Insomnia

One of the problems with staying up ’til 1am three nights in a row to meet a thesis deadline is that it’s really difficult to fall asleep before 1am on night four.

With the wife blissfully snoring breathing beside me after a successful meeting with her thesis advisor, I surfed the TV. While watching (and thoroughly enjoying) 10 Things I Hate About You (can’t beat Shakespeare for source material, and I’d watch Julia Stiles recite the phone book) I saw a trailer for the upcoming Wolfman movie, and for a brief time I thought they’d at last made a decent film of the great James Blish’s ne plus ultra werewolf short story, There Shall Be No Darkness. Alas, that’s not the case. But if you haven’t read it, you really should; it’s truly excellent.

I followed that with a dose of bracingly cold water in the form of The Resident Patient, my favorite of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes adaptations. I apologize to all and sundry for my earlier blasphemy. Brett is Holmes, and Burke is Watson, and that’s all there is to it.

Two sequences make this one of the greats. In the first, at about the 5:39 mark, the director sets things up and allows the rest of the cast to go utterly silent for several minutes of screen time as Holmes examines the room. It’s a brilliantly done bit of work.

In the second sequence, and one of my favorite parts of the entire Brett-Burke collaboration, we get to hear Holmes on the Strad, monomaniacally trying to get the fingering down on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. It’s not Canonically correct, but just watch and listen and you’ll see they nailed the characters perfectly.

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3 Responses to Insomnia

  1. BobG says:

    The Wolfman looks to be a remake of the old 1941 version of the same name with Lon Chaney Jr, Bela Lugosi, and Claude Raines. If handled properly, it could be better than the original.

  2. Scott says:

    “10 Things” was filmed in beautiful Tacompton (Tacoma) as well as Seattle. In fact, the school used was my high school!

    And for Julia Stiles: She doesn’t get any better than in Bourne Supremacy. When we watched it my wife said, “I want to cut and dye my hair like hers.” Of course, I was all for it.

  3. Drang says:

    I prefer Hardwicke as Watson over Burke, but overall, there isn’t a lot of difference. Bravo to the producers for portraying Watson as Doyle wrote him–war hero, man of action, gambler and a bit of a lady’s man, as well as nearly Holmes’ intellectual equal–rather than as the bumbling buffoon he is usually played as.

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