Genius

Genius

DVD - 2016
Average Rating:
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"A chronicle of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others."--www.imdb.com.
Publisher: Santa Monica, California : Summit Entertainment, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
Branch Call Number: FIC Geniu
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1
digital,optical,surround,Dolby 5.1
1 videodisc (approximately 104 min.) : sound, colour ; 4 3/4 in.

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m
mjayh
Sep 04, 2017

This film got rather underwhelming reviews by movie critics--largely because it claims to be a true story yet fails to stick to the book upon which it was based, making changes deemed not as interesting or relevant as what really happened. Still, I enjoyed it and it seemed fitting that Perkins, the editor responsible for "discovering" so many writers and developing their talent, finally got the recognition he deserved.

f
firefly5
Jul 23, 2017

Very slow moving film. Boring at times. I gave up after 1/2 an hour.

v
voisjoe1_0
May 08, 2017

Max Perkins, editor of Charles Scribner's Sons publishing firm, works with author Thomas Wolfe, helping him to become a best selling author of two novels. Since Perkins spent many months eliminating hundreds (even thousands?) of pages of excess verbiage, he asks in the film, "Does an editor help an author to improve his book or does he help the author to write a different book." I have recently read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "To Set a Watchman," two versions of the same novel. Reading these two highly accessible novels, one can see that the editor helped the author write a largely different and improved story, as "To Set a Watchman" was a very beginning writer's novel and the editor had to dig out the real meat of the story and guide the author to write a very different, better story.

k
karinluvsreading2
Apr 15, 2017

Did not finish watching. Good acting but very slow.

k
KingofAce
Apr 10, 2017

I like this movie a lot, but why did they cast leading actors with (2) British and (1) Australian actors for the best American novel novelists of the 20th century? (Tom Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway) I thought maybe the producer want British and Australian audience to be interested in American novelists. Or American actors were snubbed by casting.

a
aksbrmo1026
Apr 05, 2017

Very slow paced movie. Gave up after 20 minutes.

A good multi-biographical drama. Good performances and wonderful sets and locations recreate Depression-era New York City. Jude Law is, I think, given too much screen time and is perhaps a bit too over-the-top. I'd have liked to have seen much more of the other geniuses: Hemingway and Fitzgerald. A full-on four-way between these authors and their editor in common, Maxwell Perkins, might have been more compelling. Perkins had to juggle the egos and talents of these three literary masters simultaneously and that balancing act was only suggested here as this story focused almost exclusively on Wolfe. Watch this movie. It's good, often very good - perhaps even flashes of genius.

m
MrHankey_2
Feb 19, 2017

Very good movie. This movie isn't "strictly for lovers of the literary world". If you enjoy movies based on true stories as I do, then you may like this movie.

t
thornhill_boy
Feb 08, 2017

Although it has a few holes and gaps in terms of cinematic work, overall an enjoyable movie if you care about finer and sensitive elements such as literature, deep dive into personal anguish and brilliance of literary figures, languid treatment of period characters. Overall a movie worth watching because of Colin Firth and Jude Law. Performances of all the others are below average and eminently forgettable.

o
Olivy
Feb 04, 2017

We really enjoyed this film. It is extremely interesting with a sense of history profiling a challenging individual played brilliantly by Jude Law. They did not go over the top with Wolfe, but kept it very plausible and intriguing. You do not need any sort of literary understanding, just an appreciation for quality film making.

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j
jimg2000
Nov 27, 2016

"Look Homeward, Angel" draft opening in the film:
A stone, a leaf, an unfound door
of a stone, a leaf, a door.
And of all the forgotten faces.
Which of us has known his brother?
Which of us has looked into his father's heart?
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent?
Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
Remembering, speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost Lane-end into heaven,
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door.
Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

Unedited, or rather excerpt, "Look Homeward, Angel' book opening:
. . . a stone, a leaf, an unfound door;
of a stone, a leaf, a door.
And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile. 
In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face;
from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? 
Which of us has looked into his father's heart? 
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent?
Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost!
Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language,
the lost lane-end into heaven,
a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. 
Where?  When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

