Thursday, February 25, 2010

More of Sharon's character from "Eye of the Devil", Polanski's Macbeth and his new film's stars talk about the director

Here's more from the novel version of "Eye of the Devil" by Philip Loraine:
....they heard the unmistakable roar of the Mercedes.

Francoise turned her head sharply.  "She's stopping."

They both looked up at the road which at this point followed the curve of the lake, divided from it by only a narrow field.  The white car was driving slowly round the bend, and the face of the girl at the wheel was turned towards them, very dark glasses masking her eyes; the brilliant hair shone in the sunlight.

"She is stopping."

Lindsay was shocked to recognize fear in her voice; he turned to look at her; she was staring up at the car, biting her lip.
"Steady on," he said.  "She's not really a witch, you know."

"I don't like her."


But the white car was slowing down; it bumped on to the grass verge and came to a standstill.  The girl got out, waved to them, and began to climb the fence into the field.

"Now, why," said Francoise.  "Why?"  She looked reflectively at her children, who were sailing the grounded punt across oceans of the imagination; then she looked at Lindsay.
"You," she said.  "Yes, it must be something to do with you."

"Does it have to be something to do with something?  I mean, people do talk to people without motives."

Francoise gave him one of her unfathomable looks, when the light, the life, in her eyes seemed to have withdrawn into a deep dark cave.  She said nothing, but turned and watched the girl coming towards them.

To Lindsay she looked almost exactly like any one of the rather untidy maidens who slop around St. Tropez all summer.  She wore the same trousers that he had seen before and a shirt hanging outside of them; her feet were bare; she was very brown; whatever else she might be was obscured by the dark glasses.

Francoise said, "Odile!  I haven't seen you for ages.  This is James Lindsay.  Mademoiselle de Caray."
The girl smiled at Lindsay and sat down in one movement like a cat; the fact that she settled a little away from them--that is to say, a little farther from them than was quite natural--and then in a tuft of long grass, increased her likeness to that animal.

She said, "It's so hot; it makes me lazy."

Lindsay felt (quite wrongly as it happened), that he was beginning to get the measure of the people who frequented Bellac; in any case she had tickled his sense of humour so that he could not help laughing.  The dark glasses were levelled at him.  "You find this funny: that the heat makes me lazy."

"No," he said.  "It's nice of you, mademoiselle; you are so like a cat."

She smiled.  "How nice of you, monsieur; my mother says that I am like a ferret.  Now, I ask you, is that a nice thing to call your daughter?"

She shrugged; clearly what her mother thought was of no interest to her.

The children had now rejoined them--Tante Estelle was not the only person at Bellac unable to resist strangers--and stood looking at Mademoiselle de Caray.

Gilles said, "Show us a trick, Odile."

"It's too hot."

From the sudden stillness of Francoise beside him, Lindsay gathered that this was the first time she had heard of  "tricks"; a moment later she verified his suspicion by saying, "But how interesting! What trick did Odile show you, darling?"

The small boy rubbed one leg against the back of the other.  "Oh, just tricks.  You know."

Odile, sucking a piece of grass, said, "I turned a frog into a goldfish, didn't I, Gilles?"

Antoinette, jumping up and down, shouted, "You didn't, you didn't; the goldfish was there all the time under the water-lily."
"No, truly," said Gilles, "truly Maman, she did turn the frog into a fish.  I saw."

Antoinette chanted, "Silly, silly, silly."

Francoise, pulling her son towards her and hitching up his trousers which seemed to be in danger of falling off, said, "You've got too much imagination, that's your trouble."

"No one," the girl replied, "can have too much imagination." 

"Wait until you have children."

"Children! Me!" She really was genuinely surprised--almost, Lindsay could have sworn, affronted.  "Francoise, what do you take me for?"

Something in all of this had made Francoise angry; she said, "I take you for a child yourself--sometimes a rather naughty one."

