Thursday, 21 September 2023

More and more puzzled by Measure for Measure

1/ I still think the Duke goes around pulling all the strings because he wants to test everyone in Vienna. Some readers and viewers of the play complain that the final two acts drag on for too long when the Duke could easily remove his disguise and set everything right, but I don’t think he’s just interested in justice, in setting everything right—I think he wants to experiment, to test everyone to their very limit.

The question is, of course, why? Perhaps he’s bored, never having had much interest in governing. Perhaps he wants to study human nature. Perhaps he wants to play God. Perhaps he turns everything upside down and begins anew when he returns to power, having given the citizens of Vienna a taste of tyranny. Perhaps he wants to demonstrate to everyone, especially those in power, the danger of bias and the impossibility of establishing the truth when we’re in a “he said, she said” situation. 

2/ Barnardine is the minor, seemingly inconsequential character in Shakespeare that interests me the most, because he’s the only character in Measure for Measure that the Duke cannot control. 

“BARNADINE […] I will not consent to die this day, it’s certain.” 

(Act 4 scene 3) 

For all his game of playing God and manipulating everything, the Duke also cannot control Lucio’s mouth, but in the final scene, Lucio inadvertently plays into the Duke’s game when he slanders Friar Lodowick (the Duke’s disguise) and thus puts Escalus to the test as a judge (which he fails, coloured by his misjudgement about Angelo). And later, the Duke can punish Lucio by forcing him to marry a prostitute.

Barnardine on the contrary cannot be controlled, cannot be swayed. He refuses to get pulled into the Duke’s elaborate plot. He would prefer not to. 

3/ When I reread Hamlet or King Lear, I saw more layers of meaning and understood them a bit better.

But when I reread Measure for Measure recently, it puzzled me even more—I’m still in the dark—it’s a baffling play. 

For example, people tell me that Measure for Measure is about mercy. But do you notice the absurdity of Isabella’s call for mercy for Angelo? 

“ISABELLA […] My brother had but justice, 

In that he did the thing for which he died. 

For Angelo, 

His act did not o’ertake his bad intent, 

And must be buried but as an intent 

That perished by the way. Thoughts are no subjects, 

Intents but merely thoughts.” 

(Act 5 scene 1)

How is it justice that Claudio has to die for “fornication”? How is it just intent when Angelo forces Isabella to trade her virginity for her brother’s life—which doesn’t become “action” only because the Duke intervenes and gets Marianna to change place with Isabella—and then deceitfully lets Claudio be executed anyway? What kind of mercy is this? 

We can imagine what Shakespeare would have thought about Claudio’s “crime”—Anne Hathaway was pregnant on their wedding day. 

4/ The Duke is, in his way, also a tyrant. 

Look at the resolution.

He makes Angelo marry Marianna: Angelo doesn’t want her, and she ends up with someone who doesn’t care for her.

He makes Lucio marry the prostitute who has a child with him: Lucio doesn’t want her, how do we know if she wants him? 

He “proposes” to Isabella: she never says yes, and we all know she wants to become a nun.

Isn’t that tyrannical? 

This is not me imposing a modern perspective on the play—Shakespeare depicted over and over again forced marriages, in Romeo and Juliet, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in The Merry Wives of Windsor—we can deduce what he must have thought about them. 

Friday, 15 September 2023

Chekhov and shame

I prefer Chekhov’s later and longer stories, naturally. But many of his earlier stories, though just sketches, are very good.

In Volume 8 of Constance Garnett’s Chekhov, shame is the theme in most of the stories: Chekhov depicts an encounter, a confrontation, or a confession, and pinpoints a moment of shame, of the realisation in some character that they have wasted their lives or been unkind to others. And it’s very moving. 

