Things That Don't Suck
, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.
I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.
[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome
on Aug 19, 2014 -
If the sheer number of Leonard adaptations is remarkable, what is more remarkable still is how few of them are any good.
No one was more aware of, or blunt about, this disappointing onscreen record than Leonard himself. His first crime novel, The Big Bounce
, was twice adapted for film, in 1969 and 2004. Leonard memorably described the earlier effort as the “second-worst movie ever made”; it was not until he saw the 2004 version, he later said, that he knew what movie was the worst.
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jan 3, 2014 -
Suffice it to say, Persepolis is quite a work. It’s a testament to the power of the graphic novel. The art’s simple linework helps the story feel unpretentious and direct. Persepolis was adapted as a 2007 French animated film, written and directed by Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud. Among other honors, it was nominated for an Academy Award. Why would someone want to ban such a book?
posted by Artw
on Mar 16, 2013 -
Happy Thomas Pynchon rumor day! [LAtimes.com]
"What's that, you say? America's most reclusive author, Thomas Pynchon, appeared in the news Friday -- not once but twice? Why, yes, yes, he has, surfacing in two unconnected rumours. Conspiracy? Pynchonian? Maybe we should henceforth designate Jan. 4 as Thomas Pynchon Rumor Day." [more inside]
posted by Fizz
on Jan 5, 2013 -
The book covers at Paris's famed Shakespeare and Company bookstore come to life in this stop-motion collaboration between director Spike Jonze and designer Olympia Le-Tan, Mourir Auprès De Toi
(To Die By Your Side). [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Oct 19, 2011 -
Matt Helm is a fictional character created by author Donald Hamilton. He is a U.S. government counter-agent—a man whose primary job is to kill or nullify enemy agents—not a spy or secret agent in the ordinary sense of the term as used in spy thrillers. ... The character appeared in 27 books over a 33-year period beginning in 1960... A movie series was made in the mid-to-late 1960s starring Dean Martin... the series bore no resemblance at all to the character, atmosphere, or themes of Hamilton's original books, nor to the hard-edged action of Bond. One reason was the attitude of the filmmakers that the only way to compete with the Bond films was to parody them.
- Wikipedia (links may be mildly NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Oct 14, 2009 -
is a collection of original, vintage, and limited edition posters and prints.
posted by netbros
on May 16, 2009 -
"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima
via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside]
posted by eccnineten
on Nov 25, 2008 -
TM without the ™
. When he's not directing one of the best movies of the year
or sitting on intersections with cows
, David Lynch
is a vocal advocate
of Transcendental Meditation
. In his new book Catching the Big Fish
, he talks about the Box and the Key
, meeting Fellini, the Suffocating Rubber Clown Suit, why he doesn't do DVD commentaries--and TM, which he calls "the experience that does everything." If you're intrigued by TM but sketched out by the organization
and the $2,500 fee
, perhaps you'd like to know that there is a cheap, downloadable alternative
posted by muckster
on Dec 3, 2006 -
I first read "Ask the Dust" in 1971 when I was doing research for "Chinatown". I was concerned about the way people really sounded when they talked, and I was dissatisfied with everything else I had read that was written during the '30s. I wanted the real thing, as Henry James would say. When I picked up Fante's "Ask the Dust," I just knew that was the way those kids talked to each other—the rhythms, cadences, racism.
on adapting John Fante
's novel for the big screen
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Mar 4, 2006 -
For lovers of the hard-boiled crime story, life began with the black bird.
It's a tale of greed and a wisecracking gumshoe. The femme fatale is a liar. The object of the hero's search is a statuette of a falcon. Published exactly 75 years ago
on Valentine's Day, Dashiell Hammett
's private-eye novel "The Maltese Falcon
"' immediately won critical acclaim. And when it was made into a 1941 movie
starring Humphrey Bogart
, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (and directed by a rookie
), Hammett's story found a worldwide
audience and his hero, Sam Spade
, became a household name. Now
, three-quarters of a century later, that's still the case
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 14, 2005 -
Don't believe the hype
Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
posted by feelinglistless
on Dec 4, 2004 -
As a perennial outsider
at loose in Japan, writer Donald Richie
captures the joyous freedom
of being foreign. The foreign observer is likely to be happy only if he sees his foreignness as an adventure, and recognizes that he has given up a sense of belonging for a sense of freedom
, traded the luxury of being understood for that of being permanently interested.
Richie, the philosopher-king of expats in Asia for the past half-century, arrived in Tokyo in 1947 as a typist with the U.S. government and never really left, writing dozens of books
, on Japanese movies
, history and fashion
, while enjoying himself as an actor, musician, filmmaker and painter. The Japan Journals: 1947-2004
is a monument to the pleasures of displacement
. Richie watchers can observe, more intimately than ever, a man who is generally happiest observing. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 9, 2004 -
These are the first words Charles Bukowski
speaks in John Dullaghan'
about the poet
, famous for his writing
and infamous for his drinking
. The audience member might respond, "To hear your story, Hank
, that's what I want."
The movie opens
with friends (Sean Penn, Harry Dean Stanton, Bono) and colleagues and lovers and fans recounting the myth
; theirs are stories of blades pulled on the maitre d' of the swanky Polo Lounge
in Beverly Hills, of dangling dicks revealed in public, of a drunk
who'd just as soon crack his bottle over your head than share its contents. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on May 28, 2004 -
Alexandre Dumas on film
This AP/CNN article says Dumas’ books make good movies, but aren’t being read as much as they used to be. Do the changes the movies make improve the books, or would more faithful adaptations be better?
posted by kirkaracha
on Feb 2, 2002 -
When The Lord of the Rings
series rolls around to Xmas 2002, will they have to change the name of the second episode from The Two Towers?
Will Hollywood have settled down by then? Maybe it won't be a sensitive problem anymore. But what would be a good alternate title?
posted by crunchburger
on Oct 26, 2001 -
Don't make Hunter mad.
Hunter S. Thompson doesn't think the production company that optioned The Rum Diaries
is doing a very good job. And he tells them. Man, does he tell them.
posted by cfj
on Mar 10, 2001 -