We’d provisionally planned to go and see The Sense Of An Ending movie the following weekend, but on Tuesday I received an e-mail from The Tricycle promoting this film and discussion Sunday afternoon event.
“What do you think?”, I texted Daisy. “Go for it”, she texted back.
I had read The Sense Of An Ending soon after it came out – my signed hardcover merely boasting that it had been shortlisted for the Man Booker. Indeed Janie recalls me reading it on holiday in Vietnam – February 2012.
I thought I owed it to myself and to Julian to read the book again before Sunday. Indeed, I found it such an easy read second time around I was done by Wednesday morning.
Come Sunday, after tennis and a quick snack lunch, off we went to Kilburn to the Tricycle.
Both of us really liked the film. I’d heard so much about the film being different from the book, I was actually surprised at how close the film stuck to the main story. Yes, there were some film-specific subplots such as the Webster daughter having a baby and some business around Tony Webster having a little camera shop like a 20-teenies version of my dad’s emporium:
Anyway, after the film there was a short break to set up for the discussion. Daisy and I popped to the bar to get a glass-of to share and ran into Julian Barnes himself chatting with the interviewer. It all felt rather local/folksy/book-festivalish.
The audience seemed a well-informed bunch on the whole and most of the questions were pretty sensible. I got mine in early – about the significance of the Severn Bore imagery in the book and how Julian felt about its absence from the film. He answered both parts of the question masterfully.
One rather silly woman said she didn’t think she’d read the book but on seeing the film thought the book ought to be titled The Sense Of A Beginning instead of The Sense Of An Ending. Julian Barnes patiently explained one or two of the differences between the film and the book, then gently stated that he thought the title of the book was ideal.
Janie and I both felt that Julian Barnes came across very nicely, speaking with great eloquence and insight about the book/film. It was a great opportunity for us to see a movie and hear Julian Barnes talk about it at such a convenient time and location.
How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such opportunities.