June 29, 2007

Bookforum Adaptation Issue

Bookforum tackles book to film adaptations in their latest issue. James Ivory, Tracy Chevalier, and Myla Goldberg are just a few notables providing reflections on the subject. I'm rushing out to get my copy today. --Kim

June 28, 2007

Literary Pendants

How cool are these pendants from Tartx made from old optical lenses? Choices include nods to Jane Austen, Alice In Wonderland, Marie Antoinette, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Queen Elizabeth I, The Wizard Of Oz and The Lady of Shalott. I want one!

Pompadours and Circumstance in Barry Lyndon

Last night I watched the first half of Stanley Kubrick's luxuriously epic (it's over three hours long and contains an official "intermission") adaptation of Thackeray's Barry Lyndon after reading about it on The Nibbler. Ryan O'Neal plays the title character, a mischievous Irishman who flaneurs his way around 18th century Europe breaking hearts and taking names as he hobnobs with everyone from aristocrats to lowlifes.

The character of Barry Lyndon is an intriguing mix of niavete and roguishness and though the narrator relates the incidents in Barry's life almost as pure circumstance, one is left to determine for oneself how much more likely they are the result of Barry's many personality defects.

Breathtakingly gorgeous with an incredible score, the film flopped at the box office but went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. The sets are deliciously decadent and I can't wait to watch the second half. --Kim

Trivia from IMDB:
"Production was moved from Ireland to England after Stanley Kubrick received word that his name was on an IRA hit list for directing a film featuring English soldiers in Ireland."
"According to Stanley Kubrick's biographer, Robert Redford was the original choice for the role of Barry Lyndon but turned it down."
More trivia.

June 27, 2007

Austen Mania Knows No Bounds!

Jane Austen makes the front page of Salon where there is a lengthy article on all the Jane-related books, movies, et all that will be appearing in the coming months. --Kim

June 25, 2007

Wild Thing

In addition to loving carriage-and-corset dramas, what you may not know about me, gentle reader, is that I love non-fiction accounts of real-life wilderness survival. I get all worked-up assuming whoever is in whatever ungodly predicament must certainly be a goner. (Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't.) I'm fascinated by men like Ernest Shackleton, William Bligh, Robert Scott, Robert O'Hara Burke (if you love these type of books, you MUST read the tragic Cooper's Creek by Alan Moorehead).

We can probably chalk up my interest in this subject matter to my own laziness and inability to endure one night of camping (in an R.V., even), let alone make an attempt to claw my way back to civilization after being stranded on a sheet of ice in Antarctica. (I'm trying to learn, however, as evidenced by my obsession for "Man Vs. Wild" on the Discovery Channel. Bear Grylls ate a dead sheep's eyeball this week while stuck in a remote part of Iceland!)

That said, I remember not being tremendously keen on Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild (now a movie starring Emile Hirsch) because the "explorer," Christopher McCandless, is really little more than an ill-equipped hippie who wasn't very smart about things, and thus, got himself up a not-so-proverbial creek without a paddle. Still, I MIGHT be interested in the movie, which also stars Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt. I'll probably "rough it" and wait for Netflix.

Here's the trailer.

June 7, 2007

Trailer for Hunting and Gathering Adaptation

I only have time for quick post but I LOVED this book. Even though none of the actors are how I pictured them while reading Hunting and Gathering, I can't wait to see this film starring Audrey Tautou. I hope it's even half as lovely as Anna Gavalda's novel. --Kim

June 1, 2007

"Physics" Lesson

Miramax films has optioned the rights to Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a book I'm halfway through right now, and with which I am having a love-hate relationship. Part of me hates it because it's more brilliantly written than anything I could ever do, and part of me hates it because it sometimes seems to try too hard with the clever metaphors, and part of me hates it because its plot is a little too reminiscent of Donna Tartt's "The Secret History," at least where things currently stand. (i.e., clique of cool kids at smarty-pants school and someone ends up dead...) In any case, this book has so much working in its favor, and it makes ME feel like part of the Blueblood "in crowd" when I get the obscure references. I'm thinking the female half of Brangelina could make a nice Hannah Schneider (or maybe Jennifer Connelly). I strangely picture David Duchovny as Blue's dad (Yeah, weird, I know. But Clooney would be too obvious and distracting). Haven't decided yet who I'd cast for Blue. Would love to hear your ideas.