Cinema: Humbert Humdrum & Lullita

Lolita. Wind up the Lolita doll and it goes to Hollywood and commits nymphanticide. Director Stanley Kubrick and Novelist-turned-Scriptwriter Vladimir Nabokov shadow the plot of Nabokov's perverse and remarkable novel rather faithfully, but they have filtered out its shades of meaning. Those who know the book will hoot at this decontamination; those who do not will be mystified as to how the story ever got its lurid reputation.

The novel Lolita traced the carnal pursuit of a twelve-year-old American nymphet by a middle-aged European émigré named Humbert Humbert, and the rather Electrafying relationship that developed between the stepfather-seducer and the child-mistress. The...

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