For example, in “The Chorus Girl”, a chorus girl named Pasha is with a man when his wife suddenly appears and asks about him: 

“Pasha felt that on this lady in black with the angry eyes and white slender fingers she produced the impression of something horrid and unseemly, and she felt ashamed of her chubby red cheeks, the pock-mark on her nose, and the fringe on her forehead, which never could be combed back. And it seemed to her that if she had been thin, and had had no powder on her face and no fringe on her forehead, then she could have disguised the fact that she was not “respectable,” and she would not have felt so frightened and ashamed to stand facing this unknown, mysterious lady.”

It is similar to a moment in “A Gentleman Friend”: 

“The staircase impressed her as luxurious, and magnificent, but of all its splendours what caught her eye most was an immense looking-glass, in which she saw a ragged figure without a fashionable jacket, without a big hat, and without bronze shoes. And it seemed strange to Vanda that, now that she was humbly dressed and looked like a laundress or sewing girl, she felt ashamed, and no trace of her usual boldness and sauciness remained, and in her own mind she no longer thought of herself as Vanda, but as the Nastasya Kanavkin she used to be in the old days. . . .” 

To go back to “The Chorus Girl”, the wife screams at her, curses her, begs her whilst the husband is hiding and hearing everything.  

“Pasha shrieked with horror and waved her hands. She felt that this pale, beautiful lady who expressed herself so grandly, as though she were on the stage, really might go down on her knees to her, simply from pride, from grandeur, to exalt herself and humiliate the chorus girl.” 

A large part of the story is about the chorus girl’s shame and humiliation—because of it, she does an impulsive act that she later regrets—but then the wife leaves and the man appears, and now what we see is his shame. 

“At a Country House” is also a sketch, but different from “The Chorus Girl”, shame is not a feeling that runs through the entire story but a moment of sudden realisation: 

“Rashevitch was fearfully confused. Dumbfoundered, as though he had been caught in the act of a crime, he gazed helplessly at Meier, and did not know what to say. Genya and Iraida flushed crimson, and bent over their music; they were ashamed of their tactless father. A minute passed in silence, and there was a feeling of unbearable discomfort…” 

That moment changes the colour, the tone of the rest of the story. 

“When he reached his own room, Rashevitch sat down on his bed and began to undress. He felt oppressed, and he was still haunted by the same feeling as though he had eaten soap. He was ashamed. As he undressed he looked at his long, sinewy, elderly legs, and remembered that in the district they called him the “toad,” and after every long conversation he always felt ashamed.” 

It also changes the way we perceive the character. Rashevitch is the kind of man Chekhov might not have liked in real life, for he speaks of blue blood and disparages the working class, but Chekhov humanises him—through shame—and makes us feel sorry for him. 

The subject of shame is even more developed, and better handled, in “Rothchild’s Fiddle”. Look at the moment when Yakov notices the look of joy on his dying wife’s face: 

“Looking at the old woman, Yakov for some reason reflected that he had not once in his life been affectionate to her, had had no feeling for her, had never once thought to buy her a kerchief, or to bring her home some dainty from a wedding, but had done nothing but shout at her, scold her for his losses, shake his fists at her; it is true he had never actually beaten her, but he had frightened her, and at such times she had always been numb with terror. Why, he had forbidden her to drink tea because they spent too much without that, and she drank only hot water. And he understood why she had such a strange, joyful face now, and he was overcome with dread.” 

Chekhov doesn’t use the word, but it’s a moment of immense shame. The feeling becomes stronger after the funeral: 

“He wondered how it had happened that for the last forty or fifty years of his life he had never once been to the river, or if he had been by it he had not paid attention to it. […] But nothing of this had happened, even in his dreams; life had passed uselessly without any pleasure, had been wasted for nothing, not even a pinch of snuff; there was nothing left in front, and if one looked back—there was nothing there but losses, and such terrible ones, it made one cold all over. […] Why do people always do what isn’t needful? Why had Yakov all his life scolded, bellowed, shaken his fists, ill-treated his wife, and, one might ask, what necessity was there for him to frighten and insult the Jew that day? Why did people in general hinder each other from living? What losses were due to it! what terrible losses! If it were not for hatred and malice people would get immense benefit from one another.”

