Why ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ is the remake we’ve been waiting for
Plus, what to read and listen to by Tortoise Media, the slow news agency
Monday 28 November 2022 By Matt d’Ancona
Welcome to the latest Creative Sensemaker from Tortoise Media.
Here are this week’s recommendations:
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (selected cinemas, 25 November; Netflix, 2 December)
While many of the screen adaptations of Lady Chatterley’s Lover have been little more than soft porn masquerading as explorations of sexuality, womanhood and class, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre’s new film reclaims the spirit of D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel from its long captivity. Constance Reid (Emma Corrin) marries Sir Clifford Chatterley (Matthew Duckett) – who is then paralysed on the battlefield from the waist down. His spirited, bohemian wife is reduced to the drudgery of a full-time carer at his Midlands estate, Wragby. Revealing a coldness that becomes sharper with time, Clifford urges her to take a suitable lover so that he may have a son and heir.
Instead, Constance embarks upon a passionate affair with the estate gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell): initially, their minds meet in a shared enthusiasm for literature, but the erotic attraction is deep, primal and irresistible. Corrin and O’Connell are sensational, perfectly cast in the lead roles and completely believable as they sweep aside class taboos in a series of electrifying encounters. After the scandal erupts, Mellors is dismissed and Constance bereft; de Clermont-Tonnerre and her screenplay writer David Magee adapt the ending of the novel in a way that is true to its spirit, but cinematically satisfying. Highly recommended.
Nick Cave: The Complete Lyrics 1978-2022
In this updated volume of Nick Cave’s lyrics, we observe the evolution of a quite extraordinary poet and musician – ‘our chief modern elegist’, as Andrew O’Hagan calls him. Cave describes his songs as ‘my gloomy, violent, dark-eyed children’ and reflects that ‘more often than not the songs I write seem to know more about what’s going on in my life than I do.’ All of which makes this collection an indispensable record of a remarkable – and continuing – creative odyssey. (It can be read in tandem with a viewing of Cave’s most recent documentary, This Much I Know To Be True, now available to rent or buy on demand).
Sonder by Dermot Kennedy
In case you were wondering, the title of Dermot Kennedy’s second album is inspired by an invented word in John Koenig’s The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows (2021), referring to the ‘realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own’.
This may seem a paradoxical choice by the 30-year-old Irish singer-songwriter, but the simplicity of his lyrics can be deceiving. His objective is a universalism that will appeal to every listener in a different way. Across 11 tracks, he invests simple lines with anthemic emotion (as on ‘Already Gone’: ‘My soul stood up and stared me down, said “I have walked you down this road and I am proud”’). Tour dates here.
Don’t forget to send in your own recommendations for Creative Sensemaker to email@example.com.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the week and take care of yourselves.
Editor and Partner