Some books are supposed to be long, you know? Thank Christ Tolstoy never met you. We'd have that great novel "War and 'Nothing'."
===
God damn! It's the tip of the iceberg, Tom.
-You're giving me the full iceberg.
===
Pink is never just pink. It's a thousand other things, all profoundly important to him. All variations on his psychological state. Every image and the sound of every word matters.
-No, it doesn't.
Nonsense. They're vital!
-You're losing the plot.
Vital!
-Well, what did you hear when you fell in love? What did you hear? Clattering?
The point is it was all happening inside him. His life changed, no one else in the room noticed anything.
-Then make that the point.
I hate to see the words go!
-Maybe the larger question is this. In a book crowded with great rolling mountains of prose, how is this moment profoundly different? Because it's simple. Unadorned. Like lightning.
Standing out in the black sky by its starkness.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

Editors should be anonymous. More than that, there's always the fear that I deformed your book. Who's to say it wasn't the way it was meant to be when you first brought it in? War and peace. Not just war. ... That's what we editors lose sleep over, you know? Are we really making books better? Or just making them different?
===
It's one damn vacation, for Christ's sake! Louise, a writer like tom, i get one in a lifetime.
-You get your daughters for the same lifetime.
===
I'll tell you one thing, my friend. You wouldn't do this to Hemingway. You wouldn't do this to Fitzgerald, not to your two goddamn sacred cows! Every word they write is golden genius!

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

I've been away so long, we have to celebrate my return to the greatest of nations with all things American. I have to eat some wieners and, and walk the city and drink us some serious liquor. I mean,
can one man do it? Write his whole life story fairly? Honestly? Like proust, without all the upholstery.
===
This is where I wrote look homeward, angel. I would come here every twilight and look at the city and dream of what my life might be, till the stars came out. The stars in the sky. The lights in the buildings. All those lights. All the power of life.
-You're not frivolous, Tom.
I think back in the caveman days, our ancestors would huddle around the fire at night and wolves would be howling in the dark, just beyond the light. And one person would start talking. And he would tell a story, so we wouldn't be so scared in the dark.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

I'm a writer. All I do is spend time alone.
-No, you spend time with your characters. You've never been alone.
===
But god help anyone who loves you, Tom. Because for all your talk and all your millions of beautiful words, you haven't the slightest idea of what it means to be alive. To look into another person's eyes and ache for him.
===
You're nothing but a coward! Stuck in that sterile little office. Every beautiful thing in you stunted. You don't have the first idea what it is to be alive! You don't know what it is to wake up and grab hold of life every day and fight with it. You're just so goddamn scared to live.
-There are other ways to live! There's loving your children and seeing them grow up right. There's providing for your family. There's doing work that's important and giving to other people.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

I've been rambling around for months now. Haven't had anybody to talk to about work.
-Ah. Work.
I mean, who better to talk to? The man who created something immortal. More and more, i trouble myself with that. "The legacy." Will anyone care about Thomas Wolfe in 100 years? Ten years?
-When I was young, i asked myself that question every day. Now, I ask myself, "can I write one good sentence?"
===
The last time i saw my father, I was standing at a train window, when I went north to college. He just got smaller and smaller as we pulled away, until I couldn't see him anymore. That train carried me to my life. Beyond the hills and over the rivers. And always, the rivers run. Sometimes they flow away from my father and sometimes they flow back to his door. I have to prove i can do it by myself.

j
jimg2000
Nov 26, 2016

The letter ***Spoiler Alert***

I've made a long voyage and been to a strange country and I've seen the dark man very close. And I don't think I was too much afraid of him. But I want most desperately to live. I want to see you again. For there is such impossible anguish and regret for all I can never say to you, for all the work I have to do. I feel as if a great window has been opened on life. And if I come through this, I hope to god I am a better man and can live up to you. But most of all, I wanted to tell you, no matter what happens, I shall always feel about you the way I did that November day when you met me at the boat and we went on top of the building and all the strangeness and the glory and the power of life were below.

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