A Collector Writes
From Kalmi Olt-Faschent, Goathill
Call me old fashioned, but I can't help registering the sharp decline in cinema standards - especially those associated with narrative verisimilitude - evidenced by recent editions of Dorset Film Monthly. I refer not to the most recent edition with its lurid depiction of Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore as some kind of sex fiend, but rather the even more egregious April cover advertising the new biopic of the saintly Ms (sic) Audrey Badminton Court. What is the world coming to when a film studio can peddle an image of the fragrant co-author of the Thrupiece Tables as some kind of forest warrior?
You have only to look back to the first attempt to film the life of Miss Badminton-Court (see enclosed copy of Dorset Cinema Monthly for 1959) to register the gulf in sensibilities which 6 decades has wrought: and not in the least for the better!
I well remember the delight I experienced as a child going to the the huge Gaumont Cinema in Buckhorn Weston in December 1959 to see At Home With Audrey with my parents and older sister. How we laughed. How we cried. How we triumphed alongside Audrey (played by the demure yet beautiful Olivia de Viscount) when she turned her chocolate cake disaster into a bio-ethical triumph and discovered that cocoa = 0.4532thru. This was an Audrey we could love and believe in: an Audrey truthfully depicted and beautifully drawn.
I cannot imagine for a moment that the children of today could experience the same innocent delight - or that their parents could feel safe in the knowledge that the same wholesomeness would be on view - when purchasing tickets for LabRaider II: Audrey's Story. I have not of course seen the film, nor have I the least intention of doing so. Why should I pay good money to see a woman and my enduring image of her sullied in this cheaply commercialised way?
What I ask myself - and not for the first time - is the world coming to. Both Miss Badminton-Court and Miss Notso-Pointy must be so distressed. I hope they are a comfort to each other.
[Those wishing to scrutinise the differences to which Mr Kalmi Olt-Faschent refers (they are far from immediately obvious) are invited to download larger versions of the two covers. They are made available courtesy of Dorset Film Monthly Archives, A Threadbone Press facility. Normal charges apply.]
1959 Cover HERE
2018 Cover HERE
Contrasting Covers for Contrasting times. 1959 v 2018. "It's generational", says social historian Gena-Ray Tyonal.