A Haunting in Venice is a Halloween movie and also sees the return of the detective Hercule Poirot to the screen, as most recently played by Kenneth Branagh, who directed this film. The story is lifted from Hallowe’en Party, a 1969 Christie novel set in Britain, although here it is moved to 1949 Venice. Little of the original story remains, although bobbing for apples is retained as the staging of an attempted murder. Since this is Venice, floods rage outside, and a past drowning adds to the haunted setting. It all fits. (more…)
Tag: Kenneth Branagh
There’s a reason why Agatha Christie is the world’s best-selling author. Her whodunnits are cleverly crafted, well-written, and highly entertaining. I also find them wholesomely Eurocentric, which is problematic these days.
Death on the Nile (1937) is one of her best novels. A shot rings out onboard a luxurious Nile steamer. It is clearly a case of foul play. But the two prime suspects have airtight alibis. Moreover, practically everybody else on the ship had means, motive, and opportunity to do the deed. Even Hercule Poirot’s famous gray cells are baffled . . . for a time. (more…)
What is it like to be part of a family as large as a nation? If that family is the city of Belfast and that nation is the Irish, then Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast gives us quite the clue. Effectively, this film is a love letter to the Irish people — and everything in it suggests that “the Irish” refers only to those who share a common ethnicity. Yes, there are a smattering of Asians in the film — which may be realistic, given that the story takes place in 1969 — but these so-called “people of color” are not employed against history as props but as fittingly minor aspects of the Belfast backdrop. This story is about the Irish and the Irish only. (more…)