Nothing like a good epic novel to get the juices flowing. 1000+ pages? Bring it on. I read “Atlas Shrugged” last year. That was a trip. We can talk about that sometime. Also: I cannot recommend highly enough David Foster Wallace's “Infinite Jest.” A longtime favorite, however, is Leo Tolstoy's “Anna Karenina,” the story of a woman in a stuffy marriage who finds excitement in her affair with the young and enigmatic Count Vronsky. It is simultaneously an exploration and criticism of Russian society and the so-called intelligentsia which, at times, feels appropriate even today. This is a Great Work of Art.
So, naturally, filmmakers took to it as soon as possible, with the first adaptation appearing in 1915. Since then there have been seven more films made from the source material, as well as two television series.
The most recent Anna Karenina came out last year, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), and was something of a theatrical spectacle – literally. The action largely takes place on a literal stage, with the setting morphing right in front of your eyes as the characters flit from one scene to another. It is a visual feast, beautifully rendered, with a gorgeous film score to match. Of course, general opinion, which includes myself, holds that the film is more style over substance, presenting Tolstoy's story but largely without the heart and soul present in the novel.
It is still, however, a splendiferous thing to see, which is why you should head over to the University of Louisville Floyd Theater this weekend to catch it. It will be screening tonight, Friday, and tomorrow at 5:00 and 8:00. Admission is $1.50 for students and $3 for the general public.
The Floyd Theater is located on the third floor of the Student Activities Center on the U of L campus. Complete information can be found at the Facebook event page.
Image: Internet Movie Database