Harold Pinter – Colin Firth – The caretaker

October 10th, 2012

Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard photographed by Arnold Newman

Harold Pinter was born on 10 October 1930.

The Servant (Scripted by Pinter, directed by Losey, starrig Dirk Bogarde, James Fox & Sarah Miles)

R.I.P Harold Pinter (don’t miss “Apart from that” – much better than the presidential debate).

    Portrait of Harold Pinter by Joe Hill

  • The Lovers – Clip from 1963 TV Play by Pinter

    Harold Pinter without dialogues? Vivien Merchant, Pinter’s first wife
    plays the character.

    Master and Caretker

  • In his screenplays Pinter constantly returns to fascism’s pyschological and historical origins . It is that that makes his movies as significant as his plays and elevates him from the ranks of a master-stylist into an auteur.

    Pinter and Vaclav Havel

    “I think definitely. But it’s worth noting that Havel and Pinter were close friends. During the communist period Pinter, along with other playwrights, really tried to lobby for Havel’s release, to help – he was active. In terms of the plays I think that the only major difference was that Mr Havel wrote more from the ‘lived’ experience of the absurd whereas with Pinter it’s almost a philosophical question. I mean, he was living in a democracy and not under a communist system. But there are areas where they meet.

    Go Between – Alan Bates Julie Christie script by Harold Pinter(see two youtube clips)

    R.I.P Harold Pinter

    December 25th, 2008

    Goodbye Harold Pinter. He was 78 years old

    Obits from Greencinedaily and NYtimes.

    Apart From That

    I talked to Harold himself at great length, to his friends and colleagues. And what I discovered was that his plays, so often dubbed enigmatic and mysterious, were nearly all spun out of memories of his own experience. If they connected with audiences the world over, it was because he understood the insecurity of human life and the sense that it was often based on psychological and territorial battles. (Michael Billington)

    Previous posts;
    Harold Pinter – A Master and a Caretaker

    More links on Harold and a clip from his play “The Lovers” on youtube


    True story: a young theatre student became obsessed with “The Birthday Party.” He wrote a forty page essay about its “meaning” and thought he’d come up with a brilliant interpretation. He decided to mail his tome to Harold Pinter, and after doing so, he was puzzled as to why he didn’t get an immediate, enthusiastic reply. Eventually, he resigned himself to the fact that he’d never hear back. But then, almost a year later, he got a manila envelope in the mail. He opened it and found his essay inside. Scrawled on the front page, written in think magic marker, were the words “Fuck off. — H.P.” (Harold Pinter, Curtain Call at metafilter)

    Harold Pinter – A Master and a Caretaker

    October 14th, 2005

    Just a few days after his birthday Harold Pinter received a Nobel Prize, unlike last year’s controversial win by Elfriede Jelinek (the Piano Tacher), Harold Pinter has been well established in the world of both theater and cinema.
    Born on October 10, 1930, Pinter is a libra/horse – the measured commander, his Sun in Libra/Moon in Taurus – (same as Steve Reich, F. Scott Fitzgerald and M. Antonioni, charming, cultured, determined, good judgment, and patient.)

    Harold Pinter
    Left – Harold Pinter with Frances O’Conner in Mansfield Park
    Right – an image from a play “The Caretaker” – about the painful power struggles between two brothers and the tramp who comes to stay with them.

    “And you thought his plays were great…
    In his screenplays Pinter constantly returns to fascism’s pyschological and historical origins . It is that that makes his movies as significant as his plays and elevates him from the ranks of a master-stylist into an auteur. (More here)

    The Servant was Pinter’s first collaboration with Joseph Losey. The film changed the course of Dirk Bogarde‘s career, established him as a magnetic and serious actor. (Salon in this link to Bogarde describes him as a gentlman pervert).
    Pinter – Losey teamed up for more memorable films with “The Accident” and “The Go Between”.

    “He uses language to convey miscommunication and lack of understanding rather than shared comprehension. ” (from NYTimes)

    What is pinteresque?
    * The plot must portray the disruption of normal domestic life
    * There must be the feeling that we, the audience, are missing something vital to the complete understanding of the text
    * Dialogue should be written as people often speak it – it doesn’t need to directly further the plot, make sense or be witty all the time, it can instead contribute to the atmosphere
    * There must be seemingly random acts of verbal and physical violence
    Outside of literary circles the word can be used to describe anything tame or ordinary that’s said in a particularly violent or threatening way.

    Here is one of his poems.

    After Lunch

    And after noon the well-dressed creatures come
    To sniff among the dead
    And have their lunch

    And all the many well-dressed creatures pluck
    The swollen avocados from the dust
    And stir the minestrone with stray bones

    And after lunch
    They loll and lounge about
    Decanting claret in convenient skulls

    (Harold Pinter September 2002)

    On Pinter’s Poem About War in Iraq from Talkleft.

    Speaking of poetry, today (Oct 14)was Cummings’s birthday.
    Read his great anti-war poems here, he was a pacifist.
    e. e. cummings
    10/14/1894 – 9/3/1962
    American poet