October 19, 2007

Guest Blogger: Editor Nicki Richesin

We're going to end the week on a high note with not one, but TWO mystery guests. The first is poet and "May Queen" editor Nicki Richesin. Nicki is currently editing her second book of essays, "What I Would Tell Her: 30 Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Relationship" (Mira, April 2009) with essays from Jacquelyn Mitchard, Patricia Volk, Arianna Huffington, Joyce Maynard, Ellen Sussman, Ayun Halliday, Sheila Kohler, Karen Karbo, and Kaui Hart Hemmings, among others.

Get the dish on Nicki's wish list, including casting picks for an imaginary adaptation of "London Fields" below! --Kim

There are a great many films I go to for comfort or in despair. Merchant Ivory’s adaptation of the classic A Room With a View never fails to cheer me up. It reminds me of a time when I was sixteen and could dream of falling in love and spending a glorious summer in Tuscany. I was reminded of the final shot of Lucy and George embracing with the Arno flowing behind them when Lizzie and Darcy kiss before the moonlit view of Pemberley’s fountains in the recent Pride & Prejudice film. Will the halls of Pemberley be thus polluted? Yes, indeed! Like Ms. Cerand, I too, have turned to the latest Pride & Prejudice every time I’m feeling blue for a quick pick-me- up. I fast-forward to the heated scene wherein Miss Bennet confronts Mr. Darcy in a downpour or when they shamelessly flirt with each other. These scenes are like a gentle elixir endlessly restorative for me and why I am breathless with anticipation for Joe Wright’s adaptation of another favorite novel Atonement. I have high hopes for this one as Keira promises to be an Oscar contender.

For future adaptations, I would choose classics from the Amis boys every time. I think Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim would be fantastic if done on the big screen again. Although I’ve seen neither the 1957 version nor the more recent TV version, I’d love to see a more modern take on this hilarious jaunt. For me, The Rachel Papers film fell decidedly flat, but I reckon Martin Amis’s brilliant London Fields taken under the masterful helm of someone like Alfonso CuarĂ³n would soar. If I were the casting director, I would cast Cate Blanchett as Nicola Six, Clive Owen as Guy Clinch, and Christian Bale as Keith Talent.

In preparation for this season’s crop of holiday films, I’m reading the highly entertaining The Golden Compass. I hope Dakota Blue will live up to my expectations as Lyra, the sassy heroine. I think Nicole Kidman was perfectly cast as the bewitching Mrs. Coulter. If I myself had a daemon, I would wish for a winged blue duiker with golden horns. The novel has proved a fun romp and the movie promises to be equal to the book.

Occasionally, there is that rare thing, a movie that is superior to the book. A few years ago, I had the misfortune of reading two books I disliked based on the critics’ praise: Feast of Love
and The Kite Runner. I suspect both of these productions will be much better in celluloid. The Kite Runner is already stirring up debates in the SF bay area and abroad.

I have a DVD rec as well. Julie Christie in Away From Her (directed by Sarah Polley) is riveting. You can barely pull your eyes away from the screen--she’s that charismatic.

Mark your calendars for upcoming holiday releases: Nov. 16, Love in a Time of Cholera; Dec. 7, The Golden Compass and Atonement; and Dec. 19, Revolutionary Road. Happy viewing! Finally, I’m thankful to Ms. Askew and Ms. Helmes for entertaining me these three years with their insider gossip, updates, and hilarious quips. Cheers to you both!

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