Saturday, May 22, 2010

disregard all bells

I picked up Up the Down Staircase from the shelf in the library for two reasons. The first was simply because it had been on that shelf for weeks with the title plastered on the jacket in an interesting font and layout. The second was because I was interested in what else Robert Mulligan had done besides To Kill A Mockingbird, which might be the film he is most famous for. The film stars Sandy Dennis as a teacher with ideals and dreams in her first teaching assignment at an inner-city school. If you've seen Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, it is hard to forget Sandy Dennis; the neurotic interpretation of characters is evident in her portrayal of Sylvia Barrett. The film also covers aspects of a teacher's life often not seen in movies of this genre -- the emphasis on forms and procedures is reminiscent of its use for satire in The Ipcress File. I can't think of another film that contained references to Delaney cards. You also hear of nerts and darklings in addition to references to Emily Dickinson and Idylls of the King. That's not bad for a visit to the school. [February 05, 2010]

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