Youth (2015)

Youth
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Writer: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Michael Caine, Harvey KeitelPaul DanoRachel Weisz, Alex MacqueenRobert Seethaler, Ed Stoppard, Paloma Faith, Jane Fonda
Seen on: 23.12.2015

Plot:
Fred (Michael Caine) is on holiday in a Swiss resort with his best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel). Mick is trying to write his latest screenplay, supposed to be his big oeuvre, together with a group of young writers. Fred is just trying to get some peace and quiet, when an emissary (Alex Macqueen) from the Queen of England approaches him to ask him to conduct his most famous symphony for Prince Philipp’s birthday, much to the surprise of the emissary and Fred’s daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz). Lena comes to visit but stays longer than planned when her husband and Mick’s son Julian (Ed Stoppard) announces that he’s leaving her.

I was very reluctant to see Youth. I was afraid that the film would be all about a couple of old guys olging young women (the poster suggests nothing different). Fortunately the lusting was kept to a minimum and there was a lot about the film that I enjoyed. It won’t become my favorite film ever, but it was far from as bad as I expected.

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Too long?

So, I found this quote on Papercuts:

Finished “Anna Karenina” finally. Marvelous and all-encompassing, though less marvelous and less all-encompassing (can something be less all-encompassing?) than Proust, and too long, like Mahler’s Ninth. Both Tolstoy and Mahler say little in their leisurely span that can’t be said more tersely — although terser they wouldn’t be Mahler and Tolstoy. Everything’s too long. Webern is too long. This paragraph is too long.

It’s taken from Ned Rorem‘s diary and I love it. [As someone who read Anna Karenina, I can agree that I wouldn’t have minded some shortening. Although, at the time, the length didn’t disturb me as much as the infinite number of typos I found in my version. Never will buy anything from that publisher again.]

Anyway, the article on Papercuts goes on to asking the question, if there were some books which you wished were longer [not without saying that The Dark Knight was too long and bad, something with which I really can not agree]. An interesting question, I think.

They cite Atonement, which was wonderful and I can agree that I would have loved to hear more about Robbie and Cecilia and their love story. But then again, almost all Ian McEwan novels (that I’ve read so far) are too short.

Other books I can think of are

  • J. M. Coetzee‘s Boyhood [which is probably what he has done with Youth, but I haven’t read that one yet]
  • Oscar Wilde‘s Fairy Tales [either by including more tales or by expanding the existing ones. Or both]
  • Neil Gaiman‘s Coraline [although I know that it’s a children’s book and children’s books are supposed to be short(er)]

That’s all I can think of right now. Any books you would like to see longer (or shorter)?