Vladimir Nabokov’s revolutionary novel, Lolita, follows the abduction and sexual abuse of 12 year old Dolores Haze, better known as Lolita, by her pedophilic stepfather – and crucially, narrator – Humbert Humbert. Yet, Dolores Haze has been filtered and reduced down to the derogatory and misleading definition of “Lolita” in the English dictionary as a “a precociously, seductive girl”. This widely accepted unsympathetic reading of one of the most controversial protagonists in existence, dictated by the manipulative verbal tricks of Humbert’s narration, has eclipsed what is for me, the essence of Dolores Haze; a tragic and exploited child, a captive, a rape victim.
The Latin origins of Dolores – “dolor” – means pain or suffering and hence, Lolita’s character is inherently a tragic victim to abuse. However, it may also be read as a representation of Lolita’s toxic effect on Humbert; the subjectivity of Lolita runs straight to its very core. From the very outset, Humbert is heavy-handed in providing an apathetic filter with which the audience is encouraged to view Dolores. As well as being, “antagonistic, dissatisfied, cagey” to her teachers, fellow pupils,and to her mentally abusive mother, Dolores’ premature sexuality is difficult to ignore.
By Dasha Scanlan-Oumow
Walking up to The Sadlers Wells Theatre, you can hear the buzz of people all waiting to see Pontus Linberg and Javier De Frutos’ new creation. Ballet Boyz is a collection of twelve extremely talented dancers, collected from all around which creates a hugely diverse atmosphere on stage – although I was curious at how an ensemble of male only dancers would interact on stage, who would dance the female parts? The curtains went up – the audience hushed and the conductor picked up his baton; it was about to begin.
Film: The virgin suicides (1999)
Kirsten Dunst stars in this poignant movie explaining the growth of five sisters closely controlled by their religious mother. The stunning cinematography creates an entertaining and engaging story about the difficulties the sisters encounter as they ‘come of age’ while highlighting the contrasting struggles of men and women throughout their lives.
From our Foreign Language Film Club, by Dasha Scanlan Oumow
The film’Goodbye Lenin!’ Is set during the fall of the Berlin Wall, it follows the life of a young man who’s mother falls into a coma. When she wakes up, the Wall has been pulled down but Alex creates a whole new world to protect his mother from finding out the truth, and so protecting her from a further heart attack. Alex creates a utopian world of the German Democratic Republic, partly to protect his mother and partly to reassure himself that his childhood society can be good. This coming of age story delicately runs alongside the political problems of the fall of socialism in the GDR. Soon Alex’s world that he creates in his mothers bedroom spreads to the city as he goes to all sort of lengths to veil the truth, however the careful mastering of the characterisation allows the audience to connect and empathise with Alex’s actions. The take-over of Western cooperations such as Coca-cola and Burger King also offers valuable insight into the way they have already infiltrated every aspect of our day to day life, however we have simply grown used to it. The film touches the audiences heart, as it shows that in a world of conflicting ideologies, shifting boundaries and challenging journeys, a mother-son bond can stay strong through it all.
Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5hzmwGW4Ac