French, Brandon

French, Brandon
(1944– )
   Brandon French was an assistant professor of English at Yale University and curator of the Yale Collection of Classic Films when she wrote “The Celluloid Lolita: A Not-So-Crazy Quilt,” published in The Modern American Novel and the Movies, edited by Gerald Peary and Roger Shatzkin and published by Frederick Ungar in 1978. This essay works a careful comparison of the novel and film adaptation. Kubrick wrote in 1961:“People have asked me how it is possible to make a film out of Lolita when so much of the quality of the book depends on Nabokov’s prose style. But to take the prose style as any more than just a part of a great book is simply misunderstanding just what a great book is. ” Kubrick provides “a version of Nabokov’s banal Lolita,” French concludes, but “the other Lolita”—“the little deadly demon” with “the elusive, shifty, soul-shattering insidious charm” whom “we must experience to appreciate adequately both the agony and the hilarity of Humbert’s dilemma—eludes both Kubrick and us. ” French quotes VLADIMIR NABOKOV’s response:“My first reaction to the picture was a mixture of aggravation, regret, and reluctant pleasure. ”
   Brandon French grew up in Chicago and Los Angeles and earned a Ph. D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her independently produced film Brandy in the Wilderness (1969) won 15 American film festival awards and was a Society of Directors selection at the Cannes Film Festival. She is also the author of On the Verge of Revolt:Women in American Films of the Fifties, published by Frederick Ungar in 1978.
   J. M. W.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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