Now connected with shame is the subject of waste—something that occupies Chekhov throughout his career, in both short stories and plays—the idea that we waste our lives and hinder each other from living. 

I shall end my blog post with a quote from Edmund White, as quoted on Anecdotal Evidence blog

“But surely the stories of Chekhov or the paintings of de Chirico move us not only because they are so well done, but because in each case the artist has arranged exactly the right things in the right order. The choice of subject matter has been at least half of the achievement. Of course, if the rendering were less accomplished, its inaccuracies would distract us or stand between us and what was going on; but the aptness of the rendering alone could never explain the mysterious hold those words in the dark have over us.”

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

On Turgenev’s Virgin Soil

Virgin Soil is one of Turgenev’s lesser-known works. Not hard to see why. It is, as Tom of Wuthering Expectations has put it, formless.  

But if you’re interested in 19th century Russian society and politics, like I am, especially now that I have just read Gary Saul Morson’s Wonder Confronts Certainty, it is an interesting novel. It is probably Turgenev’s most political novel, or the novel where his stance is most clear: the revolutionaries are not psychopaths but naïve idealists who want to “serve the people” but know nothing about “the people”; the ideal is someone like Solomin, who introduces gradual changes and makes actual positive impact on people’s lives. If only the likes of Solomin had triumphed instead of the Bolsheviks! 

There are also some good bits in Virgin Soil. My favourite part is the chapter about the old couple, Fomushka and Fimushka—it does nothing to advance the plot, it even feels incongruous, but it’s striking and full of life. 

The characterisation of Nezhdanov and the depiction of his doubt and struggle are good. He is the most, or perhaps the only, fully developed character in the novel. Like Tolstoy always writes about the Man Who Searches for Meaning, Chekhov always writes about the Man Who Wastes His Life, Dostoyevsky always writes about the Spiteful Man, Turgenev always writes about the Superfluous Man.

Tom wrote

“The generation of Nihilists replaces the Superfluous Men, only to discover that they themselves were superfluous, and now the more violent, conspiratorial, anarchistic Populists elbow out the nihilists, finding, to their despair, that they are entirely superfluous.” 

Nezhdanov is another Superfluous Man. But it doesn’t feel boring—the doubt, the struggle, the gulf he feels between himself and the peasants, the feeling that “it’s difficult for an aesthete to engage with real life”, the despair and self-loathing—all that is well depicted.

There are some good moments, some good scenes throughout the book. The confrontation between Valentina Sipyagina and Marianna, for example. 

“Marianna left hastily, while Valentina Mikhailovna jumped up from her armchair, on the point of shouting and bursting into tears. But she did not know what to shout and the tears did not come. 

[…] She recognized a certain portion of truth in what she had heard. But how could she be judged so harshly? “Can I be so evil?” she thought, looking at herself in the mirror which was placed between the two windows directly in front of her. This mirror reflected a delightful, somewhat distorted face, with prominent red patches, which was nevertheless charming, and remarkable, soft, velvet eyes. “Me. Am I evil,” she thought again, “with eyes like that?”…” (Ch.26) 

(translated by Michael Pursglove) 

I like that. 

The scene where Sipyagin tricks Paklin into revealing the whereabouts of Nezhdanov and Marianna is also good, especially the moment Paklin realises what he has done and tries to justify himself, in vain. 

Some other good bits in Virgin Soil are when the characters leave things unsaid. 

“Marianna wanted to ask for an explanation of these words, but did not, and anyway, at that moment Solomin came into the room.” (Ch.36)

That scene between Nezhdanov and Marianna is very good. I don’t particularly like the romance in the novel, but that particular scene is excellent. 

“Solomin went out and caught Marianna up on the stairs. He had intended to say something to her about Nezhdanov, but remained silent. And, for her part, Marianna realized that Solomin had intended to say something to her, about Nezhdanov in particular, and that he had remained silent. And she too remained silent.” (ibid.)

