‘Elegy’ – The New Movie Based On The Philip Roth Novel ‘The Dying Animal’

Philip Roth’s "The Professor of Desire" is my favorite of his novels.

It’s the most tender.

"Animal" is the sequel.

I read it in August 2001, after selling lukeford.com and embarking on a new life.

I was looking for a way to tell my memoir.

After finishing this short novel in Santa Barbara, I seized on its voice as my inspiration.

I’m not sure how well I pulled it off in "XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without a Shul."

No publisher wanted it.

David Kepesh is a professor of English. He’s in his sixties. He was married once in his youth but regarded it as time spent in prison. He went on to have a life of temporary relationships (sleeping with more than 50 women).

In this movie, he falls in love with a Cuban student around 30 played by Penelope Cruz.

The pursuit of learning is the most erotic thing in the world to me. There’s nothing more intriguing to me than the relationship between teacher and pupil.

I love the themes of this novel and film.

I love Philip Roth because he’s so honest about the natural man.

I had to control myself watching this film because as I started laughing out loud, I got a lot of dirty stares.

About a third of the way in, after we’ve feasted our eyes on Penelope Cruz, we’re presented with 50-something Patricia Clarkson trying to do an erotic strip tease.

It’s horrifying watching her take off her clothes. Yuck!

I was the only person in the audience laughing.

What a politically correct crowd!

After watching Cruz, who wants to see Clarkson disrobe. Yuck!

Imagine you’ve been tapping Penelope and suddenly Patricia shows up wanting something.

Yuck!

Women over forty shouldn’t strip-tease.

My favorite line in the movie? "When you make love to a woman, you get revenge on all the times life has defeated you."

Works of art about the emptiness of lots of great sex always hit a chord with me.

I guess I believe in that quote above and it hurts me that it is not enough. Worse, I know that pursuing such revenge is empty. Sex must be pursued within the context of a lasting monogamous marriage blessed by God and state or it’s a cheat.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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