My Dinner With Ernest

Film Jazz Age
Stevadore sends us the news that Anthony Hopkins will play Ernest Hemingway in a film called "Papa". The film will depict the friendship between Hemingway and a young Korean War correspondent who looked up to him. They meet in Havana (Hemingway's home base, in the years just before Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution), and Hopkins apparently gets to act up a storm in depicting the despair of an aging writer contemplating his eventual suicide.

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Mr. Perkins

Film News
A recently rediscovered classic of American non-fiction, The Klan Unmasked by Stetson Kennedy, is currently making the rounds in Hollywood, and not for the first time.

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Bukowski Comes Alive

It's hard for anybody to top Mickey Rourke's interpretation of Charles Bukowski in Barfly, but a few actors are trying, and may even succeed.

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Let’s Get Graphical

Comix Film News Transgressive
David Cronenberg's new film A History of Violence is based on a 1997 graphical novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke. Two bad guys roll into a quiet Indiana town intending to indulge in murder and robbery and mayhem, but they're disposed of by a mild-mannered family man whose only weapon is a glass coffee canister. He's a hero, but this is only the beginning of the story.

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Little Shopgirl Around the Corner

Comedy Film News
I'm not going to pretend to care about the new film of Everything Is Illuminated (because I didn't care about the book, and the sight of Elijah Wood in horn-rimmed eyeglasses fills me with inexplicable revulsion).

However, I am interested in the upcoming film version of Steve Martin's appealing novel Shopgirl. This book was an exercise in Beverly Hills minimalism: a wealthy older man conducts a crisp love affair with a shy clerk at an expensive clothing store. He discovers in her an empty intellectual vessel, devoid of ideas and conviction, but with a capacity for love that touches him deeply (for a short while before he moves on). The book revels in her exquisite emptiness, laying out the blueprint of her brain as if it were an uninhabited house on a very fashionable street.

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A Writer In Tulsa

Film Kid Lit News
S. E. Hinton, who has maintained her quiet dignity since The Outsiders made her a teen-lit legend in 1967, has been doing just a little talking about her books and her life. The occasion is the upcoming release of a new, longer version of the film based on the book, The Outsiders: The Complete Novel. Using footage that didn't make it to the original theatrical release, the new version will spend more time introducing the characters, remix the soundtrack and hew closer to director Francis Ford Coppola's original vision.

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Frigid Mountain

Fiction Film Southern
Well, as I promised recently, I finished watching the DVD of Cold Mountain, a film based on one of my favorite books in the world.

This is not one of my favorite movies in the world.

I know I'm about two years late to the trashing party for this movie, so I don't think I should bother going into much detail. The fact that this film is a disappointment is not news. I'm not sure if I have any original complaints to add, but maybe I can at least vent a little of my personal fury by making a couple of points about this film:

First, the performances were as bad as everybody told me they would be. Nicole Kidman and Jude Law didn't come across as actors so much as dress-up dolls reading lines from a script. Renee Zellweiger managed to have some fun with the role of Ruby, but beyond that every performer was stiff and artificial. I was particularly disappointed in Donald Sutherland, who was supposed to be playing Ada's father, Monroe, but was instead apparently playing Martin Sheen playing Robert E. Lee playing Monroe. Ever hear of method acting, Sutherland? What the hell is your motivation?

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Speaking of Movies …

Beat Generation Film News
It's time for the semi-annual news report about Francis Ford Coppola's never-ending attempt to greenlight a film of Jack Kerouac's On The Road.

I'm not sure if I want to see this film made or not. Probably not, but if somebody's got to do it, I think Coppola is the right choice. However, I'm not reserving my tickets on Moviefone just yet ... we've been covering this film on LitKicks a long time.

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Inside the Chocolate Factory

Film Kid Lit News Reviews
Today, I went to see the brand spankin' new adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Being a big fan of Tim Burton's delicious weirdness, and also a big fan of Johnny Depp's delicious... Johnny Depp-ness, and also also at least a moderate fan of Roald Dahl's original book, I have to say that I, for one, was really looking forward to this movie. So how was it? Like I expected -- sort of like a 1 hour, 46 minute sugar high -- fun and discomfort all mixed up together in a great big confection of guilt.

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The Secret Life of Owen Wilson

Film News
Word has it that Owen Wilson (star of such fine films as Meet the Parents, Starsky & Hutch and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) will play the lead in the film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The classic Thurber tale of the quintessential daydreamer was made into a movie once before, back in 1947.

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