DVD – Black Book
I don’t watch telly, well maybe a little, but I do indulge in the occasional film. Three a month to be exact. We hire DVDs from Amazon. We compile a list of old and new release films and receive them by post. Once the film has been watched it’s popped back in its pre-paid envelope, posted back and within a couple of days the next film on the list arrives. It’s great.
This week the offering was Black Book, a dutch film with English subtitles. Black Book is the story of a Jew involved in the Dutch Resistance just before the end of WWII. The story is well plotted and convincing and the actress who plays the lead, Carice van Houten, is brilliant as the Jew who falls for the German she is sent to spy on. The revulsion she tries to hide, as she sings a duet with the SS officer she saw murder her family, can only be describe as simpering contempt.
The Master and Margarita by Mikail Bulgakov is my first real venture into the world of Russian Literature and I enjoyed every minute of it. The novel is a fantastical story of a visit to Moscow by the Devil and a few of his side kicks. The Devil uses a theatre black magic show to gain access to large numbers of Muscovite and tempt these poor people with money and fine clothes. He exposes the worst traits in them and sends a number of the theatre staff to the lunatic asylum in the process. The only two characters immune to the mischief are the Master, a writer who burns his own novel about Pontius Pilate before ending up in the asylum, and Margarita his lost mistress, who left her husband to become a witch and host Satan’s Ball so she could free her mad lover.
The novel is packed with fanciful stories and an intriguing account of Pontius Pilate’s part in the demise of the Messiah. The descriptions and images are described in a rich and unique style. The one problem I had reading this novel was the weird nightmares that visited me, so in a way I am please to close the last page and look forward to a peaceful night’s sleep.
I am off to Canada tomorrow. I hope I can post some snippets while I am there.