I like it when a writer depicts those moments when people leave things unsaid; when they don’t say, or can’t say, something. Chekhov and Henry James are the masters of those silences, Turgenev also does it.  

Turgenev depicts another silence in the final chapter of the book: 

“Mashurina merely nodded. She wanted him to continue speaking of Nezhdanov, but could not pluck up the courage to ask him.” (Ch.38) 

The entire chapter is poignant. I like that Turgenev ends the novel not on Marianna and Solomin, but on Paklin and Mashurina: we’re in a way moved further away from Nezhdanov, but we can see the impact of his death on somebody.

There are indeed some very good bits in the book. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Virgin Soil: Fomushka and Fimushka

Virgin Soil seems like the right book to read after Gary Saul Morson’s Wonder Confronts Certainty

Perhaps at some point I will write about Turgenev’s revolutionaries, but right now I’m interested in the old couple: the Subochevs, Foma Lavrentyevich (Fomushka) and Yevfimiya Pavlovna (Fimushka). 

This is how Paklin describes them: 

““No politics, no literature, nothing modern gets a look in there. […] The smell there is antique; the people are antique, the air is antique. Take anything you like and it’s antique. Catherine II, powder, hooped skirts, the eighteenth century! […] They’re awfully like one another, only she wears a mobcap and he a nightcap—with the same ruches as the mobcap, but minus the ribbon. If it wasn’t for this ribbon, you wouldn’t know who was who…”” 

(translated by Michael Pursglove) 

Personally I think not much of interest has happened before this point. Nezhdanov, an illegitimate son of an aristocrat, and a Red, is employed as a tutor by the privy councillor Sipyagin; there he meets a few progressive people who want to “do something”—Marianna (Sipyagin’s niece), Markelov (Sipyagin’s brother-in-law), Solomin (a factory owner), etc. Paklin, one of the revolutionaries Nezhdanov has known from before, visits him, gets introduced to the others, and then takes them to the Subochevs, who gave shelter to his sister. 

“The Subochevs’ coachman, too, was an extremely ancient man, redolent of train oil and pitch; his beard began near his eyes and his eyebrows fell to his beard in a little cascade. He was so slow in all his movements that he used up a whole five minutes to take a pinch of snuff, two minutes to stick his whip into his belt and over two hours to harness Moveless alone.” 

Doesn’t that sound more like something out of Gogol? 

“When together, they were never bored, so they were never apart and did not wish for any other company. Neither Fomushka nor Fimushka had ever been seriously ill, and if one of them had some slight indisposition, they both drank an infusion of lime blossom, had warm oil rubbed onto the smalls of their backs or hot fat dropped onto the soles of their feet, and it soon passed.” 

The episode with the Subochevs is unlike anything that came before. It is—I wouldn’t say out-of-place—incongruous. 

I like it though. The old couple. The house. The servants in the house. The whole scene. It is lively, and unexpected. 

Saturday, 19 August 2023

15 films I hate

Curious, aren’t you? I generally avoid blogging about things I hate, but today let’s stir shit up.

Note that I will only name films which are highly acclaimed, or which are with a huge fanbase and considered iconic—the sacred cows, so to speak—it’s no fun mentioning something popular but slammed by critics and relatively recent (such as Twilight or superhero rubbish). 

Here’s the list: 

Lolita (dir. Stanley Kubrick) 

The Shining (dir. Stanley Kubrick) 

The Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick) 

The Shape of Water (dir. Guillermo del Toro) 

Mank (dir. David Fincher) 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (dir. Martin McDonagh) 

Back to the Future (dir. Robert Zemeckis) 

Jojo Rabbit (dir. Taika Waititi) 

Roma (dir. Alfonso Cuaron) 

Anything I have seen by Jean-Luc Godard, except Vivre sa vie 

Oldboy (dir. Park Chan-wook) 

Rope (dir. Alfred Hitchcock) 

Emma (dir. Douglas McGrath) 

Emma (dir. Autumn de Wilde)

Jane Eyre (dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga) 

The list has just got updated on 20/8. 

