Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (novel, miniseries, and forthcoming film to be directed by Tomas Alfredson)

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the miniseries is pretty amazing. i haven't read the novel. i just saw this bit of news, which is a little old but hopefully still accurate:

Tomas Alfredson signs on for 'Tinker, Tailor'

July 09, 2009 Fresh from the success of highly acclaimed vampire movie "Let The Right One In," award-winning Swedish director Tomas Alfredson has signed on as director on Working Title upcoming project "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," the company announced Thursday. The new feature film adaptation of John Le Carre's seminal cold war best-seller is being produced by Working Title's co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and marks their next collaboration with Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen") and will be exec-produced by Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin, John Le Carre and Peter Morgan. A 1970s British television series starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley the retired former British intelligence officer called in to track down the double agent within the spy agency.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 01:54 (eleven years ago) link

this sounds awesome

chillwave dudes get washed out, totally (J0rdan S.), Friday, 20 November 2009 01:55 (eleven years ago) link

been musing on the possible cast. i hope it's a similar set of dope brit character actors surrounding an old-school charismatic star.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 02:02 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah both miniseries (including Smiley's People) are stellar. One of my favorite moments is in SP when Smiley finds the film using 'Moscow rules.'

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 November 2009 02:09 (eleven years ago) link

i downloaded a torrent of the series but there are no subtitles during the lengthy bits where theyre speaking russian

max, Friday, 20 November 2009 02:10 (eleven years ago) link

ian mcshane for percy? ian mckellen as bill haydon?

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 15:55 (eleven years ago) link

love the book, love the miniseries. only problem with it is i cant remember who i lent it to.

interesting project, but i cant really imagine anyone doing better than guinness. that was a truly magnificent performance.

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, 20 November 2009 16:03 (eleven years ago) link

s1ocki otm

stet, Friday, 20 November 2009 16:18 (eleven years ago) link

I have a hard time imagining that this could touch the miniseries, which was pretty much perfect.

Moodles, Friday, 20 November 2009 16:44 (eleven years ago) link

i have a hard time imagining that i can't touch my miniseries as someone has borrowed it and i can't remember who :(

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, 20 November 2009 16:57 (eleven years ago) link

i hope this isn't a horrible travesty that makes me sad - because the original miniseries was so great.

sarahel, Friday, 20 November 2009 17:29 (eleven years ago) link

alec guinness' performance is on another level in the miniseries, true. i think it's possible to make a good film of this and get everything into 150-160 minutes without rushing through. i have a good feeling about this one though i'm not expecting it to be a definitive take (that's already been accomplished obv.) i assume the choice of alfredson means they won't try to bourne things up too much.

jØrdån (omar little), Friday, 20 November 2009 18:01 (eleven years ago) link

Mmmf, something just occurred to me -- are they going to try and make this a period piece or are they going the contemporary route?

Ned Raggett, Friday, 20 November 2009 18:30 (eleven years ago) link

This could be interesting but I'd be concerned that the slow, twisty procedural of the book, which worked well on TV, mightn't transfer properly to a 2 hour movie.

Herman G. Neuname is the first European president (Noodle Vague), Friday, 20 November 2009 18:42 (eleven years ago) link

the opening scene of the 70s 'tinker tailor', where the spies all sit down and smoke, not saying a word but speaking volumes, is prob my fave bit of telly ever, partly cos i used to work very near cambridge circus, seen in the very first shot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyBuUM6BRy0

Ward Fowler, Friday, 20 November 2009 18:52 (eleven years ago) link

Absolutely agree. One of my favourite pieces of television ever. I wonder whether the new film will also consist of an awful lot of footage of middle-aged men smoking in dingey rooms.

'virgin' should be 'wizard' (GamalielRatsey), Friday, 20 November 2009 19:00 (eleven years ago) link

odd that they're redoing it, but love love love Alfredson and Morgan.

sean gramophone, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:16 (eleven years ago) link

they should have done the middle book The Honourable Schoolboy instead, at least that one hasn't been taken yet :/

zappi, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:25 (eleven years ago) link

That one always was a little out of place, though. Don't get me wrong, it's excellent.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 21 November 2009 00:50 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah, I found Honorable Schoolboy to be a little odd and difficult to relate to.

