A Passage to India

David Lean?s visually stunning film version of E. M. Forster?s A Passage to India was recently released in a Collector?s Edition to coincide with the centennial of the legendary director?s birth. The 1984 epic, starring Judy Davis and Peggy Ashcroft, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards (it won 2) and was the last film directed by Lean (whose other credits include Oliver Twist, Summertime, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, and Doctor Zhivago). An exploration of misunderstandings between British imperials and Indian locals, Lean?s film is a largely faithful adaptation of Forster?s last novel, published in 1924. In addition to the restored and digitally remastered film, the two-DVD set includes cast interviews, a Forster retrospective, and insightful commentary from Lean and producer Richard Goodwin. (The latter describes the difficulty of shooting in India: "The big problem is crowd control. There are so many people who want to come and watch everything that it becomes impossible to film"; a closed set was built in Bangalore to manage the shooting of certain scenes.) Lean, who died in 1991, discusses how his artistic license drew the ire of some Forster scholars. "I said, 'I?m going to make a movie that with luck will be remembered for two or three years. There?s always the book, and those who are offended by the idea of making a movie of this classic, don?t have to see it. They?ll always have the book.' " Both, in their own ways, remain classics of their kind.

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).