Friday, 18 August 2023

My 10 favourite films (2023 list)

One film per director. 

Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman)  

Sunset Boulevard (dir. Billy Wilder) 

Ran (dir. Akira Kurosawa) 

Casablanca (dir. Michael Curtis) 

A Star Is Born (dir. George Cukor) 

The Conversation (dir. Francis Ford Coppola) 

The Phantom of Liberty (dir. Luis Bunuel) 

The Flavour of Green Tea over Rice (dir. Yasujiro Ozu) 

Raise the Red Lantern (dir. Zhang Yimou) 

F for Fake (dir. Orson Welles) 

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Chekhov’s “The Letter” and “A Nightmare”

Not enough is said about the great value of Constance Garnett’s 13 volumes of Chekhov. I like her prose, I also like the way she organises the stories—for example, Volume 7 has “The Bishop”, “The Letter”, “Easter Eve”, “A Nightmare”, “The Murder”, “Uprooted”, and “The Steppe”—she groups together several stories which have a religious theme or setting and which can be read together, and adds some different stories so it’s never boring. 

Volume 7 begins with “The Bishop”, one of his finest stories, and possibly Vasily Grossman’s favourite, as he mentions it in both Life and Fate and Everything Flows. The story is Chekhov’s answer to The Death of Ivan Ilyich: oppressed by illness and overwhelmed with work, the bishop has no time to think about death or God, and when he thinks about his life, he doesn’t ask himself if he has lived a good and worthwhile life, but thinks about his mother and his childhood. 

Bishops and priests in Chekhov’s world are perfectly human—there are no saints—that’s what I love about Chekhov. 

“The Bishop” is followed with “The Letter”. 

“Not everyone knows when to be silent and when to go. It not infrequently happens that even diplomatic persons of good worldly breeding fail to observe that their presence is arousing a feeling akin to hatred in their exhausted or busy host, and that this feeling is being concealed with an effort and disguised with a lie. But Father Anastasy perceived it clearly, and realized that his presence was burdensome and inappropriate, that his Reverence, who had taken an early morning service in the night and a long mass at midday, was exhausted and longing for repose; every minute he was meaning to get up and go, but he did not get up, he sat on as though he were waiting for something.”

In the story, Chekhov moves between different perspectives, depicting both the “feeling akin to hatred” in the exhausted host, and the mind of the unwelcome guest who knows he has to leave but somehow doesn’t go. 

“His Reverence believed in people’s reforming, but now when a feeling of pity had been kindled in him it seemed to him that this disgraced, worn-out old man, entangled in a network of sins and weaknesses, was hopelessly wrecked, that there was no power on earth that could straighten out his spine, give brightness to his eyes and restrain the unpleasant timid laugh which he laughed on purpose to smoothe over to some slight extent the repulsive impression he made on people.

The old man seemed now to Father Fyodor not guilty and not vicious, but humiliated, insulted, unfortunate; his Reverence thought of his wife, his nine children, the dirty beggarly shelter at Zyavkin’s; he thought for some reason of the people who are glad to see priests drunk and persons in authority detected in crimes; and thought that the very best thing Father Anastasy could do now would be to die as soon as possible and to depart from this world for ever.”

Who else but Chekhov would write a passage like that about a priest? It is so good. In “The Letter”, he writes about two priests and a deacon, and depicts them with such keen insight, such compassion and humanity. His characters are all human. 

In “A Nightmare”, there’s a priest named Father Yakov, and he’s seen through the eyes of Kunin, a member of the Rural Board. 

