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HENRY JAMES FILM FESTIVAL
Saturday, Apr 9, 2011 - 10:00 am, FREE



James Family Celebration events

The Henry James Film Festival is part of the James Family Celebration, Renowned author Henry James and his brother William, a psychology professor and philosopher, had many ties to the Albany area. Their father graduated from the Albany Academy, and their grandfather made his fortune in Albany real estate. Henry James opened his story, Portrait of a Lady, in a brownstone on Albany's State Street. The significant works and pivotal thought of the two brothers helped shape the 20th Century and more particularly the intellectual, artistic, and philosophical moment now called modernism. For a complete listing of James Family Celebration events, visit www.jamesfamilycelebration.com

The Portrait of a Lady
Directed by Jane Campion. Starring Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey.
A novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880-81 and then as a book in 1881. It is one of James most popular long novels, and is regarded by critics as one of his finest. Isabel Archer, an American heiress and free thinker travels to Europe to find herself. She tactfully rebuffs the advances of Caspar Goodwood, another American who has followed her to England. Her cousin, Ralph Touchett, wise but sickly becomes a soulmate of sorts for her. She makes an unfortunate alliance with the creepy Madame Merle who leads her to make an even more unfortunate alliance with Gilbert Osmond, a smooth but cold collector of Objets' de art who seduces her with an intense but unattainable sexuality. Isabel marries Osmond only to realize she's just another piece of art for his collection and that Madame Merle and Osmond are lovers who had hatched a diabolical scheme to take Isabel's fortune. Isabel's only comfort is the innocent daughter of Osmond, Pansy, but even that friendship is spoiled when Countess Gemini, Osmond's sister, reveals the child's true parentage. Isabel finally breaks free of Osmond and returns to Ralph's bedside.

The Wings of the Dove
Directed by Iain Softley. Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott
A 1902 novel by Henry James. Despite the inevitable dissenters, The Wings of the Dove has achieved one of the strongest critical positions of any of James' works. Ironically, one of the dissenters, at least to some extent, might have been the author himself. In his preface to the New York Edition, James spent much time confessing to supposed faults in the novel: defective structure, characters not as well presented as they could be, and a general failure to realize his initial plan for the book. An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.

 

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