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Subject: Percy-L: Literary, Religious, Scientific, and Philosophical Discussion on Walker Percy

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  • From: Garic Barranger <nikkibar AT>
  • To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion" <percy-l AT>
  • Subject: Re: [percy-l] What were Walker Percy's favorite films?
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 13:33:52 -0500

My wife Milly and I saw Das Boot with Bunt and Walker at the old Gentilly Arts just before Walker began work on The Thanatos Syndrome. He had decided at that point to write no more novels and we discussed on the way there and back his wanderjahr period in Germany before the war and I suggested that for a writer of his stature to have had that experience – traveling in Germany during the prewar period after the Weimar era – and not to write about it would be a serious loss. Thanatos  was the result. Critics have not liked the book much, but I have always felt that Father Smith's confession is/was an important addition to American letters. The movie is available through Netflix and is well worth watching today. It retains the great power that it had for us that night, particularly powerful since it deals with the wartime experience of folks on the other side, rather like All Quiet on the Western Front. It is well worth watching today. I remember it as being in black and white but when I revisited it in the Netflix experience I was surprised to find it in color.

Nikki Barranger
On Jul 18, 2010, at 7:45 PM, John E. Riley wrote:

Does anyone on this list have information on this question and care to divulge?
It seems to me that Percy took films seriously even though as an art form they usually disappointed him?
I recall in one of his interviews he alluded to the films "Ordinary People" and "Breaking Away."  I have always considered the latter film a minor classic, but not many people saw it.
I think an interesting study would be how film influenced Percy's fictional techniques--Lewis Lawson
may have done some work in that area.
Any information would be appreciated.

John Riley
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

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