Is it just me or do a disturbing number of his novels end with the protagonist just about to make it to safety when they are suddenly brutally gunned down?

Moodles, Saturday, 21 November 2009 01:52 (eleven years ago) link

Hahaha yeah

Herman G. Neuname is the first European president (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 21 November 2009 14:02 (eleven years ago) link

spoilers?

311 is a joek (s1ocki), Saturday, 21 November 2009 15:54 (eleven years ago) link

nine months pass...

wonder how this is gonna work, really

but it'll be good to have gary oldman starring in a non-shit film for a change

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:22 (ten years ago) link

don't count yr chickens etc

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:24 (ten years ago) link

the tv show is veeeeerrrryyyy slllooooooowwww but that's part of the charm

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:27 (ten years ago) link

michael bay to direct

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:29 (ten years ago) link

the tv show is so insanely good

so slow and subtle

so awesome

real s1ock (s1ocki), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:31 (ten years ago) link

the opening scene of the 70s 'tinker tailor', where the spies all sit down and smoke, not saying a word but speaking volumes, is prob my fave bit of telly ever, partly cos i used to work very near cambridge circus, seen in the very first shot:

― Ward Fowler, Friday, November 20, 2009 6:52 PM (9 months ago) Bookmark

otm

not mad on guinness's stuff when he was younger, tbh, but he totally shreds in this

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:33 (ten years ago) link

yeah i was just thinking about watching this again. "smiley's people" is really good too.

the parking garage has more facebook followers than my band (Jordan), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:34 (ten years ago) link

i remember watching the tv show when i was abt 12 and liked le carré, i wanted to like it but it was too slow for me then

nakhchivan, Friday, 3 September 2010 15:35 (ten years ago) link

benedict cumberbatch hahaha just fucking cast bill nighy and make it a romantic comedy*

*[placeholder for explanation of how it already is]

former moderator, please give generously (DG), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:43 (ten years ago) link

wonder if they'll leave in the two female characters

i am legernd (history mayne), Friday, 3 September 2010 15:45 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

i really love how the tv version kind of starts off on this note of smiley being this totally out-of-the-loop outsider who is "too old for this shit", and then he sits down with the british agents at the estate house to meet with the spy-on-the-run, and he takes off his glasses and puts them back on and gives this dude a look which says in an instant that he's the smartest and toughest dude around and it's like "oh shit."

mark strong just got cast, too. so it's him and oldman, firth, cumberbatch, hinds, ralph fiennes and tom hardy.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:43 (ten years ago) link

Holy shit. It might actually work.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:46 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I found Honorable Schoolboy to be a little odd and difficult to relate to.

One big problem with that one was the woman character, who is as badly drawn as all Le Carre women characters (with possible exception of Connie). I do wonder sometimes whether Le Carre has ever met any actual women.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:58 (ten years ago) link

But I still totally love TTSS and SP.

The New Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 17:59 (ten years ago) link

he takes off his glasses and puts them back on and gives this dude a look which says in an instant that he's the smartest and toughest dude around and it's like "oh shit."

otfm

rmde @ the romo dumplings (history mayne), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 18:03 (ten years ago) link

Absolutely the best moment of the whole series, I get chills just thinking about it.

Moodles, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 18:18 (ten years ago) link

not sure if this was mentioned but it's apparently retaining the cold war era for the setting.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 19:56 (ten years ago) link

Thank god for that.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:09 (ten years ago) link

man i gotta find my dvds of the show so i can watch it again

guanciale diary (s1ocki), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:17 (ten years ago) link

I have a hard time imagining that this could touch the miniseries, which was pretty much perfect.

― Moodles, Friday, November 20, 2009 11:44 AM (10 months ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i have a hard time imagining that i can't touch my miniseries as someone has borrowed it and i can't remember who :(

― 311 is a joek (s1ocki), Friday, November 20, 2009 11:57 AM (10 months ago) Bookmark

guanciale diary (s1ocki), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:18 (ten years ago) link

it's always in the place where you least expect it, like the amazon marketplace page of your friend or acquaintance.

