Hello guys! It’s been a while… and I mean A WHILE. I have been filming my new movie (!!!! YES!) (news coming very soon!!!) and there wasn’t much time left. but now it’s all gone to post production and editing and springtime has come and so… Here I am, more time. Well, maybe, almost, let’s say…
And did I say springtime? Yes, here where I live it is officially spring and what did I just watched yest
erday to get an extra springtime-boost? Uh yeah, Agnieszka Holland’s “The secret garden”!!! Have you ever seen it? Of course you have, it is a childhood classic, a 1993 movie and … Well, let’s take it from the beginning.
In the beginning there was a splendid book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, written in 1910. It tells the story of a little girl, Mary Lennox, who lives in India with her parents. Being ignored most of the time, she becomes a very sour and sad, angry child, living dull, long, boring days in the hot weather and hating everything. but when her parents die, she is sent back to England, to live in the country, in a grand castle, Misselthwaite Manor, with her uncle. The man lost his wife years before and leads a solitary life of self-loathing and regrets and though he has a little child, he always gets away on long travels to forget his life. In this castle, Mary is left all alone, while the servants and butlers go on with their daily work. In this strnge, misterious new world, she finds herself forced to do something. So she gets outside. She begins to explore the world, the gardens, the meadows. And she will discover, thanks to a lovely little robin, a secret garden. This will be her salvation. Because working on the garden, trying to make it bloom and blossom again and get to life again will bring life, health and a new found happiness and meaning in life to the girl, who will become friend to Colin, her cousin, and save him too from all his hillness and miseries. In the end… well, please, do read the book! 🙂 You will absolutely love it!!! Oh, and buy it in a wonderful, old, illustrated edition, because this will make a real treasure and you will love it even more if the book itself will be beautiful too as the story it keeps inside! I have this edition and I consider it one of my most precious ones!!! http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Garden-Frances-Hodgson-
And now… the movie. The movie is simply brilliant, beginning with the music, a hypnotic, sweet, rich, by composer Zbigniew Preisner. It seems to be imbued with the fragrances of India, it has a flavor, it perfumes of sandal and desert sands and hot indian sun. You can feel it. The music in this movie is like the smoke of a piece of incense… It carries you along with it, through spirals and waves, leading you through the story… taking us to Misselthwaite. Here the music becomes a little beacon of light in the moore, it becomes spring rain, cold wind, cool water, it is made of grass and roots. And then, when the garden blooms, the soundtrack, the music… It caresses you and becomes flowers, petals of roses, soft, warm lilies, rays of soothing sun, it is the summer and the tranquility… And hope, and life… And delicious, amiable happiness…!!
I love the cast, it is simply superb: Mary Lennox is right on spot, played by cocky little Kate Maberly. You are delighted and amused to see the changes in her, the hair growing thick and healthy, the cheeks becoming rosy and soft, the smile finding its way through her beautiful face. I love all her clothes too! 😉 So cute and british! Then you have mrs Medlock, the governess of the house, so severe in the beginning, but you cannot help but love her, cause she’s played by Maggie Smith, so, you know… You will hopelessly love her in the end! Little master Colin, the hypochondriac cousin, played by Heydon Prowse, is a one of a kind kid, simply marvellous performance, every time I watch the movie I am amazed by the little boy! Every single actor perfectly embodies the character he’s been chosen for and the book comes to life before your eyes in the exact way you imagined it while reading. And I love when this happens. I just love the movies to be “just as the book” 🙂 Oh, and then you’ll see little Dickon, Mary’s servant’s brother. An elf-like boy who loves animals, plants
and flowers and knows everything there is to know about them. He will help Mary to bring the Secret Garden back to life again, teaching her and becoming her good friend.
And speaking of springtime, today it felt so good I decided to get out and be inspired by miss Mary “quite contrary”. I have been taking a walk and took a few photographs of the newly born little spring plants. Where I live there are lots of blue anemons, white snowdrops, lilies of the valley and yellow primroses. It is so nice to go out and breathe the fresh new air and get a sight of everything blossoming in the meadowes. I really do understand why it could be so therapeutic and good for little Mary to get out. Into the pure nature. Discovering, studying, observing nature, relaxing in it, with it. Feeling its strenght. Its beauty…
I think what I love most about this book and this movie is indeed the journey of Mary and later of Colin. Their healing. Their unique way of discovering Nature, beauty, goodness, happiness, love for the world, for everything surrounding us. I love how they change for the best, getting strong, eating in a healthy way, with great good appetite, having picnics in the garden… oh, so lovely! I love how the writer made us see how simple things like cultivating a little piece of earth can make us grow, in every sense, and be happy and content, with little actions and little things and moments, which in fact, in the end define us.
I hope you will watch the movie and enjoy it as musch as I did and also read the book, sooo worthy!!! Oh, and since I felt so Secret Garden-y, I asked my mum (who paints with watercolours) if she could paint something flowery and fresh to start this new year for my cinema site. So the title at the very top of the site is hers, so nice, right? Thank you maman, lovely flowers! Mary and Colin would have loved them!!!
See you soon again, my friends, hope you enjoyed this little moment together and now… everyone outside! You can:
- Simply take a walk in your garden, or A garden of your choice, your favorite in the neighborhood
- Go to a nice greenhouse or plants shop and buy new, cute lovely flower seeds and plant them at home
- Go to your favorite bookshop and GET the book!
- Go to a nearby movie rental store and RENT “The secret garden” right now. Invite your friends over and have a lovely evening watching this wonderful classic
And as always…
Dickon: “The animals tell me all their secrets.”
Mary: [pointing to the Robin] “He wouldn’t tell you my secret, would he?”
Dickon: “About what, Miss Mary?”
Mary: “A garden. I’ve stolen a garden. But it may already be dead, I don’t know.”
Dickon: “I’ll know!”