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The choice made by Terence Davies to adapt The House of Mirth came as a surprise to many of those who had discovered his earlier films. Was a Liverpool filmmaker who had devoted himself to a cinema of intimate self-exploration, able to tackle a subject which was a portrayal of rich classes in early 20th century New York, so remote from the working-class universe he had depicted so far ? The answer was Lily Bart, the heroine of Wharton’s novel. In this female character, intent on achieving personal success, yet pathetic in the ruthless onslaught she suffers from the social circles where she ambitioned to find her place, Davies found a character that fascinated him. He had been familiar with the novel for many years. Consistent with his earlier works, he centered his film on the intimate portrayal and ordeal of Lily, more than on a pungent satire of the moneyed classes, and remained faithful to his personal filming style, which has made him a very distinctive figure in world cinema.
Keywords : Scorsese, Cruelty, empathy, linearity, location, restraint, Tableaux, tragic
Published : 2018-09-11
Francis Rousselet, « Terence et Lily Bart », Cycnos, 2018-09-11. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/169