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:20 (ten years ago) link

Unwittingly I've only watched the compressed, US six-episode (instead of seven) version of the series. Apparently they've even jumbled the chronology of some scenes around. Anyone seen both?

abcfsk, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:01 (ten years ago) link

oh shit, that's the version i've seen too (via netflix).

bows don't kill people, arrows do (Jordan), Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:04 (ten years ago) link

Basically I'm going to get and watch the original no matter how trivial the differences might be. Every scene could be longer. Feels like I can still taste the words exchanged between Smiley and Prideaux in the car, at the hotel, walking around the moors.

abcfsk, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 22:59 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

gonna be great this i can feel it. god knows how they're going to squelch it all down to 2 hours. if they can nail the Ricky Tarr bit they've got the rest i think.

piscesx, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 01:18 (ten years ago) link

tom hardy playing ricky tarr fyi

omar little, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 05:39 (ten years ago) link

super stoked for this... killer cast

Princess TamTam, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 08:11 (ten years ago) link

playing smiley from now on forever is going to be mimicking guinness and claiming you didn't

mark s, Tuesday, 15 December 2020 12:12 (four months ago) link

Bernard Hepton (who was from Bradford) does an excellent job of the voice at least.

calzino, Tuesday, 15 December 2020 12:13 (four months ago) link

feel like 'love to ann!' should have become a meme

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 December 2020 02:57 (four months ago) link

otm

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 17 December 2020 03:05 (four months ago) link

I love Hywell Bennett (may he RIP) but his Australian accent = gasface

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 17 December 2020 05:16 (four months ago) link

he was supposed to be strayan in this? no clue

mookieproof, Thursday, 17 December 2020 05:21 (four months ago) link

he was faking as an aussie when he first got in w boris’s wife in ep2 but he dropped it pretty quick

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 17 December 2020 05:46 (four months ago) link

Is he Australian in the show? In the book he’s from all over, mostly Singapore iirc, and he pretends to be Australian to seduce Irina.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Thursday, 17 December 2020 16:06 (four months ago) link

thats how he is in the show too

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 17 December 2020 16:12 (four months ago) link

watched the 7 ep original version for the first time this week. has been too long for me to identify what is excised in the 6 episode version but it definitely feels less elliptical

Babby's Yed Revisited (jim in vancouver), Friday, 18 December 2020 21:06 (four months ago) link

How does one see this longer version?

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 18 December 2020 21:56 (four months ago) link

I sailed the high seas of internet piracy

Babby's Yed Revisited (jim in vancouver), Friday, 18 December 2020 21:59 (four months ago) link

I had actually hoped/expected it to be on britbox - which I watch constantly now like a damn "expat" - but alas it wasn't (in Canada at least)

Babby's Yed Revisited (jim in vancouver), Friday, 18 December 2020 21:59 (four months ago) link

I can't understand the point of shitbox if it isn't streaming the best stuff.

calzino, Friday, 18 December 2020 22:03 (four months ago) link

iirc shitbox version in the UK is the seven episode version. interesting if they’re showing different versions in different markets.

no smiley’s people tho which i recall being indifferent to but deems’ commentary made me want to go back to it.

Fizzles, Saturday, 19 December 2020 06:44 (four months ago) link

Now we havent watched it since but its not been a week that leaves us attentive come shutting the laptops off at ....uh.....4pm

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 19 December 2020 08:53 (four months ago) link

How does one see this longer version?

BBC finally released it as a Bluray last year. Previously only the 6 episode US version was available on Bluray, and the original UK version only on DVD.

Tuomas, Saturday, 19 December 2020 11:49 (four months ago) link

dont want johnny foreigner knowing our deep spy secrets, is why

mark s, Saturday, 19 December 2020 11:53 (four months ago) link

I'm rereading my way through the early lecarre novels. Well listening in fact Michael Jayston does a great job of capturing LeCarre's litery voice and sense of gloom, and does the decent thing by making sure that George Smiley sounds like Alec Guinness. Also appreciating the maturing in ending from the Detective style summing up in Call for the Dead to the brutal hard cut in The Spy Who Came in from the cold.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Monday, 21 December 2020 03:57 (four months ago) link

One episode to go of the BBC series. I mean, it's magnificent. Of so many standout setpiece conversations, the one with Ian Bannen might be the best - for tension, suppressed rage, the silences that speak of the horror of his confinement and torture. The oily Patrick Stewart was a surprise!

