On Old Movies and Sex, and The Diaries of Dead People

I’ve been reading “A Literary Passion” by Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Last night, I decided to watch the movie based on the book, Henry and June. It was made in 1990, I believe. My overall review of the movie is that, while it hit a few things on the head (so to speak, and pardon the pun!) it played up too much else. It made Anais’ husband, Hugo, out to be an egotist. That is not the impression I get from her letters about him, or Henry’s for that matter. There was actually a great deal of respect between the two men, in life, and while Anais and Henry were discreet with their 20 year love affair, one gets the feeling that Hugo knew about it, and in a subversive sort of way, approved.

I felt the movie, in casting, nailed Nin’s character. She was tiny and beautiful, generous to a fault and openly sexual. But feminine. She didn’t know what she wanted. She only knew she wanted everything.

June, Henry’s wife, was known to be narcissistic and manipulative. Played by Uma Thurman, I also didn’t feel the character accurately reflected the couple’s letters. Anais was, at first, in love with and had a passionate affair with June. June hurt her just as she had hurt Henry, and Henry and Anais turned to one another. Or that’s how I see it. I have yet to finish the book, and my opinions may change as I do.

Regardless, the emotions and eroticism of these people and their life I find particularly moving. As I embark on whatever my journey is with Adam, I feel a great deal of commonness with these two people.

While I’m not sure I would recommend the movie, though I did enjoy watching (there is much passionate sex, and who doesn’t like that?), I definitely recommend giving the book a whirl.

2 thoughts on “On Old Movies and Sex, and The Diaries of Dead People

  1. I saw the movie, “Henry and June,” ages and ages ago. At the time, I wasn’t yet familiar with the work of either Henry Miller or Anais Nin, though of course I soon came to be. I admit now having only vague recollections from the film, though.


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