Photo credit: http://www.digitaldickens.com/
On the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, I attended this event:
Part of the event was the screening of the premieres of three new Film London-commissioned short films, inspired by the great man (each film had a running time of 5 or 6 mins): Fits and Starts of Restlessness, 80,000 Christmas Lights, and Fire.
Without wishing to put the other two films down (they were all very good), the standout film for me of the three was Fire directed by Chanya Button.
Lifted from the BFI programme notes:
On the night of 3 September 1860 Charles Dickens built a bonfire on which he burned his lifetime's correspondence. Alone with his letters, his memories and his hopes on the darkest night of his life, he reads his most private letter: a message of love and restraint from the woman he loves, the little-known actress Nelly Ternan. Nelly narrates her final ultimatum to him with strength and passion, showing us the private world of Charles Dickens through the eyes of a young woman forever hidden from his public.
I just loved this short film! It was beautiful, and moving, and riveting.
The story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is told in Claire Tomalin's book "The Invisible Woman" which can be bought on Amazon here:
Cut and pasted from the goodreads website:
Claire Tomalin's multi-award-winning story of the life of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens is a remarkable work of biography and historical revisionism that returns the neglected actress to her rightful place in history as well as providing a compelling and truthful portrait of the great Victorian novelist.