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 21 December 2020 10:42 (four months ago) link

I started A Perfect Spy a couple days ago. Perhaps too ambitious.

Patriotic Goiter (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 December 2020 10:45 (four months ago) link

An OK Spy

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Monday, 21 December 2020 10:51 (four months ago) link

The Spy Who Came In ... is one where I've seen the alltime classic Richard Burton movie umpteen times and know exactly where it is going but still was gripped by the BBC radio adaptation with the good Brian Cox, almost like I thought it might all go to plan and end happily this time!

calzino, Monday, 21 December 2020 10:53 (four months ago) link

Finished the TTSS mini-series last night. Not much to add apart from more praise. One thing -not a misstep as such, just took me out of the action a bit: why did they decide on Prideaux going for the Miss Piggy option instead of shooting Haydon (as per the book)?

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:01 (four months ago) link

why did they decide on Prideaux going for the Miss Piggy option

rofl

Babby's Yed Revisited (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:10 (four months ago) link

never read the book but i assume he shoots him from afar? i'd guess it was a bright idea to give them a final little dramatic moment, and therefore needed P to kill H in some quiet way that wouldnt alert the nearby guards. but yeah the death chop is a bit silly, feel like they could have written their way around that with a minute's more thought.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:15 (four months ago) link

I think I preferred the 'creeping in the shadows' ending of the book. It makes Smiley's revenge more poetic, somehow. But yes, I'm sure that final conversation was about wanting to definitively tie-up the loose ends.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:22 (four months ago) link

no, in the book there is a direct parallel between how he breaks the owl’s neck and haydon’s.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:36 (four months ago) link

actually just checked and it’s not clear how he dies, i think? the analogy is perhaps misleading tho it’s an obvious connection.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:41 (four months ago) link

rofl

― Babby's Yed Revisited (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:10 (forty-two minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

rofd

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:53 (four months ago) link

Should I have done spoilers? I should. SPOILER for a couple of posts back!

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 19:57 (four months ago) link

the problem with that scene is less the chop and more haydon's stop-tickling-me deathwriggle

mark s, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 20:00 (four months ago) link

He doesn’t shoot him in the book. He shoots him in the movie.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 20:22 (four months ago) link

I suppose ol' Johnny Le couldn't help

is right unfortunately (silby), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 21:00 (four months ago) link

tinkering with it

is right unfortunately (silby), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 21:00 (four months ago) link

Moved through a very enjoyable toby/connie/hamburg episode of SP this eve

Rattling along.

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Thursday, 24 December 2020 00:32 (four months ago) link

mark s, your liveblog of the novel upthread is tremendous!

Just reread TTSS and have to acknowledge that a lot of its appeal to me is that it feels thick with anthropological detail...there are entire sentences I can’t quite parse. It’s a straight line from being fascinated/confused by the Yorkshire dialect in The Secret Garden when I was a kid to wondering why it’s an insult to Roy Bland to say he’s a “redbrick don” in TTSS...my life in anglophilia!

no one responded to my complaint about this at the time, but I am still annoyed that Gary Oldman is too thin to be Smiley.

horseshoe, Saturday, 26 December 2020 15:28 (four months ago) link

Allow me to remedy that now, and too stylish besides

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 26 December 2020 20:42 (four months ago) link

Finished SP in a three episode run last night

Nowhere near as rich as TTSS, but fair to lay that at the source material. We are never again given consistent access to Smiley once he ascends in THS and notwithstanding that he has become legend through the eyes and mouths of those we see and hear of him through from then on it either doesnt lend itself in the same way to Guinness layering his performance or possibly to my discerning (or inventing) such layering.

The temptation is to treat it as a rehash of key dynamics of the former but that wouldn't be fair either. Smiley is not, this time, waiting ready to pounce when the call comes, is not seeking to reclaim the circus nor to repair it and is far less cautious, detached, professional in his pursuit.

