Thursday, August 8, 2013

W. Somerset Maugham--Through a Veil Darkly

August's Literary Flick is The Painted Veil, starring Naomi Watts, Ed Norton, and Liev Schreiber. Filmed in 2006, the movie is based on W. Somerset Maugham's 1925 novel.

British socialite Kitty (Watts) marries Walter Fane (Norton), a bacteriologist. They move to Shanghai where they soon learn they have nothing in common; Kitty is vain, vivacious, and fond of parties, while Walter is shy and studious. Kitty begins an affair with Charles Townsend (Schreiber), a married British vice consul.

Learning of his wife’s infidelity, Walter volunteers to work in a Chinese village stricken with a major cholera epidemic. As a backdrop to the story, revolution is brewing in China. While Walter's actions are meant to punish Kitty rather than reflect his own benevolence, the daily trials of living in a community in crisis have a striking impact on the couple, giving them a new and deeper perspective on their relationship.

The Painted Veil moves slowly, lyrically, luxuriantly along, its breathtaking scenery juxtaposing vividly with the misery of illness and war.

The movie will be shown on Tuesday, August 13, at 6:30 p.m.  For more information, call the library at 541-265-2153 or go to the Literary Flicks website.

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