Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Camilla Dickinson by Madeleine L'Engle: the Movie!

I just got back from the West Coast where I saw the premiere of Camilla Dickinson, the film adaptation of my grandmother's first YA novel at the Seattle International Film Festival.

When we think of Madeleine L'Engle's body of work, CD may not jump out at you as the most cinematic.  However, my grandmother first wrote Camilla Dickinson for the stage and then decided to write it as a novel.

It is Madeleine's third published novel, and came out in 1951 just on the heels of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Camilla at the time was  deemed Holden's female counterpart, at a time when the world was more ready for a young and struggling MALE protagonist. Madeleine L'Engle wouldn't become well-known until 1962 when readers identified with her flawed protagonist Meg in A Wrinkle in Time.

I love my grandmother's earliest works - it's where I really feel her essence and her own struggle toward the light that mirrors my own.

So of course I had been looking forward to seeing Camilla in film since 1999 when my grandmother gave the script to one her many godchildren, the film-maker Cornelia Duryée Moore and told her to "have at it."

I wasn't disappointed.

Moore went through twenty seven revisions of the script before finding both the right tone and the funding to help her make this dream a reality. Armed with Larry Estes as a producer and a wonderful cast, Camilla has made her way onto the screen. It is a character driven book and remains a character driven movie. This is why the team had their choice of many brilliant actors to play these rich and complex roles, where all of the drama needs to be shown internally.

No, this is not a Hollywood, commercial film by any stretch of the imagination. It retains it's dark, coming-of-age themes, but has more of a sweetness at it's core. The character of Frank, dynamically  played by the very handsome British actor Gregg Sulkin, is not as dangerous as he appears in the book but we love him for it. Camilla herself is played gorgeously by Australian Adelaide Clemens as an icicle of a girl who is triangulated by her upper-class parents. She is an icicle who breaks out into her own personhood. Camilla's best friend and sister, Luisa Rowan is played flawlessly by Meisner specialist Colby Minifie. The emotions that these young actors are able to express through subtle changes in facial expressions was impressive.

And then of course, there was Cary Elwes and Samantha Mathis, expertly playing the roles of Camilla's detached father and emotionally fragile yet narcissistic mother.

It was a thrill to be there, and to watch Cornelia - who I have known since I was a struggling teen myself - present her labor of love to the world. We were able to have lunch with three of the actors before the premier on the boat that Corrie's dad built: Gregg, Colby, and another young actress named Rachel Grate who played the role of Pompilia. They are all so funny and down to earth - actors whose careers I will be watching closely. Actors who love to act, who challenge themselves to completely embody a role other than themselves.

I know what you are all asking yourselves: how can I get my hands on this? Well, the movie industry seems even crazier to me than the book industry - the way for you all to see this movie is for it to get bought by a bigger distributor. (Anybody know somebody who knows somebody?)


  1. It will be very hard to wait but....in the meantime I just got the book down from one of several Madeleine L'Engle shelves to reread. :)

  2. Ooh, how exciting! Here's hoping it gets bought by a bigger distributor so we can all see it. :)

  3. What a cool experience that must've been for you. I had not heard of the novel before this! Don't know any big distributors....

  4. I wish I could help, because I surely do want to see this. The actors look perfect!

  5. Oh, I'd love to see Camilla brought to life. Especially if they do it well. Can't wait. I'm a huge fan of all her YA books. :)

  6. OMG!!!! who do i need to send a petition to? BTW, is Wrinkle in Time movie still in the works?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This was really something very special and interesting.
    dodge turnitin

  9. Will probably be severely to have to wait however.... in the meantime I just got your book along via one of the Aspca Madeleine L'Engle racks to help reread.

