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Showing posts from September, 2011

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY – From Page to Screen

In John Le Carré’s classic cold war novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and its faithful 1979 BBC adaptation, George Smiley has a classic ‘tell’. In moments of reflection, the man charged with hunting for the Soviet agent buried deep inside the British secret intelligence service, cleans his glasses with “the fat end of his tie”, a character tic inferring that somehow within the multiple layers of his intellect, Smiley has access to a deeper tier of perception than those around him. Le Carré writes and Sir Alec Guinness, the first and until now the definitive Smiley, played these moments perfectly. George Smiley is the elder MI6 functionary, discarded and redundant, whose depth of experience and weary disaffection betrays little, if any, of the workings beneath.
“From the outset of this meeting Smiley had assumed for the main a Buddha-like inscrutability…”
Some way through watching the relentlessly bleak Tomas Alfredson directed cinema adaptation, I realised that Gary Oldman’s George …