May 27, 2005

Rock, Paper, Scissors...

Just finished reading Augusten Burrough's strange but compelling autobiography "Running With Scissors" which Brad Pitt is producing for the big screen, due out next year. It appears to be cast well -- if you can stand Gwyneth Paltrow, that is. --Amy

May 25, 2005

R.I.P.: Ismail Merchant

Producer Ismail Merchant, of Merchant Ivory Productions, passed away today at age 68. Merchant and Ivory are, of course, well-known for their lush adaptations of novels such as A Room with a View, Remains of the Day, and Howard's End.

May 24, 2005

"Empire Falls" Lands on HBO this Sat./Sun.

The two-parter, based on Richard Russo's Pulitzer winning novel, is being hailed (by HBO) as an "event." While I have my doubts as to its being a "Roots" or even a "North and South," I am curious to see how the notable cast, which includes Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Newman, will portray the varied characters in the fictional New England town. Stay tuned for my review next week. --Kim

Yo, Edgar!

Sylvester Stallone is set to direct a film he wrote about doomed Gothic poet and author Edgar Allan Poe, reports Variety. Poe's psychological thrillers had me penning my own grisly "epic" poems (which will NEVER see the light of day) such as The Dark Tower in junior high. The film is set to star doomed rake-about-town, Robert Downey Jr. The casting makes sense and it's likely that Downey Jr. has tried Opium, the drug oft-mentioned in Poe's works. --Kim

Related: Head to the E.A. Poe Society of Baltimore for more on Poe's life and works.

May 19, 2005

Nana: The Maneater

Just finished reading Emile Zola's Nana (chosen to coincide with my recent trip to Paris...totally apropos.) While from the title it might sound like a boring novel about someone's grandmother, let me assure you: This tale of a bodacious courtesan in Belle Epoch Paris is completely scandalicious! Nana tears through men like an allergy sufferer does Kleenex. Men cannot resist her (she's the Paris Hilton of her day) and by the time she's done with them, they are either dead, financially-ruined or emotional wrecks.

The descriptions of the ladies' outfits are worth the read alone, and tales of outrageous parties, life in the theater, and, of course, Nana's exploits (with both men AND women) are equally riveting.

"A ruined man fell from her hands like ripe fruit, to rot on the ground."

On IMDB, there appear to be loads of movie-versions and mini-series (albeit mostly foreign.) The most promising may be this 1968 version directed by John Davies.

Still, I'm ready for another big remake...maybe starring Kate Winslet or Angelina Jolie? -- Amy