Celebrate the movies in all of us, reads the caption in the picture above.
The Millions has an interesting piece by Bill Morris musing on the fact that the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay used to go to a script based on a novel http://www.themillions.com/2015/02/rejoice-a-hollywood-screenwriter-read-a-novel-last-year.html
In the past we’ve had scripts adapting a gaudy galaxy of literary talents, including Jane Austen, Colette, Jules Verne, Henry Fielding, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sinclair Lewis, Harper Lee, E.M. Forster, Robert Penn Warren, Larry McMurtry, Mario Puzo, Ken Kesey, Michael Ondaatje, and Cormac McCarthy.
Last year, all of the nominations were based on non-fiction – memoir, reportage, investigative journalism. And this year only one of the five nominations, Inherent Vice, is based on Pynchon’s novel. The others – American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and The Theory of Everything – are based on memoir and biography.
Why is this?
Hollywood continues to play it safe while trying to connect with an audience that’s less and less likely to read serious fiction, says Bill Morris.
Is it as simple as that? We’ve heard from publishers here in Australia for years that one of the most popular genres is “true crime”- highly-coloured stories based on real-life experiences. If you’re an attractive human being with an axe-murderer for a mother and a pedophile grandpa, you have a future as a writer. Why?
It all makes an interesting footnote to Michael Hofmann’s bilious lashing-out at Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road To The Deep North, which we wrote about here. Hofmann’s beef seems to be that the novel these days is too much in thrall to the big screen, too garish, filmic, visually sensational at the expense of subtlety and intellectual engagement.
To get on this lucrative bandwagon, Gert’s next book will be called I ate my baby- it was best for both of us. Film rights are available.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57848917@N08/6932102843