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Killing A Mouse On Sunday: Emeric Pressburger - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Killing A Mouse On Sunday: Emeric Pressburger [Jul. 25th, 2012|11:18 am]
Tony Grist
I find that stories about arthritic old men reliving their glory days begin to have a personal application. (If the character aches, I identify.) This one is set in the 1960s on the border between the French Republic and Franco's Spain. It's essentially a western.  Manuel Artiguez - a hero of the Spanish Civil War now running to seed- is the (not so) noble outlaw; his oppo, the police chief Vinolas-  a comfortable old hypocrite- is the man with the badge. A young boy observes them and a catholic priest gets batted about between them.  Pressburger gives all these principal characters a shot at narration, which means no-one emerges as entirely hero or villain. The worst crime- in a roster that includes torture, murder, rape and adultery- is not to learn from your experience. The film version (Behold a Pale Horse) simplified the morality and employed a cast of chappies who were all of them too young and virile. (Omar Sharif as a naive catholic priest- I ask you!) The director was Fred Zinneman. I'd have liked to have seen Pressburger's old partner Michael Powell have a shot at it. Failing him, Sam Peckinpah.

(My copy- which I picked up in an antique shop in Little Walsingham- has splendidly energetic line drawings by William Papas- one time political cartoonist with the Guardian and the Sunday Times. It's been nice meeting up with him again.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-07-25 04:50 pm (UTC)
Pressburger gives all these principal characters a shot at narration, which means no-one emerges as entirely hero or villain.

I don't think I knew this book existed. I'll look for it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-07-25 06:12 pm (UTC)
I happened upon it. I was looking through a pile of the books in an antique shop and saw his name and knew I had to have it (whatever it was).
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