‘The Essex Serpent’: A magical series about science, myth and desire

Sarah Perry won popular acclaim and the 2016 British Book Award for ‘The Essex Serpent’.A complex but irresistibly accessible novel about Cora Seaborne, a young widow from London. energy held during an oppressive marriage As an amateur naturalist and paleontologist, he pursues his passions. His particular Moby Dick is the (real) fictitious myth of the 17th century and could resurface two centuries later in the novel in the (fictitious) Essex village of Aldwinter.

New Yorker Claire Danes (popular hero of ‘Homeland’) applied her best British accent to embody Cora In the Apple TV + adaptation, another pristine array to add to the platform’s 2022 harvest. beside you Tom Hiddleston shines As the handsome Will Ransome, the local pastor with whom our hero has a kind of intellectual flirtation with possibilities for further physical expansion. Relationships and desires are not always clearly outlined in the story, from the very beginning. For example, Martha (Hayley Squires), the nanny of Cora’s autistic son Frankie (Caspar Griffiths), is extremely protective of Cora, if not platonic. ‘Essex Snake’ The conflict between science and superstition of the Victorian erabut also of the confusion between romantic love and friendship.

Among many other things, we can add. For example, director Clio Barnard, who is interested in the project, explains to us via video call that there is “this reflection on how the landscape plays with our souls”. “Also about the need to learn to live with fear and uncertainty; Doubt is important and certainty is something too dogmatic. I liked how the novel and the script explored those ideas.”

leading British director

At the turn of the last decade, Barnard began to gain a reputation as an explorer of tensions between documentary and fiction. His first film was ‘The arbor’ (2010), an experiment in which actors ‘play’ statements collected from real people in interviews. It won the Jean Vigo award for best directing at the Punto de Vista festival in Navarra. The rest of his work is not so radical, but also firmly based on what is possible: “I usually find an idea inspired by a real person and then create the script through workshops. with people who inspire me,” he says, to summarize the most usual way of working.

The ‘Essex Snake’ is a different beast, which cannot be called better. It represents many firsts for Barnard. For starters, her first series, which she didn’t consume much of her format for, but was curious about: “I wanted to know what it was like to say something in six hours instead of ninety minutes.. And what it’s like to do something in episodes with more characters and longer plots for each. A long time ago, ‘The Wire’ taught me how to subvert a character’s expectations by working with a large time frame.” He stays with the slightly more recent drama, ‘Top of the Lake,’ because ” [la directora] Jane Campion has managed to bring out her voice in a recognizable drama style.”

But great filmmaker Andrea Arnold couldn’t keep creative control of the second season of ‘Big Little Lies’. What was Barnard’s experience in this new, more industrial workspace? “I had to stick to some parameters, but I had some freedom in that framework,” she explains. It was about finding a balance between the needs of the product and my concerns as a creator.. Of course, it was something very different from what I usually do. I fought for some things. I left the others.”

for the first time

It really wasn’t a very frustrating experience. Although not part of her first screenplay (most of the adaptation was commissioned by Anna Symon), she did manage to tick some patterns by revising the writing of the first two episodes. And yet another first was almost a blessing: I had never filmed a period story before, “which was difficult because of the size of the production and made me flex new muscles as a director“.Barnard has definitely stepped out of his comfort zone here, which is a bit like saying Yorkshire, where four of his films have been set, including the award-winning ‘The Selfish Giant’ set in Seville (for best screenplay).

But the landscape of the ‘Essex Serpent’, its cold, raw, uncertain nature, is not far from what we saw in the 2017 movie ‘Dark River’. “I think it’s like the scenery in all my movies. This is an instinctive landscape, not an objective one; living, breathing and affecting our psyche. Interestingly, I currently live on the east coast of Kent, which is very similar to the Blackwater Firth, so the landscape where Perry’s work takes place brings me back home. If I reach the end of the road, I see it.”

Source: Informacion


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