“With his short figure, his narrow chest, his red and perspiring face, he made from the first moment a most unpleasant impression on Kunin. The latter could never have imagined that there were such undignified and pitiful-looking priests in Russia; and in Father Yakov’s attitude, in the way he held his hands on his knees and sat on the very edge of his chair, he saw a lack of dignity and even a shade of servility.”

Writing from the perspective of Kunin, Chekhov doesn’t hold back: 

“Father Yakov was so absorbed in drinking tea that he did not answer this question at once. He lifted his grey-blue eyes to Kunin, thought a moment, and as though recalling his question, he shook his head in the negative. An expression of pleasure and of the most ordinary prosaic appetite overspread his face from ear to ear. He drank and smacked his lips over every gulp. When he had drunk it to the very last drop, he put his glass on the table, then took his glass back again, looked at the bottom of it, then put it back again. The expression of pleasure faded from his face. . . .”

As it is Chekhov, there would be a turn in the story, but I won’t go into detail—all I’ll say is that I love the way he writes about the indignity of poverty, and the pride of a poor person who desperately tries to hide his poverty—it is so moving. 


I have finished reading Gary Saul Morson’s Wonder Confronts Certainty. If you’re interested in Russian literature and history, ideology, and big questions, this is the book for you. 

I love that Morson ends the book with Chekhov. He too is my hero. 

Monday, 14 August 2023

Musings on Jane Austen—a personal blog post

1/ It’s strange how these things work. There are writers with whom it was love at first sight (Tolstoy, Melville). There are writers I came to like over time (Jane Austen). There are writers I had to rediscover (Shakespeare, Chekhov). And sometimes a writer comes to mean a lot more to me at a particular stage of my life, like Chekhov at the moment, whilst I’m having a difficult time. As I move closer to Chekhov, it so happens that I move further away from Jane Austen. It’s not because I think less highly of her, but the themes of balance, misperception, and appearance vs reality now mean less to me; whereas the subjects that now occupy me didn’t seem to interest Austen: death, grief, loneliness, longing, sex, sexual desire, unhappiness, fleetingness of love, search for meaning, and so on. 

2/ I’ve never got out of my head Nabokov’s remark in his lecture about Mansfield Park

“Nobody in Mansfield Park dies in the arms of the author and reader, as people do in Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy. The deaths in Mansfield Park happen somewhere behind the scenes and excite little emotion. These dull deaths have, however, a curiously strong influence on the development of plot.”

This is true for all of Jane Austen’s novels: deaths happen off-stage, and they’re often, if not always, functional (in Nabokov’s words: “affect the development of the novel and are introduced for structural purposes, purposes of development”). 

3/ I reread Pride and Prejudice several months ago. I have always had a complicated relationship with it: I like it a lot, but it’s too light, bright, and sparkling, too much like a woman’s fantasy. Mr Darcy might exist, but you’re not going to meet him. 

(I myself prefer Mr Knightley). 

4/ It probably says something about me that my favourite Austen novel is Mansfield Park, her darkest, most sombre novel.

Like her other novels, it has a happy ending, but she gives us a vision, a glimpse of something else that might have happened: Fanny Price back in Portsmouth, poor, alienated, unhappy, forever unable to get out; or married to Henry Crawford, betrayed, humiliated, and miserable.

These visions are gloomier than what her other heroines might have experienced if they hadn’t got a happy ending.

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Musings on Flannery O’Connor and vision

There is often something violent in the works of Flannery O’Connor. In A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, the weakest stories are those in which nothing happens—like “A Stroke of Good Fortune” or “A Late Encounter with the Enemy”—stories of nothing happening, the domain of Chekhov, are not her thing. In her best stories, there’s usually something shocking, something violent or brutal or destructive. And she doesn’t hold back. 

Flannery O’Connor is a strange, fascinating writer. Strange, because she has a weird way of seeing and depicting things, and I often find her elusive. Fascinating, as she has an imposing personality and an uncompromising, pitiless quality. 