That said, and while it does miss the shabbiness imo, there's still plenty to like in the rather more simple (certainly more exposition-heavy) story, performances are on the whole still excellent, spycraft is engaged satisfactorily throughout and zipping around Paris/Hamburg/Berne/Berlin is a very fine way to do Smiley (and Toby!) on tour.

Well worth the rewatch, I'd say.

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 December 2020 02:41 (four months ago) link

Have the seven part downloaded, but not updating to my plex library ffs

nob lacks, noirish (darraghmac), Monday, 4 January 2021 03:20 (four months ago) link

Since they never filmed the Honourable Schoolboy we are denied the pleasure of Smiley interviewing the worst suburban couple, or at least fantasist father. LeCarre hates the English suburbs more than anything. It’s delightful.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Monday, 4 January 2021 07:33 (four months ago) link

Dunno why i got the impression that that was a family from the flats rather than a tim burton suburbia hatred

nob lacks, noirish (darraghmac), Monday, 4 January 2021 16:34 (four months ago) link

For ilplexers, i got the seven part TTSS up and recognised

nob lacks, noirish (darraghmac), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 13:54 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ly0nx

amazing interview with George Blake here, his faux-niaf insistence that he was assured by the MGB and believed no harm would come to MI6 ops he gave up to the Soviets is quite amusingly beyond belief!

calzino, Friday, 5 February 2021 22:00 (three months ago) link

just saw the alfredson movie yesterday-- read the book a few weeks ago, just after le carre died (just before he died i read TSWCIFTC). in the usual mania i also just rewatched the miniseries, which i can be seen years upthread making some completely uninteresting remarks about. (you can get a pixelated 7-episode version without much hassle from the internet archive btw.)

was extremely impressed by the movie adaptation's level of compression but one does miss, well, all of the dialogue, which it rightly recognizes it must jettison more or less completely and replace with Cinema. thus oldman despite playing the same character as guinness and despite doing a guinness impression is playing a completely different part, leaving to inscrutable silence and the apparatus of the movies what the book and series use smiley's long elliptical superficially good-natured conversations to portray. (also-- and this is not really a "procedural" so it's okay-- p much all of the clues and files and details we are privy to alongside smiley in the other versions are replaced in the movie by a single recorded line played over and over, like in the conversation, until smiley is suddenly like omg!!-- but it is admittedly a thematically resonant line, on a number of levels.) a v good movie tho i think. the only things i really disliked were the wyndam-earle-ass chess pieces.

this is a wonderful thread obv. some tentative jabber for the pile, every word a spoiler but with direct mole-identity stuff hidden:

jlc does this very neatly, by moving the "explanation of how
everything fits" early, to scare a suspect he appears already to have
cleared into switching sides: i have to say despite close rereading i
don't quite get why this particular suspect has been cleared, mind you

i think? the answer to this?? or part of it??? is that he has identified esterhase as polyakov's fake agent-- the person the circus thinks moscow thinks is the mole-- and thus assumes the real mole is someone else. but i'm not sure how he figures that out, unless it's just a hunch based on his old colleagues' various wheelhouses. on the "flight-to-the-front" tip this may as u say simply be his one big moment of risk. his most haydenesque moment if you like: the solo initiative. veryyyyyyyy dashing. very audacious. exactly the kind of reckless action prideaux (thinking of bill?) miserably discovers there is no chance of convincing his russian interrogators he took.

anyway, a constant motif i like is english magic: witchcraft. merlin. “don’t go fey, george.” “he’s built by the same firm that did stonehenge.” think it connects to the empire stuff: the dream of power someone like alleline wants to revive, a dream that’s also of personal glory, aristocratic rapture. “well, he’s already got his own wizard; the odd commissionaire seems modest enough domestic staff.” (can't remember if this one is in the book but it's a good richardson delivery. domestic staff!)

