Cecil Beaton Film and Graham Greene Radio Drama

The director of a new documentary film about Cecil Beaton discusses his life in an article in The Times: “The dark side of Cecil Beaton.” This is Lisa Immordino Vreeland and her film is entitled Love, Cecil. Here’s an excerpt from the article by Nancy Durant:

School was moderately unpleasant — and the source of his lifelong enmity with Evelyn Waugh, a fellow pupil at Heath Mount Preparatory School in Hertfordshire, who recalled with some relish the torment he and his friends meted out to Beaton — but university supplied him with the first opportunity to indulge his talent for reinvention.

The film will be released next week in selected cinemas and a DVD will be issued on 11 December. Vreeland has also written a book by the same title that was published last month.

In another paper, D J Taylor discusses a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel A Burnt-Out Case. Taylor’s review (“Lost in Africa”) is published in The Tablet and opens with this reference to Evelyn Waugh:

According to fellow Catholic Evelyn Waugh, A Burnt-Out Case (1960) was the novel in which Graham Greene recanted his faith. If the jury is still out on that charge, then to listen to the first instalment of Nick Warburton’s excellent two-part dramatisation (19 November) was to be struck by the absolutely elemental nature of the landscapes on display. Physical and spiritual terrain alike had been remorselessly pruned back – so remorselessly that, as very often happens in Greene-land, you sometimes suspected that there was hardly any space left in which the characters could manoeuvre.

In his review Taylor goes on to describe the story and the challenges of the radio adaptation. The first episode is available to monitor on BBC iPlayer,  and Episode 2 will be broadcast on Sunday 25 November at 1500 pm, to be posted on iPlayer thereafter. Waugh did not review Greene’s novel but did discuss it with Greene in their correspondence. Relevant excerpts from both sides of that correspondence appear in Norman Sherry, The Life of Graham Greene: Volume III 1995-1991 (New York, 2004, pp. 267-69). Waugh also mentions the novel in a 1962 Sunday Times article entitled “Sloth” (EAR, pp. 573-74).



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