Friday, July 16, 2010


Recently I have been watching Janet Frame's An Angel at My Table again, for about the squillienth time.

Is there a better film - or indeed book - about being sensitive and writing? Or about sensitive writing?

And when I went on Youtube to look up some scenes to put up here, then this is exactly the one I would hope to find because it sums up so exactly my fears (and I know not just mine) about standing up in public:

Almost, but just not quite, unbearable. That's what you would call what happens next in the film.

Of course, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I'm going up to Bristol today to present the prize at the Short Story Prize there. Actually, it really hasn't. I've read most of the stories that will be appearing in the anthology now. And I can tell you that they are absolutely sensational. It's going to be a real honour to meet everyone, and to get to talk to the writers.

And of course to help make the winner deservedly happy.... Sometimes I really really do love my life!


annell said...

I just ordered and watched that film directed by Jane Campion. I love her work, and find everything she does really wonderful!

Ted said...

I loved this film when it came out and watched it again a few years ago. So frustrating the assumptions that were made about her. So wonderful her triumph and her artistic productivity despite her different way of experiencing life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah

I love this film - its extraordinary in all its three parts - and Campion is just supremely - maybe uniquely - gifted at getting at the peculiar oddity of the creative being - from this film to Ada in 'The Piano' to Keats (and Fanny Brawne) in the underrated 'Bright Star'. Kerry Fox isn't just impersonating Janet Frame in the parts Two and Three, but being a writer: it's there even in how she holds the books she reads, the hungry gaze she gives the page.

Impersonating an artist successfully in a film is rare - I mean really believing the actor might have created the work as well as lived the life. Charles Laughton does it in 'Rembrandt' - it's in the way he seems always to be sizing up the other actors for a future composition.