November 26, 2007

"My Brilliant Career" Is, Um, Brilliant

I canceled Netflix (brush aside a tear for the 180+ queue I'd amassed--gone in seconds) a month ago in anticipation of the big move, so last week I had to slum it down to the the local Blockbuster to pick out a movie. How old-fashioned of me, no? It turned out to be a good thing though. Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career (1979), based on a novel by Miles Franklin, stars Judy Davis as an ambitious Australian gal with growing pains. Her relatives are exasperated by her hijinx (wink, wink) as is her noble young suitor (Sam Neill), but the girl can't help herself. I won't spoil the fun for you by revealing any more of the plot. However, if you're not enticed enough already, there's an undeniably swoonworthy pillow fight and the film was nominated for a Best-Costume Oscar. --Kim

November 19, 2007

Trailer: The Other Boleyn Girl...

This trailer for Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl actually looks over-the-top in a good way, even though I sort of hated the book. Natalie Portman looks bitch-tacular.

Source: Just Jared.

November 14, 2007

Fun Refresher Course...

The Guardian's got the clever CliffsNotes (in slide show form) of Beowulf...seeing as how I read it (or an excerpt) as a sophomore in high school, I needed it.

Quoth the Raven: "Yo Adrian!" (Part II)


No, this post is not just an excuse to use this high-larious image of Sly Stallone...(although that's an added benefit). In truth, word is out that Viggo Mortensen might be playing the Master of Macabre in Stallone's biopic of the literary great. Sounds like pretty inspired casting, actually, although Robert Downey, Jr. was originally talked about for the role, and he'd be damn good, too.

Source: Cinema Blend

November 13, 2007

Mailer's Masterpiece Revisited

Norman Mailer passed away this weekend, and today brings word that his son, John, has secured the film rights to his father's first novel, The Naked and the Dead, an epic based on the author's experiences in WWII. Incidentally, the novel was already adapted for film once, in 1958.

November 7, 2007

Counterpoint/Soft Skull Books that Would Make Great Movies

Just received the lovely Winter 2008 Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press catalog and some of the selections look to be must-reads as well as potentially great book-to-film adaptations.

"Bone Rattler" by Eliot Pattison
An historical who-done-it by an Edgar Award winner. A Scotsman travels to the New World during the French and Indian War following "a strange trail of clues" and "Lord Ramsey's beautiful daughter." Dream casting: Scot-o-the-moment James McAvoy.

"How the Dead Dream" by Lydia Millet
Protagonist takes "Conradesque journey" from yuppie real estate developer/aspiring politician to animal-obsessed island dweller. Dream casting: Casey Affleck (oh ye disbelievers, see "Gone Baby Gone" then get back to me).

"Jayber Crow" by Wendell Barry
No "Sweeney Todd," this novel tells the tale of an aspiring minister turned town "melancholy barber." Dream casting: Cate Blanchett... just kidding... Hugh Dancy has a sweetly confused way about him.

"Woman's World" by Graham Rawle
Now THIS is interesting: Artist Graham Rawle created the ultimate word collage by cutting and pasting 40,000 clippings from women's magazines to invent a pulp thriller that "The Times" AND "Ab Fab" star Joanna Lumley are calling "genius." Dream casting: No one in particular comes to mind--I'll tell you after I read the book.

"Mercury Under the Tongue" by Sylvain Trudel
A poetic, "geeky seventeen-year-old" is dying of cancer in a hospital ward, yet the novel manages "avoiding both misty stoicism and made-for-tv bathos." In days of yore this would've been Leo's territory, but perhaps young Paul Dano would be right for the part?

The Tell-Tale Heart

"The Simpsons" did a send-up of this Edgar Allan Poe short story (remember Lisa's diorama?), and now, the horror is making its way to the big-screen, with Josh Lucas signed-on for a contemporized adaptation. The premise: Lucas plays a single father whose recently transplanted heart leads him on a search to find his organ donor's killer before the same fate befalls him.
Source: Hollywood Reporter

FYI, here's the brilliant beginning to Poe's tale:
TRUE! - nervous - very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses - not destroyed - not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily - how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

November 2, 2007

Because Who Doesn't Love a RenFair?

I remember being 19 and thinking that gnawing on a turkey drumstick at the local Renaissance Fair was just about the niftiest thing north of the Kentucky/Ohio border. My friend, Tricia, and I swooned at long-haired freaks in homemade doublets (we were too cool to dress up ourselves, of course) and we longingly-eyed semi-stupid knickknack booths like the one that had dragons doing every modern profession known to man. (I probably brought a lawyer dragon for my brother, no doubt.) I recall there being lots of incense and ethereal chime music and bands of rowdy thespians trying to solicit audience interaction for various skits throughout the day. ("Now everyone yell 'Huzzahhh!!!!'") We had a blast and I haven't been to another one since.

And I probably haven't thought of that experience since, until today, when I saw this movie premise from The Hollywood Reporter. Sounds cute.

Movie Monarchs

Think you know who has played which royal in film history? Try your luck at the Guardian's latest quiz.