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name. It really is a fantastic movie once you come to appreciate it. The first time I watched it, I had to force myself through it a little. Its tone… particularly in the romance aspect… is so stodgily and typically British. But then that speaks to one of the underlying themes, I think. Now each time I watch it, I notice something else brilliant about it. Of particular note this time was that they did a magnificent job on the score and the sound editing for that film. I have never heard a typewriter used as an instrument and in concert with other instruments the way it is used in Atonement. It’s a fantastic tension builder!! For anyone reluctant to check out the movie for fear it might be too boring or too British, take it from one who shared your fears at first but now thinks it is a great film based on a great novel and well worth all the hype. The ending is great and I will just leave it at that.

I have never read Atonement, but I am flipping through a book of McEwan’s short stories entitled First Love, Last Rites. It is quite something. So far I have found myself in awe of McEwan’s ability to freak me out with his ability to casually explore disturbing subject matter. So much of this book has to do with rites of passage, sexual attitudes and experiences… it’s great. Besides, how can you go wrong with a story that features a penis floating in a jar of formaldahyde and dimensional travel all in the same tale? (“Solid Geometry”, McEwan)

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