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Tony Grist

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Agatha Christie [Jul. 16th, 2005|08:47 am]
Tony Grist
Agatha Christie fools me every time. I've studied her methods in film after film (I can't bear the books, but my idea of a relaxing evening is to settle in with a Poirot dramatization) and I never spot the killer in advance.

She's the master of misdirection. All the evidence is there, but somehow she contrives for you not to spot it. She's awesome.

It's become a tradition (ever since Murder on the Orient Express) that Christie dramatizations should be packed with stars and polished to a high shine. The Poirot series (with the incomparable David Suchet) was worth watching simply for the production values. Everything gleamed, everything from the houses to the ashtrays was Art Deco. Mmmmm.

Last night was an oddity. The Pale Horse is late Christie and there's no Poirot, no Miss Marple and it's set contemporaneously in the Sixties. The film was as meticulous in its recreation of that era as tradition demands- with authentic clothes and cars and haircuts, conversational references to "angry young men", posters for Lolita and the Rolling Stones on bedsit walls and the Kinks on the soundtrack. It's odd to see a period one has lived through treated as if it were a remote historical epoch. It made me feel old to the point of ghostliness.

And Gollum was in it- Andy Serkis I mean- as a strange, nerdy, young policeman with an even stranger head of hair. He easily stole the show from the nominal hero. What a talent he is!

[User Picture]From: mummm
2005-07-16 01:26 am (UTC)
I love Agatha's work. I have ever since I read And Then There Were None in junior high school. I love the books, movies, and the made for TV shows.

I'm just curious as to why you can't bear her books? I've read many of them and they are so much fun.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 02:12 am (UTC)
To be honest, I haven't tried to read any of them for years.

I found then dull and dusty, without any depth of characterization and the intricacy of the plotting made my head spin.

As a writer I think she's much less interesting than Sayers or Allingham or Dickson Carr- all of whom I devoured with gusto in my youth.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2005-07-16 07:55 am (UTC)
Ha! I guess I am just dull and dusty then too. *wink*
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 08:14 am (UTC)
Perish the thought :)
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