Friday, 16 September 2011

Fillums: Smiley's People

"The movie brilliantly conjures up the heavy weather of Le Carré's spy game: it involves nothing like derring-do, but a ritual of humiliation and a ballet of shame in which the security services play their part in managing decline and managing denial, and the Brit spooks try to rebuild their reputation with the Americans – the only people with secrets worth keeping – in their calamitous post-Philby world. Alfredson shows how the profession of secrets meshes with sexual shame, heterosexual and homosexual: perhaps because married womanisers and in-the-closet gay men are good at pretence and doublethink, and perhaps because they yearn for a world which makes a virtue of deceit. In his visit to Moscow this week, David Cameron regaled his hosts with an ingenuous anecdote about being approached as a fresh-faced teenager during a Russian trip in his 1985 gap year. Two men encountered him on a beach, then took him to lunch, then dinner, and flatteringly asked him about politics. Cameron laughingly says it was a "KGB interview". Well, yes. But were they to collaborate on a film version, Le Carré and Alfredson might give us a clearer hint about the subtexts to this predatory encounter..."

Peter Bradshaw reviews Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in The Guardian.

1 comment:

  1. I *really* want to see this now.
    I'm still halfway through the Alec Guinness one atm.
    He was a semi-gayer too, you know? :o