Carol (2015) | Mechanics' Institute

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Carol (2015)
CinemaLit June 2023: – Novel Ideas on Film

June 9 – Carol (2018), 118 minutes, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Patricia Highsmith wrote the lesbian romance novel The Price of Salt in 1952 under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. She had no choice if she wanted to continue in her successful career as novelist. By the time it was adapted to the screen in 2015 as Carol, the story could be told freely and finely by screenwriter Phyllis Nagy. Director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) brings his trademark close attention to period detail, psychological insight, and sensual filmmaking to Carol. With the gifted Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on board, Carol becomes an evocative look back at a time when same sex love came with the threat of horrific consequences. (Image used with permission from Lions Gate Films, Inc.)

June 2023 at CinemaLit – Novel Ideas on Film

June at CinemaLit features three 21st Century films adapted by women screenwriters from novels by women. All three are period pieces. All include aspirants as central characters – two writers and a photographer. And all are impeccably cast, with Oscar nominees as both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Join us as we explore the challenges and rewards of turning novels about women's lives into motion pictures.


Matthew Kennedy, CinemaLit’s curator, has written biographies of Marie Dressler, Joan Blondell, and Edmund Goulding. His book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, was the basis of a film series on Turner Classic Movies.

I don't have a favorite film,” Matthew says. "I find that my relationships to films, actors, genres, and directors change as I change over the years. Some don't hold up. Some look more profound, as though I've caught up with their artistry. I feel that way about Garbo, Cary Grant, director John Cassavetes, and others."

Classic films have historical context, something only time can provide,” Matt observes. “They become these great cultural artifacts, so revealing of tastes, attitudes, and assumptions.”


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