Above all, it is strange that I don’t know what draws me to her short stories. Not long ago, I tweeted that I didn’t find the great works of Russian literature depressing even though they depicted war, disease, death, cruelty, humiliation, suffering… whereas the works of Tanizaki (specifically Naomi), Joyce Carol Oates, or Elfriede Jelinek filled me with disgust and left a bad taste in my mouth. The difference, I’ve concluded, is in vision: Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky…, in spite of everything, still demonstrate a love of life and humanity, and a belief in freedom and human dignity; Vasily Grossman, even when he writes about the worst horrors of the 20th century, believes in dignity and kindness and offers a glimpse of hope; whereas the works of Tanizaki, Elfriede Jelinek, or Joyce Carol Oates are devoid of light, depicting human beings as just base and depraved. 

I don’t share such a vision of life. Even my current job, in which I regularly speak to refugees, victims of religious persecution, and victims of human trafficking, doesn’t make me cynical, for I still see people stand up for the truth and for justice, I still see people try to help others, I still see people try to make changes. 

Why then do I like Flannery O’Connor? She has a dark, dark view of humanity. In one story, a group of fugitives kills an entire family. In two stories, some men deceive and take advantage of disabled women. In another story, a group of adolescents causes havoc for no reason but their own meanness, and sets the woods on fire. And there’s a story in which a grandfather, the moment he’s needed the most, rejects his own grandson and debases himself out of fear and cowardice. It is a cold, brutal world she depicts and there is no glimpse of hope, no glimpse of human kindness. 

And yet, her stories don’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. Why? What does she have that Elfriede Jelinek, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tanizaki lack? 

Sunday, 30 July 2023

100 latest films and plays I've watched

From January 2023 to July 2023

In bold: films and plays I think are good 

1/ 海街 diary (Our Little Sister - Japan - 2015) 

2/ 女が階段を上る時 (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs - Japan - 1960) 

3/ Jeffrey Dahmer: Mind Of A Monster (2020) 

4/ Tár (2022) 

4/ The Green River Killer: Mind Of A Monster (2020) 

5/ A Murder in the Family: Cheryl Hooper (2023) 

6/ The Whale (2022) 

7/ Mary Kay Letourneau: Notes On A Scandal (2022) 

8/ CODA (2021) 

9/ The Butcher Baker: Mind of a Monster (2020) 

10/ The Fabelmans (2022) 

11/ Clarkson's Farm - Season 2 (2023) - 8 episodes 

12/ My Insta Scammer Friend (2022) 

13/ Dirty Dancing (1987) 

14/ Old Boys (2018) 

15/ The Breakfast Club (1985) 

16/ Emily Atack: Asking for It (2023) 

17/ 東方三俠 (The Heroic Trio - Hong Kong - 1993) 

18/ 警察故事3超級警察 (Police Story 3: Supercop - Hong Kong - 1992) 

19/ 警察故事 (Police Story - Hong Kong - 1985) 

20/ Война и мир: Андрей Болконский (War and Peace, Part 1: Andrei Bolkonsky - Soviet Union - 1966) 

21/ Война и мир: Наташа Ростова (War and Peace, Part 2: Natasha Rostova - Soviet Union - 1966)

22/ Война и мир: 1812 год (War and Peace, Part 3: The Year 1812 - Soviet Union - 1967) 

23/ Война и мир: Пьер Безухов (War and Peace, Part 4: Pierre Bezukhov - Soviet Union - 1967) 

24/ Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's - France - 1969) 

25/ King Lear (1983, ft. Laurence Olivier) 

26/ Buying a British Dad (2023) 

27/ Much Ado About Nothing (1984 BBC) 

28/ The Lost Weekend (1945) 

29/ Le Genou de Claire (Claire's Knee - France - 1970) 

30/ Hamlet (1990 New York Shakespeare Festival, ft. Kevin Kline) 

31/ Catching a Pervert: Sexual Assault for Sale (2023) 

32/ A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) 

