marplesemi-watching the endless marple on TV this weekend, i began to put together a theory of what film and television get wrong about christie (in line, anyway, with what i’ve got from the admittedly slightly skewed selection i’ve read so far): it boils down to a fossilisation of the jazz age, i think (which started with a trend-setting 70s version of the great gatsby)… in the books, this element is a kind of chaotic quasi-teen energy of the now, not necessarily accurately observed in regard to detail, but enjoyed and deployed for flow and larks, and what i’ve been calling AC’s war against seriousness

on-screen today it seems to turn to a combo of frozen fogeyism (everyone is played with “that” kind of accent, except for a few yokelish country-folk*) and ultra-researched art deco decor — worst of all there’s sometimes a kind of “in-quotes” attitude towards the material AND the times which really misses the point

of course this kind of fossilisation of the pop-cult passions of times gone by is more normal than not — it’s kind of an iron law that the more exuberantly rule-busting the fad was, the more obsessively rigid and pompous its archive-retrieval — but it’s exactly this iron law i was so surprised to find christie casually and cheerfully breaking; her writing is quite un-arch and anti-nostalgic (maybe this changes in the later stuff — i haven’t got beyond 1941)

(ok i’m tired from work and preoccupied with various admin things so i’m not analysing very cogently, maybe; and i haven’t been taking notes**: i just want to get something down while i had it in mind)

*haha including JACK DAVENPORT in one particularly dim bit of casting
**a note i did take: dear god harry enfield is a terrible actor when he does “non-comedy” roles