Sunday, November 16, 2008


(an original promo poster for 'Black Narcissus' from foreign lands, featuring Jean Simmons as Kanchi)

Popped along to the Filmhouse on Thursday to celebrate the MA graduating class of the Screen Academy, and in particular the Screenwriters. Was lovely to see everyone suited and booted, and swishing about proud of their scrolls. It was quite moving talking to people as they looked forward to adventures still to come - I had wondered if it might be a little maudlin, but thankfully it seemed hopeful and sort of shiny. Wonder what it will feel like when I'm in the same position (fingers crossed) next year - I hope to be of a positive frame of mind, and looking forward.

On another note, I've put it off for years so as not to spoil the experience, but am finally reading the novel version of 'Black Narcissus' by Rumer Godden, probably my most favourite film ever. It's so far not disappointing, and is surprisingly similar to the film, yet I'm picturing the characters entirely differently, but not in a ruinous way - it's just... different. I'm enjoying it. I suppose part of me wondered if it would dull my experience of the film or change it in some way, but not at all. I think by now, just about every image and word from the film is imprinted on me - I've seen it so many times, and it never gets old. I'm still surprised how few people I meet have seen it - and of those who have, how few love it passionately. I've met 1 person so far who calls it a 'favourite' - there must be more!

The film's title comes from the name of a scent that one of the characters wears. A part of me wishes that you could actually buy perfume called 'Black Narcissus' as it sounds so gorgeous, exotic, and evokes mysticism and forever. Which is strange, as it's a film ostensibly about nuns struggling in a difficult environment but of course is about a lot more than that... and I won't spoil it for you by writing details. Go and watch it - it might just make you wish for something you didn't know you wanted.


David C said...

You CAN buy Black Narcissus perfume. My partner has some. It's a bit expensive though. Recommend going for the dilute stuff.

M J said...

Thanks David - will investigate!