film Archive

A Stone, a Leaf, a Southern Genius

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From the moment he steps onscreen in director Michael Grandage’s Genius Thomas Wolfe (played by Jude Law) is an aberration. At 6’5, the writer was literally larger than life. He often worked hovering over a refrigerator-cum-writing desk.

Preserving Intent: What’s Lost in the Cinematic Translation of Mrs. Dalloway

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I like to follow up my reading of a text with its cinematic counterpart. After finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, I rented the DVD of the same name with great anticipation. But after the credits rolled, I was unsatisfied: while the cinematic version of Woolf’s novel provides a touching

Clever Girl, Boyhood, and the Importance of Blank Spaces

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
One of the greatest challenges of writing a novel is choosing where to begin it. Choosing where to end it is also important (or so I’ve been told). But even once a writer makes those big decisions, the novel is fraught with similar choices at the micro level. Where

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The Calvary Film and the Purpose of Art

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“[T]he barrier between one’s self and one’s knowledge of oneself is high indeed. There are so many things we would rather not know! — James Baldwin John Michael McDonagh’s film Calvary begins with priest Father James (played by Brendan Gleeson) preparing to hear an unseen confessor. The confessor reveals that as

The Ploughshares Round-Down: “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Its Backlash

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 1 Comment
Okay writers, it’s 2014. And what better way start a new year than with an enormous media controversy surrounding a Scorcese film? I KNOW: perfect. If you’ve missed it (I’m sure you’ve had your noses to the ol’ writing grindstone), here’s the deal: The Wolf of Wall Street is a

Top 10 Movies Starring Books

Author: | Categories: Round-Up 7 Comments
The Great Gatsby. Les Misérables. Silver Linings Playbook. Sure, plenty of successful movies owe a big debt to books. “Based on the novel by…,” “Best Adapted Screenplay” and all that. But what about great films in which books get out from behind the scenes to drive plot, reveal character,

The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 4: Hi-yo Cowboy, Away!

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Back in December, before an afternoon showing of The Hobbit, I got my first glimpse of the trailer for the big budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger. Sitting there enjoying my smuggled in Diet Dr. Pepper was not the first time I’d run across the film—I had read some

The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 3: Golden Years

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When I was an undergrad, I was constantly debating my Comp II nemesis, a film major who would say things like, “Americans didn’t really start making films until the 1970s.” Yes, he was that guy. Once during a film and literature genre discussion, talk turned to Westerns. My nemesis

Everything Old is New Again?

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It all started with a VHS copy of Black Christmas. Browsing through discarded copies of Steven Seagal/Jean-Claude Van Damme action trash and forgotten Gen X rom-coms shined a tattered cover with the tagline “If this movie doesn’t make your skin crawl … IT’S ON TOO TIGHT.” The box was a bit