Tag Archives: Jane Smiley

European Union Film Fest Week Two / “Some Luck” at the Movies


For the second week of the Gene Siskel Film Center’s European Union Film Fest, I have reviews of Alain Resnais’ final film Life of Riley and the Belgian documentary N: The Madness of Reason at Cine-File and a review of Eugene Green’s love letter to Italian architecture, La Sapienza, at Time Out.

On Sunday, March 29, I will be giving a talk at the Wilmette Public Library about Jane Smiley’s 2014 novel Some Luck, a multi-generational epic about the lives of a family of Iowan farmers from the end of WWI through the early 1950s. Innovative yet accessible, this wonderful novel uses an elliptical structure to chart the fortunes of the Langdon family — with each of Smiley’s short chapters corresponding to a full year in their lives. My talk will focus on relevant farm-related films (from F.W. Murnau’s City Girl in 1930 to Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven in 1978) that likewise show how the lives of men and women who live and work on farms play out against the backdrop of the harvesting and reaping cycles — creating a rich and uniquely American cinematic tapestry.

This event is part of the library’s “One Book, Everybody Reads” program, which will culminate with an April 26 appearance by Smiley herself. More information can be found on the WPL website here: http://www.wilmettelibrary.info/


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