Thursday, August 19, 2021

Great Moments in Movie Shelves #196

I re-watched Anthony Minghella's The English Patient this past weekend for the first time in probably two decades -- I still love it, I still swoon at it, but I had forgotten this blasphemous scene where Juliette Binoche's character ransacks the bombed out Italian Monastery's library for old books with which to make stairs -- STAIRS!!! -- out of, and you had better believe I gasped. Lord knows I love a Juli but if I ever meet her we will have to words about her signing on to act this scene out. She should have demanded they changed it! The nerve! 

Okay okay I know it's actually a plot point, or at least a plot device -- Ralph Fiennes' bedridden character asks what all the noise was, she tells him of the sin she's been committing with the books, he replies that maybe she could read to him from a book, she says those books are all crispy like him, he says well hey I have a book over there and you can read to me from that and voila, we have the story the film tells unspooled for us. Perhaps even symbolically it works -- "All of these dusty tattered forgotten stories will help us get to where we need to get!" I still hate seeing such violence. This movie needs a trigger warning.

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