  10. Our partner as well as when i proceed through Systrom's rebuttal and one levels Our partner as well as i ran across may be that except you wish to be embroiled inside of becoming likely in the Instagram 'ad', make sure to won't 'like' corporations that produce every one of them. Critically, will anyone with a biz intellect GENUINELY proceed through this sort of a stool ahead of which they released this? Seems like a lot regarding somebodies sincerely never take the time to read TOGETHER WITH think about the distinct ramifications. catba resort

  11. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!!!water damage dallas

  12. As a beginner it is a perfect platform your blogs really helps to understand me in a much easier way i regular participate on your website.
    Agency Employment Services

  13. You have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is really good. I hope you will continue for sharing such a excellent post. This was truly extremely enlightening site for me. Great Thanks!
    Weight Lossing Surgery Mexico

  14. It is a fantastic website i usually to come here to enhance the knowledge i spend a great time on your website i appreciate it.
    Casino In UK

  15. It is a fantastic blog its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge i am very active person on your website pleasure to come here regularly looking forward with your next article. It might be enhance my wisdom.

  16. This is an extraordinary article it looks so fresh and genuine it does really boost me genius writing i would love to read your new post i am damn sure it would be more interesting.

  17. Excellent blog whenever i feel bored i come here and i get so many new things over your blog thanks for sharing your knowledge able stuff I appreciate your blog. I would love to read more.
    Real Estate Agent In Downsview Park

  18. Thumps up for your knowledge able stuff for enhance the knowledge glad to come here this is an amazing to read your blog looking forward.
    Real Estate Agents Ottawa

  19. Well, I observed genius writing skills and i love too read your blog regularly it is very entertaining and acquainting blog appreciate your wisdom.

  20. Well, I am so fascinate to come over blog regularly it seems very up-to-date your blog keep me update it is really hard to keep updates own self in this busy life. Your blog is a way who hence and as well as aware me about new things so keep writing cheers.

  21. Well this is an great post I really enjoyed it seems like bulk of knowledge you analogize and your writing skill so high for a newbie it is an amazing post so keep writing about new topics.
    Dentist appleton

  22. Well, this is my first visit to your blog! You have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a fantastic blog its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.keep it up
    florida seo company

  23. I am happy to find this post it's Very informative for me. This blog has useful information I must say you have ability to writing unique and informative content. It's a really inspiring blog with full of knowledge.
    natural whey protein

  24. Hey there I feel so fortunate to come over your blog you express it in a very easiest way I am very much active person over your blog pretty good to read your blog its quit interesting to read your blog always because it looks fresh all the time.
    M City Condos Mississauga

  25. I really needed to build a fast remark keeping in mind the end goal to offer thanks to you for these remarkable substance you are putting on your site. You are continually leading a dynamite work. I should state you have composed incredible article. best schools in north delhi

  26. Well I would like to congratulate to you amazing writing skills as a regular member of your blog I wanted to say this, it’s really informative blog good work!
    Jacksonville seo firm

  27. It is a fantastic blog its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge i am very active person on your website pleasure to come here regularly looking forward with your next article. Excellent,keep it up.

    Get best ayurvedic treatment for kidney failure

  28. A corporate film has the complete essence of a company's corporate image and strategy. Therefore it is very important to focus on the core competencies & other aspects relevant to a corporate film.teleprompter

  29. Hi, your blog have very nice Information related to us, your all blog are very useful for everyone, I really like your all post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and this type of information. I will definitely come back to more times in this year for submit more post. Keep trying to make best.Great Thanks!

    Ayurvedic Medicines For Kidney Failure

  30. This is my first opportunity to visit your website and I am really enjoyed to spend time to your blog post.

    Avia Condos Brochure

  31. This blog is so nice to me. I will continue to come here again and again. Visit my link as well. Good luck
    http://www.jualobataborsiherbal.com/ obat aborsi
    http://caramenggugurkankandungan.info/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://www.jualobataborsiherbal.com/cara-menggugurkan-kandungan/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://jualobatpenggugurkandungan.net/ obat penggugur kandungan
    http://tandatandakehamilan.net/ tanda tanda kehamilan
    http://tandatandakehamilan.net/cara-cepat-dan-selamat-menggugurkan-kandungan/ cara menggugurkan kandungan
    http://obataborsi59.com/ obat aborsi
    http://obattelatdatangbulan.info/ obat telat datang bulan

  32. Well, This is my first opportunity to visit this website.! You have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a stunning work and its really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.

    Jacksonville SEO Company


  33. Awesome Work, I like the helpful info you provide in your articles, you touched some nice factors here and you have a genuine capacity for composing extraordinary Stuff. It is a perfect work and it's really inspiring and full fill with knowledge.