Maurice? A film with James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Denholm Elliot and Ben Kingsley? I’ve been looking through this year’s FilmColumbia lineup, fascinated by the Frank Langella tribute that begins it and a world of new stories from Oct. 22 to 29 — a man mentoring a boy in South Africa’s Xhosa territory, and an engineer on the highway between Bengaluru and Mumbai who picks up a guy selling bootleg DVDs, and Chavela Vargas, one of Mexico’s most loved musicians, who sang “rancheras” songs of lost love and loved Frida Kahlo …
But I didn’t expect an Edwardian novelist with a secret. E.M. Forster is one of my favorite writers, and I didn’t know about Maurice for years.
I met the book in an independent bookstore in Berkely on a winter morning — I flipped open a biography of E.M. Forster, the 19th century British novelist, and found myself in a Pacific artists’ studio 70 years after he made his name for A Room With a View, Passage to India and Howard’s End, watching Christopher Isherwood open a manuscript Forster had never published and most of the world never knew he had written.
Maurice himself is a muddled young man, in Forster’s compelling word. He’s vaguely out of focus, half in and half out of his own life for a while. And when the focus clears, it comes with a rush of strength. I remember him telling Alec Scudder near the end, “You can do anything, if you once know what it is.”
I’m glad he’s coming to visit, and a week of tales and music with him.
In a new tale filmed in South Africa’s Xhosa territory, Xolani, a factory worker from the city, mentors Kwanda, a boy from a wealthy family in Johannesburg. Image courtesy of FilmColumbia
In 120 Beats Per Minute, the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes this year is set during ACT UP’s actions in 1990’s Paris, as Nathan, an HIV-negative newcomer , meets Sean, an HIV-positive veteran of the fight against AIDS. Image courtesy of FilmColumbia
An Edwardian romance celebrates its 30th anniversary, directed by James Ivory: In Edwardian England, a young man falls in love with his college classmate when homosexuality is a criminal offense. Image courtesy of FilmColumbia
In ‘Wind Seed,’ an engineer on the highway between Bengaluru and Mumbai, picks up a guy selling bootleg DVDs … Image courtesy of FilmColumbia
Director Heiner Carow, an East German filmmaker, tells the true story of a young volunteer determined to save his German village from the Russians in the spring of 1945. Image from FilmColumbia
Chavela Vargas, born Isabel Vargas Lizano in 1919, became one of Mexico’s most loved performers. She sang “rancheras,” songs of lost love, and she openly loved women, one them Frida Kahlo. Image from FilmColumbia
Rock and roll takes root in the forbidden chants, drumming and guitar of American Indians on both sides of the US/Canadian border —Link Wray, a Shawnee, makes a 1956 recording ‘Rumble,’ that inspires a generation of guitar players. “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World” explores history too often forgotten with performances and interviews with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jimi Hendrix, Robbie Robertson, Buddy Guy, and Iggy Pop. Image from FilmColumbia
Three months after the German surrender, two death camp survivors disembark from a train in their small Hungarian village, where villagers have divided their property … Image from FilmColumbia