Written for Criterion‘s DVD and Blu-Ray of The Immortal Story, released in 2016. — J.R.
Where the story-teller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence…
— Grandmother in Isak Dinesen’s “The Blank Page” (Last Tales)
Virginie had a taste for patterns; one of the things for which she despised the English was that to her mind they had no pattern in their lives. She frowned a little, but let Elishama go on. “Only,” he went on, “sometimes the lines of a pattern will run the other way of what you expect. As in a looking-glass.”
“As in a looking-glass,” she repeated slowly.
“Yes,” he said. “But for all that it is still a pattern.”
— Dinesen’s “The Immortal Story” (Anecdotes of Destiny)
Aside from William Shakespeare, no writer excited Orson Welles’ imagination more than Isak Dinesen (1885-1962) — a Danish baroness who wrote mainly in English — especially when it came to the films he wanted to make. Even though she was born thirty years ahead of him, they shared a capacity to stand outside and beyond their own eras.… Read more »