5 thoughts on “Arte Documentary on The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. This documentary was enriching and teached me many things that I did not know about The Picture of Dorian Gray and Oscar Wilde’s relationship with his novel, that I will incorporate in an essay in the future.
    For example, the importance of homosexuality in Wilde’s life and the impressive amount of allusions to love between two men in Dorian Gray’s story blew me away. Of course, I already had noticed that the novel in itself was not exactly an invitation to heterosexuality, but I would never have guessed that Basil and Dorian could experience a forbidden love. In fact, reading the book for the first time, I actually sensed a more obvious proximity between Lord Henry and Dorian, as if Dorian feeled an unrequited love for the one he admires the most. But it does make sense, now that I think about it : Dorian would never have killed Basil if he didn’t care about his opinion. He cannot bare the fact that his friend, his own painter, the man he secretly loves, feels such a disappointment toward him. This might also fit better Wilde’s relationship with Alfred, because to get revenge over this impossible love he chooses to prosecute Alfred’s father, a treason that can be compared to killing Basil with a knife.
    I also learned many things about Wilde’s trial, and how similar he was to Lord Henry. Indeed, he kept saying witty epigrams and playing around with the judge when he should have stayed quiet, just like Lord Henry sees life as a game and does not hesitate to manipulate people even if it means crossing the line.
    The fact that Wilde’s novel challenges authority (link with The Tempest), more specifically the Victorian society, used to bring him shame and led his entire family to change name. But it is ironic, because we know now that what is written in The Picture of Dorian Gray is only full of truth, just like Amélie Nothomb said in her interview, and we still can identify to it today.
    In conclusion, I loved this documentary because it was pleasant to watch and it gave me more useful information, especially on the writer’s life, that I can use in my essays in the future.

  2. After having watched this documentary on The Picture of Dorian Gray, I have come away in lightened and inspired. I will admit I never particularly liked Wilde’s novel, in fact I found it kind of boring, but after having watched this video, after having seen Oscar Wilde also pose for photos, after having understood what he wished to tell and show through he’s work, like how we should not fear life, I’ve realised this man was very smart, very witty and most definitely ahead of his time. One of the things that I heard in this video that I don’t agree with is the following: “Without one’s beauty, one is nothing.” (Or something like that…) I wanted to say I don’t agree but then it got me thinking, does he speak of physical beauty, the one we see when you first meet someone. Or spiritual beauty, the one you see after having spent time with someone. I don’t think he can speak of one without the other…

  3. I really like the documentary because I learned new things about Oscar Wilde. I never read one of his books and this documentary makes me want to read it ! I had no clue of his positions and opinions on homosexuality because at this time it was a “sujet tabou” and i really appreciate that he used his handwritting to express his opinion. Because I never read one of his book, I don’t really have an big open mind on the other books that he wrote.

  4. The documentary of the book “The Picture of Dorian Gray” taught me so many things about the relation between Oscar Wild’s live, and personality; the impact of this work on the Victorian society, his life and on the futures generations; the complex relationships between the three principal characters, Lord Henry, Dorian Gray, and Basil; And about the different perspectives of what does these characters incarnate and represented for Wilde; that my brain is almost in the verge of exploding, (metaphorically of course).

    Thanks to this documentary I understood more Wilde’s way of thinking and the purpose of creating this work. Now I feel more sorry for him, but at the same time I admire him more. In some way by his work and art he englobes many complex aspects about life, such as its pleasures, and dangers. He also adds the fact that our environment has a great impact on our lives but also in ourselves, in how we are, and that it is something that manipulates us easily and that we are unable to stop, as how Dorian’s and Wilde’s life tragically finishes because of themselves but also because of their environment and their impotence towards the nature of life. What I mean with the nature of life is the complexity of the nature of our environment and of a human as a living being with a conscience. Link to the Tempest, the power of nature; probably we are able to mold it or transform it it but we won’t ever be able to completely change and control it as if we were the creators. You can only completely control something if you are the creator. Shakespeare and Wilde can only completely control and manipulate their art works but they will never be able to entirely control their own real lives and the nature of their reality. Like what we see in Sweet bird of Youth, we can clearly see the impotence of Chance of not being able to control the nature of time and life.
    Putting all this aside, what I did not like is the fact that the documentary does not talk about how Henry belittles women, and how that reflects Wilde’s real perspective towards women.

  5. This documentary helps us to understand the context of the book titled ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’ written by Oscar Wilde. I personally found it really interesting as the plot is really ambiguous and the specialists explain it with lots of details and passion.

    The main theme seems to be the importance of beauty and of art, concerning the picture of Dorian Gray, whose changes in expression within the actions of the character, seem crucial for the cast and the evolution of the story. It’s first edition what considered inmoral as it evoques polemic topics such as homosexuality, hedonism… whose mention in that society based in the appearance provoked lots of critics.

    At first I was a bit shocked, as I found kind of ridiculous the importance gave to beauty, but after I thought that maybe that’s the effect Oscar was trying to create so as to criticize the fake Puritanism of that time.

    The publication of this book was risky, as it can be prove the different events occurred at the end of Oscar’s life, such as his condemnation and forced exile from France.

    As a first interaction with the book it was really interesting, enriching and helpful for it’s future analysis.

    Jimena Rivadulla Durán

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