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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anna Karenina; Food for Thought and a Feast for Your Eyes

Last night I saw the newest film version of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Loved it!   I loved it so much that I went to my favorite bookstore for used books, Last Word Bookshop, and I got my copy of Tolstoy’s epic story. The number of pages seems a bit daunting, but I am determined after seeing this film. I will also take a couple of Russian Literature courses at school. 

Visually the film is a nonstop feast for your eyes. What had me sitting on the edge of my seat was nothing scary. It was how the director Joe Wright presented this story.  It was presented not as a play, but it is told from a stage, in the most original, imaginative, and surreal and bold way.

Another great discovery for me is playwright Tom Stoppard who wrote the screenplay for Wright’s Anna Karenina.  Playwright Tony Kushner visited my school this past semester and shared his insights on the craft of playwriting.  I had previously seen his Angels in America.  Consequently, I was excited to see Spielberg’s Lincoln film, because Mr. Kushner was the screenwriter.   It has been a new and interesting journey meeting all kinds of writers and studying their work and seeing the creative ways in which they present their work to the public.

Tom Stoppard and Joe Wright are now at the top of my list for delivering on the wonder and delight.  You have to experience how this story is told. 

My mom was constantly whispering historical commentary in my ear throughout the film, which, I will admit, made me more excited about reading and discovering more of Tolstoy.

A few years ago, I participated in The Great Books Summer Program at Amherst College, where all I did for a few weeks were read and discuss books.  It was WONDERFUL!  You can also study with this program at Stanford University and Oxford University, in England.  This program also has a film component, where students watch and learn how to critique films.  Here is a link to learn about this program.

Last Word Bookshop
Address: 220 South 40th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone:(215) 386-7750