Odile lay down with her cheek against the grass.  Reflectively she said, "Yes.  I dare say you're right there.  But, Holy Face, what would life be like with no imagination."  She rolled over and took off the dark glasses.  "Don't you think so, Monsieur Lindsay?"

This was the first time that Lindsay had seen her eyes and they took him by surprise, for they were amber, two gleaming discs of tawny amber; and "discs" was the right word, for the pupils were very little darker than the iris; there was absolutely no denying that the effect was rather uncanny.  He could well understand that the local peasants might call her a witch.
"Imagination," he said.  "I'm the wrong person to ask; I never quite know where imagination begins and reality ends."

At this the girl sat up and looked at him; focused all her rather remarkable personality on him; the amber eyes widened.  "Ah," she said, "but this is the point: how intelligent of you!  There is no such thing as either reality or imagination; they are the same thing.  Gilles saw me turn the frog into a goldfish; Antoinette knew that the goldfish was underneath the water-lily all the time; as it happens neither of them are right, but where is the reality and where the imagined thing?  Which is which?"

"This," Lindsay said, "makes scientists the stupidest people in the world." He was absolutely fascinated by her eyes.

The girl spread her hands.  "Who denies that they are?  Give a scientist enough time and he would arrive at what he would call the truth, which is that I had caught the goldfish, before the children appeared; then I saw the frog, and I thought, 'Here's a chance for some magic.'  What's childhood without a little magic?  And so I did my 'trick.'  But the reality was not the dry truth, it was what the children saw--and what they saw, they saw with their imaginations."
Lindsay could see, in his mind, the little cold body of the goldfish secreted in her brown hand; each golden scale was clear to him, and the magical sheen of the belly, as if it had been painted with a rainbow.  And the wonderful golden eye, ringed with a circle of black.  And in the golden eye of the golden fish cold be seen reflected the Chateau of Bellac and the lake and the round, surprised faces of the children--children watching a miracle in the golden eye of a goldfish...

Suddenly he felt violently sick; it began with a nausea, and suddenly gripped his stomach so that he had to fight in order not to vomit; he heard himself let out a groan.  The sea of quivering gold--it was like looking out to sea directly into the eye of the sunset--receded; lapped away into illimitable distance.

Francoise said, "James, are you all right?"

He opened and shut his eyes once or twice. "Yes.  Yes, perfectly."

He looked up.  Odile de Caray was plaiting three pieces of grass, very intent on what she was doing.

"I..." He shook his head again.  "I felt a bit sleepy, that's all."
The girl smiled.  "Ah," she said, "so I am not the only one the heat affects in that way.  Well--I'd better be going."

She stood up, again in one sinuous movement, and put on her dark glasses.  "Nice to see you again, Francoise--and you, monsieur."

She waved to the children, who had returned to the punt, and walked slowly away from them across the field.

Francoise said, "James, what on earth...?  I thought you were going to faint."

Lindsay, frowning at the slim retreating back, said, "What a little bitch!  She hypnotised me--just like that."

Francoise let out a gasp.

"Just like that," he said.  "I fell for it completely."

"Hypnotised you!"

"There's nothing extraordinary about it.  Masses of people can do it.  But not as quickly as that, not as effortlessly."

"But why?  Why did she?"

"I may be wrong, but I think it's a warning."  He told her then about the book of fairy tales that had taken the place of the Montfaucon history while he slept.
"Oh, no," she said.  "Oh, I don't like that at all, James."

"I do.  I like it very well."

"But I feel... It was my idea that you should come here; I feel responsible for you."

He ignored this.  Eyes narrowed against the glare, he watched the girl get into her glamorous car.

"I like it," he said, "because it proves that we're on the right track.  I must get back to my history, Francoise."

And that ends that chapter. 

Here is an interesting blog about why Roman chose to make "Macbeth" after Sharon's death:

I have found an array of many interviews with the stars of "The Ghost Writer," Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor.  They discuss what it was like working with Polanski.  They are all quite interesting...,nrhl

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