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As I Lay Dying

Ambitious and powerful adaptation of William Faulkner’s classic novel, following a Southern family’s trials in transporting a body for burial.

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  • Director James Franco
  • Producers Lee Caplin, Matt O’Toole, Rob van Norden, Caroline Aragon, Miles Levy, Vince Jolivette
  • Screenwriters James Franco, Matt Rager
  • With James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Danny McBride, Logan Marshall-Green, Ahna O’Reilly
  • USA 2013
  • 110 mins
  • UK distribution Lionsgate UK

William Faulkner’s 1930 novel, about the horrendously difficult journey a Southern farming amily makes across the US in order to bury the body of the mother of the household, is one of his most acclaimed and stylistically ambitious works. It’s therefore a significant testament to writer-director-actor James Franco that he has tackled his subject with such intelligence, verve and aplomb. Without in any way dumbing down Faulkner, Franco has found cinematic equivalents for the way in which the novel gives the interior, psychological perspective of each character and the conflicts that are erupting within and between them. He also manages to convey As I Lay Dying as a uniquely Faulknerian, Southern-atmospheric experience, carefully evoking period and place while depicting a very powerful, heartbreaking family melodrama. Told with subtlety and understatement, the film is further illuminated by the quality of the ensemble acting performances.

Adrian Wootton

The screening on Thursday 10 October will have subtitles.

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