CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Garden of Eden

After thirty three years, I returned to Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West last week. The tour guide shared with us a story that when Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba, Hemingway's manuscripts were lost in a Cuba bank safe. This theft of ideas added to Hemingway's despondency, which manifested with his suicide shortly there after. **Garden of Eden** surfaced in 1986 as one of Hemingway's lost manuscripts.

Begun circa 1946, **Garden of Eden** was unlike anything Papa Hemingway had ever written before. In fact **Garden of Eden** seems similar to the writing themes of Hemingway's professional rival, F.Scott Fitzgerald. Set on the French Rivera during the Jazz Age, the story details the honeymoon between a writer named David and a bored socialite Catherine. While gallivanting across the Mediterranean, both David and Catherine develop a sexual intimacy that crosses the identity line regarding gender expression.

With full frontal nudity and sensuous cinematography, **Hemingway's Garden of Eden** opens tomorrow at local movie theaters. The movie stars Mena Survari as the experimental Catherine, a rich flapper with too much time on her hands. Given her work in **America Pie** and **American Beauty,** Suvari presents a mature version of her earlier screen incarnations. Given their work together in **Factory Girl,** Suvari reunites with costar Jack Huston as David, a passive young man intrigued by his newlywed's sexual motives. As the third point of this erotic love triangle, Caterina Murino is Marita, an Italian women swept into David and Catherine's passionate role playing.

Despite my Jackie Collins narrative description of **Hemingway's Garden of Eden,** director John Irvin has crafted literary cinema. There is an emphasis on diction that sounds like a grand novel. Survari, Huston and Murino evoke a bygone era. Given Hemingway's iconic influence in classic Hollywood movies starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman and/or Spencer Tracy, ** Hemingway's Garden of Eden** is a story that could only be told in modern times.
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