in this context you might wonder if smiley the alleged anti-bond isn't as much a piece of self-inserted authorial wish-fulfillment as 007, only rather than a fantasy of unsunset empire he's an incarnation of the consolatory virtues-- wisdom, patience, historical consciousness-- with which a greek nurses his ego under rome. but this is neatly (inevitably!) complicated because these are reader-virtues, not author-virtues, and smiley in this story is actually a reader-substitute-- the reader's best self, the most attentive, the quickest to draw associations, reliable with quotes ("proud of your memory, aren't you?")-- and not an author at all. even when (as above) he acts, it is in the service of a closer reading.

the author-figures are karla and gerald. like smiley they keenly understand motivation and character; unlike smiley they use them to create something. "it would be beautiful in another context," smiley says of the big secret-- this is meta-authorial selfpraise. karla is a distant and abstracted character-- practically the cartesian demon-- but gerald has shades of iago: he may have begun his work for any number of venal reasons, but by the time he is done the only motive sufficient to explain the achievement is perverted creativity. admiring the painting with which ann apologized for sleeping with him: "this is new, isn't it? oh, i fancy this." yet (again like iago-- who at least does everything himself) he is also a pathetic figure: he has poured out all his genius into the construction of this pointless betrayal. when the play he has starred in is over there is no him left. his actual art, like his life, has been emptied. he has perceived and manipulated impotence in others (smiley, control, alleline, britain) in a futile effort to escape it himself. now finally: "you don't break, exactly," prideaux tells smiley about torture, or is it age; "you just run out of stories to tell."

so much for gerald and the false promise of glory-thru-art, but the story hardly suggests reading will save you. there is some talk upthread about whether the movie ending is "triumphant". mark s partly nailed it i think--

justification of "now i am here and i have no idea if i wanted that" in mise-en-scene terms: given his known tastes in decor and etc (which we know from seeing the tasteful olden-times interiors of his house), he is sat in front of that screamingly 70s orange wallpaper, less swallowed and obscured (his favoured state) than horribly exposed

--except it's not wallpaper. it is soundproof baffling. this comes v close on the heels of prideaux harry-and-the-hendersonsing bill roach, the pupal smiley, out of his trailer. he tells him to "join the others". it's this line that was on my mind as a seemingly triumphant hero was re-sealed into a featureless hermetic cell, back inside the empty center of everything.

you can rightly say, but dissonant counterthemes aside the emotional structure of the movie is very plain: at the beginning a man is cuckolded and fired and at the end his wife comes back and he sits in the big chair. (the final sequence and the opening credits are practically mirror images. cinema!) but the entire mechanism of the story-- the trick-- is: facts that appear to mean one thing actually mean the opposite. ("all the facts are known," esterhase keeps saying, accurately; he has the same problem as the man codenamed lapin, who doesn't know it means rabbit.) as this truth is presumably much on smiley's mind it's not far-fetched to imagine that his final pre-credits thought as all the witchcraft of cinema colludes around him to convey YOU HAVE WON is "have i lost?"-- or maybe something more like the little not-in-the-movie exchange between the awful school principal and his mother: "well, that's one excuse for absence he can't use again." "not at all, mother! it's quite the reverse!"

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 08:26 (two months ago) link

oh and i like that the first words of the book are the truth is... and the last words are ...a dream

difficult listening hour, Tuesday, 9 February 2021 08:58 (two months ago) link

Beautiful post

scampsite (darraghmac), Tuesday, 9 February 2021 09:19 (two months ago) link

Really enjoyed those posts yeah

Mommas, don't let your scampoes grow up to be bacon fries (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 9 February 2021 09:30 (two months ago) link

In the miniseries george can probably deduce esterhase as running boy (but not clear him of *knowledge* of betrayal) based on the change in tone overnight to jerry westerby's story- showed that the former was a follower

Esterhase name comes up again as knowing control's tinker/tailor codenames after speaking to prideaux- nothing concrete here except it would appear to 100% confirm esterhase is at least in line of receipt of info from karla

At that stage its maybe just a case of having more power to coerce toby in getting the safe house location

scampsite (darraghmac), Tuesday, 9 February 2021 09:33 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

The Curiously Specific Bookclub podcast does Tinker, Tailor: https://curiouslyspecific.com/2021/04/30/tinker-tailor-soldier-spy/

(It's a podcast that tracks and visits geographical places in various literary texts.)

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 1 May 2021 15:33 (six days ago) link


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