Over Georgie & Bonnie's Pictures
Dame Peggy Ashcroft
|The film is about art collecting and collectors;
it is also about Art versus Life; and, most of all, it is a light-hearted
romp through royal India - a world of princes, palaces, tourists,
precious art objects and the people who wheel and deal in them.
||Georgie, the Maharaja of the film has a priceless collection of
Indian miniature paintings rotting away in his store-room. He doesn't
know their value from a monetary perspective, but they are invaluable
to him as part of his heritage. His sister Bonnie cares nothing
for their heritage, but is very aware of the monetary value. She
is keen to sell them to buy something better for herself.
|Art dealers and collectors vie with one another to get the pictures
away from this royal couple. There is Lady Gee who is buying for
a museum in Britain,( of exalted Anglo-Indian lineage, as well as
a shrewd and knowledgeable art lover), feels she has a moral right
to the pictures despite the fact that both she and the museum for
which she is buying are impoverished. Her principal rival is an
American millionaire art collector, Clark Haven, whose claim on
the pictures is based on his passion for and understanding of them.
An Indian art dealer, Sri Narian, works against both of them.
This hullabaloo over the pictures takes
place within the palace and its gardens. It is enlivened by singers
and dancers, a dwarf and a giant deaf-mute, a Xmas party complete
with Santa Claus and fireworks, and the appearance of an English
ghost. The climax involves the temporary loss of the pictures
- an event which leads to a change of heart in the principal interiguers.
Finally everyone realises that art is really as fleeting as life
itself and that neither of them is to be depended upon for anything
further than their brief moments of joyful fulfillment.
Thursday, November 7th, 9 pm