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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!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sorenr
2005-07-16 01:28 am (UTC)
My favourite Christie BOOK is the only one she published under her second married name, Agatha Christie Mallowan: Come, Tell Me How You Live... -It's basically just a description of what it was like when she went with Mr. Mallowan on the excavations in the Middle East, and it's a really good read. Her prose even seems more lucid and eloquent when she's not doing the who-dunnits. I bought it after they had that exhinbition about her at the British Museum a few years back, and it is still one of the best pieces of autobiography that I can think of.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 02:14 am (UTC)
That sounds really interesting.

I've always been intrigued by the Christie-Mallowan marriage- partly because Mallowan was a distinguished old boy of my school.
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