John Banville picnic in The Sea

John Banville picnic in The Sea

John Manville’s The Sea is about a man’s untrustworthy memories—less about his dying wife, and more about his sexual awakening when he was about eleven years old. Looking back, Max Morden realizes that his observations of the Grace family’s beach picnics “changed his...

   
Ron Howard’s Nerdish Picnic in A Beautiful Mind

Ron Howard’s Nerdish Picnic in A Beautiful Mind

Ron Howard’s fictional (and sentimental) A Beautiful Mind is a biography of John Nash, a Nobel Prize winning mathematician. If Nash ever picnicked, his (factual) biographer Sylvia Nasar doesn’t mention it. Undeterred, Howard invents a lovers’ picnic at which Nash...
Two Spinsters on the Beach at St. Madoc

Two Spinsters on the Beach at St. Madoc

William J. Locke’s story “Ladies in Lavender” (1916) doesn’t have a picnic. Charles Dance thought better, an in his screenplay, includes at picnic on the beach in a cove on the coast of Cornwall. The story is simple. Ursula and Janet, spinster sisters, well on in...
Giles Price’s Katmandu

Giles Price’s Katmandu

In the aftermath of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, residents of Katmandu camped out in the open. At a glance, Giles Price’s photograph seems to be a picnic. It is not. It’s a small segment of the chaos of disaster on what would otherwise be a glorious day. The...
Nasar’s Beautiful Mind

Nasar’s Beautiful Mind

Sylvia Nasar’s biography, A Beautiful Mind (1998), does not have evidence of a picnic in the woods during John Nash’s courtship of Alicia Lande. Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman, the screenplay writers, thought otherwise. So they created a standard picnic on the grass on...
Frear’s The Queen at Balmoral

Frear’s The Queen at Balmoral

According to Stephen Frears and Peter Moran, this hunt picnic at Balmoral Castle,is a key episode in their film The Queen (2007) in which the Queen and her family try to mitigate the grief and notoriety resulting from the death of Princess Diana. Deep in thought,...
Picnic at Zodiac’s Knife Point

Picnic at Zodiac’s Knife Point

David Fincher’s Zodiac is an unfaithful adaptation of Robert Graysmith’s sometimes-fictionalized reportage Zodiac (1986) both of which attempt to unravel the Zodiac serial killings in the San Francisco Bay area during 1968-70. What is true, is that when Bryan Hartnell...
Hogg’s Glum Picnic (and Nobody Cares)

Hogg’s Glum Picnic (and Nobody Cares)

Glum! The Isles of Scilly, usually clement, but this picnic is cold. It’s perfect for a glum family on a short vacation to see off Edward, who is about to leave for a new job of combating AIDS and promoting safe sex in Africa. There is some levity, a few smiles, but...
Banksy’s Beach Picnic

Banksy’s Beach Picnic

Banksy’s satirical Picnic contrasts a group of indigenous African hunter-gatherers bewildered by the picnic of a White middle-class urban family picnicking on the beach. The contrast of civilizations and technologies suggests irreconcilable differences that as of...