Any Human Heart


download“Never say you know the last word about any human heart.”

A really thought provoking, intelligent and wonderfully acted drama from Channel4!  I have not read the book, so this is purely based on the teleivision drama. The story is of Logan Mountstuart, we follow the course of his life, therefore he is played by 3 different actors, the young Logan is played by Sam Claffin, middle age is brought to us by the wonderful Matthew Macfayden and Jim Broadbent takes us to the end…

We have a couple of star turns from Kim Catrall who is sexy as ever and Gillian Anderson briefly seen as a very good Duchess of Windsor. So to the story, William Boyd’s book is ficticioulsy based on a life long series of journals written by Logan Mountstuart.  the theme that runs throughout is that life is purely comprised of luck, be it good luck or bad luck.

This nugget of wisdom was told to Logan by his father when he was a boy, and has stayed with him throughout his life which spanned 1906 – 1991, thus giving the author some wonderful moments in our recent history to feature within the story.

The sub theme to the book is how. as individuals. we change and evolve through life, do we recognise the person we once were as we grow older?

The film starts with Logan at Oxford desperate to lose his virginity, which he ends up doing with his best friends girlfriend, this also is something of a theme in the book, he is not the most faithful of men, but it is interesting to see this behaviour portrayed so well, like a fly on the wall. He writes three books, at college a biography on the poet Shelly. then a badly reviewed but bestseller ‘The Girl Factory’ and finally ‘Les Cosmopolites’ a book about the poets he met in France,  of which we include Hemmingway.

Logan’s life deals him some pretty desperate turns… the good luck bad luck theory is reinforced, it makes you think about loss an awful lot… that each moment  is really so fleeting, and in years to come which moments will we look back upon and see as life changing.  I highly recommend this!  It is as I mention very sad but also a wonderful look at how we live our lives and how that has changed so much over the last 100 years.

William Boyd said in a recent interview that “We keep a journal to entrap the collection of selves that forms us, the individual human being” I wonder if that is why so many including myself now keep a blog? For similar purpose,  to share our individuality with the world.

Boyd has said he was inspired by the generation of English writers who matured between the wars: “I am fascinated by the life and work of that generation of English writers who were born at the beginning of the century and reached maturity by the time of World War II. People like Evelyn Waughand Graham Greene and Anthony Powell, obviously, but also less well known writers—Henry Green, Lawrence Durrell, Cyril Connolly and William Gerhardie.The last two in particular lurk closely behind Logan.” Both real and imagined characters are blended into this context, where historical personages are typically used to concentrate the historical significance of a novel’s plot, Mountstuart’s encounters with them are superficial, leaving only an impression of both parties’ small-mindedness. John Mullan found the conceit most effective during the New York journal, where Boyd satirises figures in the Abstract Expressionist movement during the 1950s“whose characters seem almost beyond invention.” I mentioned in my review of Rilke that the book appeared to me at an opportune time, as the book reminds me very much of this play, in the above paragraph when he says that Logan went through all these huge events in our lives almost superficially, as we do in our day to day lives, as Rilke said ‘He will stand in amazement as you stoodbeside the rope maker in Rome or the potter by the Nile.

Any Human Heart [DVD]

Lesbians of North London Reviews Television

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