Thursday, March 03, 2016

150 word review: BFI FILM CLASSICS: GONE WITH THE WIND by Helen Taylor

When I saw GONE WITH THE WIND at the NFT last November, it was introduced by Professor Helen Taylor so I was interested to read her book on the film.

Well illustrated, it is quite brief (the text is 104 pages) and over it's four chapters Taylor puts an excellent case, arguing that it's tag of being a "woman's picture" has ruled it out from the perennial Best Films lists which always reflect a male critic bias.

Taylor, who has written a book on the the film's appeal for women viewers, touches on the thorny subject of how the film treated it's black characters but ultimately recognises the futility of judging a film released in 1939 by the political correctness of today.

Most welcome is Taylor's championing of Vivien Leigh's magnificent Scarlett O'Hara, one of the largest-ever female roles in film, played with a steely grace and sly humour.

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