Skip to main content

Bad Brideshead, or, Arcadia Fire

Hollywood is so often blamed for ruining the great cultural objects, that it is worth noting that a mainly British team have managed to lay waste to the latest screen adaptation of classic 1940s novel Brideshead Revisited - or so the commentators have been lining up to claim (Eyewear will see the film in the fullness of time).

The irony is that Americans and Canadians (critics and audiences alike) grew up in love with the Granada TV series, which was aired on PBS. The fact that a vast audience in North America was primed and ready for a cinema version seems to have been overlooked by the cynical fire-sale crew who remade it ("everything must go") - who chucked out, apparently, the Teddy Bear, most of the Oxford stuff, and, of course, the religious subtext about grace, and Catholicism. This is like The Jewel In The Crown being remade, without "India".

It hardly makes sense for the current director (even if he is an atheist) of this lamed new version to claim to be "anti-Catholic" - and for most of those involved to have intentionally avoided the original TV version, or, indeed, the novel itself, which is famously about opulence versus austerity. This seems like a self-inflicted wound - but not, at any rate, stigmata.

One of the current tragedies in the cultural life of Britain is that, while in America, where 90% of people believe in God, cultural works can be made, open to the possibility of a divine presence, here, in the UK, far too many in the media and culture industries are militantly anti-religious - neutering their ability to sensitively and robustly engage with most of human history, and culture. Since film is also about good box office, it seems the producers bungled, in turning over such a potentially erotic-if-religiose (and hence, popular) product to a being of less than exquisite imagination.

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!