33/ Hamlet (2018, ft. Andrew Scott) 

34/ The Monkey Haters (2023) 

35/ Panorama: Is China Watching You? (2023)

36/ The Mentalist: Bloodshot (2009) 

37/ The Mentalist: Carnelian Inc. (2009) 

38/ The Mentalist: Russet Potatoes (2009) 

39/ The Mentalist: A Dozen Red Roses (2009) 

40/ The Mentalist: Red Sauce (2009)  

41/ The Mentalist: Miss Red (2009) 

42/ The Mentalist: Blood Brothers (2009) 

43/ The Mentalist: Red John's Footsteps (2009) 

44/ The Mentalist: Redemption (2009) 

45/ The Mentalist: The Scarlet Letter (2009) 

46/ The Mentalist: Red Badge (2009) 

47/ The Mentalist: Red Menace (2009) 

48/ The Mentalist: Red Scare (2009) 

49/ The Mentalist: Pilot (2008)

50/ The Mentalist: Red Hair and Silver Tape (2008)

51/ The Mentalist: Red Scare (2009)

52/ The Mentalist: Black Gold and Red Blood (2009) 

53/ The Mentalist: Red Bulls (2009) 

54/ The Mentalist: His Red Right Hand (2009) 

55/ The Mentalist: A Price Above Rubies (2009) 

56/ The Mentalist: Throwing Fire (2009)

57/ The Mentalist: Rose-Colored Glasses (2010) 

58/ The Mentalist: Red Tide (2008) 

59/ The Mentalist: Ladies in Red (2008) 

60/ The Mentalist: Red Wood (2008) 

61/ The Mentalist: Red Handed (2008) 

62/ Oppenheimer (2023)

63/ The Mentalist: Bleeding Heart (2010) 

64/ The Mentalist: Redline (2010) 

65/ The Mentalist: Blood In, Blood Out (2010) 

66/ The Mentalist: Red Herring (2010) 

67/ The Mentalist: Seeing Red (2008) 

68/ The Mentalist: The Thin Red Line (2008) 

69/ The Mentalist: Flame Red (2008) 

70/ The Mentalist: Red Brick and Ivy (2008) 

71/ The Mentalist: Red John's Friends (2009) 

72/ The Mentalist: Red Rum (2009) 

73/ The Mentalist: Paint It Red (2009) 

74/ The Mentalist: Crimson Casanova (2009) 

75/ The Mentalist: Red Letter (2010) 

76/ The Mentalist: Red Sky in the Morning (2010) 

77/ The Mentalist: Red Sky at Night (2010) 

78/ The Mentalist: Code Red (2010) 

79/ The Mentalist: Red Box (2010) 

80/ The Mentalist: Aingavite Baa (2010) 

81/ The Mentalist: Cackle-Bladder Blood (2010) 

82/ The Mentalist: The Blood on His Hands (2010) 

83/ The Mentalist: Red Carpet Treatment (2010)  

84/ The Mentalist: The Red Ponies (2010)

85/ The Mentalist: Pink Chanel Suit (2010) 

86/ The Mentalist: Red Hot (2010) 

87/ The Mentalist: Ball of Fire (2010) 

88/ The Mentalist: Red Moon (2010) 

89/ The Mentalist: Jolly Red Elf (2010) 

90/ The Mentalist: Bloodsport (2010) 

91/ The Mentalist: Bloodhounds (2010) 

92/ The Mentalist: Red Alert (2010) 

93/ The Mentalist: Blood for Blood (2010) 

94/ The Mentalist: Red Gold (2010) 

95/ The Mentalist: Red Queen (2010) 

96/ The Mentalist: Bloodstream (2010) 

97/ The Mentalist: The Red Mile (2011) 

98/ The Mentalist: Every Rose Has Its Thorn (2011) 

99/ The Mentalist: Redacted (2011) 

100/ The Mentalist: Like a Redheaded Stepchild (2011)