Read Withnail and I: the Original Screenplay by Bruce Robinson Free Online
Book Title: Withnail and I: the Original Screenplay|
The author of the book: Bruce Robinson
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Reader ratings: 3.9
Edition: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Date of issue: April 16th 1998
ISBN 13: 9780747538974
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 762 KB
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Only the second time I've bought and read a screenplay; the other was Double Indemnity: The Complete Screenplay .
Double Indemnity was simply so good a film, with dialogue so quickly fired, that I was desperate to see the words again on the page. This one I got because of a new crush on the author*; obviously it goes without saying that Withnail is an excellent film too, but then I couldn't have a crush on someone who wrote less than very well indeed.
You've probably seen Withnail & I more than once, and know perfectly well that it's very funny, but there's more here than just the words from the film itself. A few scenes which didn't make it into the movie. Wonderful descriptions of the characters and their actions, and settings so well realised that the words are almost sensual despite being used of a squalid place; these are especially good in the first half.
And an introduction which is one of the best pieces I've read about having difficulty writing the item itself properly and on time. In part because of the opening tone of malaise and angry desperation very funny but deeply, not flippantly felt, and over a few pages it moves through reminiscences and old diary entries about the original Withnail (his former flatmate Vivian MacKerrell), via stream of consciousness to the ache of missing a deceased friend, just as mood does change when you begin to read about then write about a thing which has great meaning to you. But also its structure isn't fully tightened, unlike 90% of such I-can't-write-this-column columns which always rather diminishes the meta-effect.
My only qualm about Withnail & I is fuelled by the minority-awareness - or as some might say political correctness - which is the legacy of work in the public and voluntary sectors for nearly a decade and then reading a bunch of feminist websites. It's not a question I feel qualified to answer myself, but because it's partly about fear of one particular predatory homosexual, do some people feel there's anything generally homophobic about the film? Having read how Uncle Monty was partly inspired by Robinson's memories of being sexually harrassed by Franco Zeffirelli on the set of Romeo & Juliet, it's also a great example of a traumatic experience sublimated to create some legendary comedy.
* Which wouldn't have started if Alex hadn't posted about A Fantastic Fear of Everything (thank you!) which I watched and thought was fantastic, if someone else hadn't told me the film was based on Robinson's story Paranoia In The Launderette and if my Netflix free trial hadn't recommended Still Crazy in which Robinson's character would have utterly melted me anyway, but he was gorgeous too. I'd really needed something like this as rebound.
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Bruce Robinson is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for writing and directing the cult classic Withnail and I (1986), a film with comic and tragic elements set in London in the 1960s, which drew on his experiences as 'a chronic alcoholic and resting actor, living in squalor' in Camden Town. He is married to Sophie Windham, children's author and illustrator, and has contributed to some of her books. A book of interviews with Robinson, edited by Alistair Owen, is published as Smoking in Bed: Conversations with Bruce Robinson
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