Margaret Atwood’s classic novel appears to have a well produced series adaptation coming to the internet. I was disappointed with the 199o film adaptation. This looks promising though.
Based on the surrealist novel by Michel Faber, the film adaptation was much different than the book. I admired director Jonathon Glazer’s experimental style and how images drove the story instead of plot or dialogue.
Big Sur may be my least favorite Jack Kerouac novel. While On the Road and The Subterraneans captured youth and restlessness, Big Sur relates the aged, alcoholic Kerouac. And perhaps that is why I don’t enjoy the book. Kerouac’s persona is one of such a broken down writer unable to cope with fame and personal relationships. Kerouac’s obsession with death and the chaos of meeting up with Neal Cassady once again drive the energy of the book.
Michael Polish’s new adaptation is an independent film and therefore nowhere near my Midwest town and so I had to stream from Amazon to my television. Perhaps this is the future of watching smaller budgeted films. The film is so well shot though and gives so many beautiful views of the locale in recreating Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s cabin near the beach where Kerouac would’ve stayed. The photography is so gorgeous I regret not being able to watch on the big screen.
I most admired the director’s decision to narrate the film with an abundance of Kerouac’s words. The words give the film an energy that matches the book–perhaps more so than Walter Salles’ recent On the Road adaptation.
Well, this holiday I’m thankful I will have a bit of time off soon to prep for next term’s Lit 111 course. I’m excited to be teaching graphic novels V for Vendetta, Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Recently read this Guardian article on comics:
At a neural level…the pictures of comic strips are processed as another form of language, with their own vocabulary, grammar and syntax.
In many ways comics are why I am in the profession of teaching lit classes.
James Thurber short story adaptation?
This looks interesting:
Note to self: Writers make choices.
Spent time this afternoon with Gerald Nicosia‘s Huffington Post article about his experiences working with the film makers of the On the Road film adaptation. I’m interested in his opinion because I enjoyed his book Memory Babe so much. Here he writes candidly about setting up a Beat boot camp for the actors and also becoming a bit starstruck. And I have to agree the Jose Rivera script had quite a bit missing in terms of Kerouac’s mad spirituality. I was sad not to see the Old Walking Saint character and the “Go moan for man” scenes or any stream of consciousness style scenes with voice-over narration. I have to say now that I’ve seen the film I’m more excited to see the Searching for On the Road documentary shot alongside Salles’ film. Also I wonder if Ann Charters has seen the film.
big sur sundance trailer
I’m remembering how the novel deals with Duluoz’s alcoholism.