CultureSpace is one of the most consistently well-written and considered blogs I read on a regular basis. Michael’s reviews, particularly of films, pinpoint the subtexts that traffic in the ephemeral; he writes about what films are about better than anybody.
Here he is on The English Patient, which holds the distinction of being the only title that sits on both my top ten lists of books and films:
“If The English Patient is about erotic love and passion, it is equally, if not more so, about the destruction and national hatreds that wreaked havoc in Europe and North Africa; it is about pure physical pain embodied in the burned remnants of one man and the ruined hands of another, and about emotional pain, grief and loss, found not only in Almasy’s tragic past but also in Hana’s own experiences. All of these people bear pain of some sort and are all framed by the deeply saddening story of Almasy’s doomed love affair; they are also searching, in their own way, for something, whether it is truth or vengeance, peace or even death. And yet they, and the film itself, are held from the brink of darkness by the unity that they gradually discover they share with one another and, most of all, by Hana herself. Her buoyancy of spirit and resiliency, despite her distress, provide a sense of hope and renewal.”
— excerpt from For the Heart Is an Organ of Fire, CultureSpace