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The Elmore Leonard Paradox

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 - 60 comments

"congress shrugged"

If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
posted by divabat on Dec 31, 2013 - 38 comments

And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it.

The Book Was Better is a podcast reviewing novelizations of films.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jul 4, 2013 - 32 comments

On Chicago Public Schools Censoring Persepolis's Images of Torture

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 - 33 comments

The Atlantic - Benj Edwards

The Copyright Rule We Need to Repeal If We Want to Preserve Our Cultural Heritage
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 15, 2013 - 34 comments

End-of-year lists are fingerprints

Year-End Lists: 2012 Albums | 2012 Songs | 2012 Movies | 2012 Books [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Dec 19, 2012 - 63 comments

The secret allure of the spoiler. Think you don’t want to know the ending? Think again

The secret allure of the spoiler. Think you don’t want to know the ending? Think again "Is there a greater cultural sin than a good story spoiled? The accepted modern posture is that knowing too much beforehand about the plot of a novel, a play, a movie, even a TV series, ruins the magic of experiencing it for the first time — renders it damaged goods, not worth one’s time or money.[..]

It’s a given: Everyone hates spoilers. Except when they don’t. Two researchers in the psychology department of the University of California at San Diego recently decided to test whether we really hate spoilers, or just like to say we do. What they found surprised them: The majority of people apparently like having a story spoiled for them. In fact, we may enjoy spoiled stories even more than the unspoiled versions. Is it true? Do we secretly crave predigested plots the way some foodies sneak Big Macs when no one’s looking?" Pdf link to study. [more inside]
posted by nooneyouknow on Aug 29, 2012 - 171 comments

Fear and Loathing in Amundsen-Scott Station

Can't get enough Antarctic culture? [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist on Aug 24, 2012 - 40 comments

Bye Bay Baby Bye Bay

Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs. "File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2012 - 400 comments

Can I Give It -9999 Stars Instead?

The worst book that will ever exist in the history of all books! A collection of the internet's worst reviewers.
posted by kanata on Mar 2, 2012 - 68 comments

Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government

How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Dec 19, 2011 - 30 comments

The Legend of Doom House

Malpertuis (Belgium, 1971, aka ‘The Legend of Doom House’) is a movie that has been described as ‘bizarre, lurid and baffling;’ ‘a mysterious curiosity;’ and ‘exquisitely bonkers.’ An international cast led by Mathieu Carrière and Susan Hampshire (playing five rôles) also included Orson Welles. Its director, Harry Kümel, is otherwise best known for his stylish lesbian vampire flick Les Lèvres Rouges (aka ‘Daughters of Darkness’). The movie was adapted from an unusual gothic novel, first published in wartime Brussels—the work of Jean Ray (aka Raymond Jean-Marie de Kremer): a convicted embezzler & prolific hack, who was, nevertheless, one of the foremost exponents of the fantastique in French-language fiction. Please note that some of the links above are NSFW (some nudity) & several contain SPOILERS. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Nov 14, 2011 - 7 comments

Let's Get Critical

Let's Get Critical is "a new Longform.org partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
posted by Ahab on Sep 1, 2011 - 13 comments

Culling and surrender

The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything. The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.
posted by crossoverman on Apr 18, 2011 - 89 comments

The Social Network, The Room, The Social Network

All of the media consumed by Steven Soderbergh in one year [PDF]
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 13, 2011 - 46 comments

A World of Hits

A World of Hits "Ever-increasing choice was supposed to mean the end of the blockbuster. It has had the opposite effect." [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Jan 7, 2010 - 22 comments

I used to be the future, and now I'm the past

Notice some best of the year or best of the decade lists? I guess you could do that, if you are into the retro thing. Forward thinking websites bring you the best of the year to come. From The Millions we have books and from io9 science fiction books. (Io9 is also worried about a few things in the coming year.) From The Onion AV culb we have media, broadly defined. Rotten Tomatoes lists the most anticipated Sundance films. You want games? We got games from BoingBoing, MTVu and Kotaku. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Jan 6, 2010 - 15 comments

Matt Helm

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 - 17 comments

Ozmapolitan

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.

The MGM musical version of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz turned 70 this week. It wasn't the first time it was a movie, nor the last time it was a movie or a movie musical. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Aug 28, 2009 - 53 comments

# The thunder of his own guns filled him with stupid wonder.

Stephen King has described The Dark Tower as his "Jupiter." The epic series, inspired in part by Robert Browning's poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", has spanned 22 years, 7 books and nearly 4000 pages. The first book in the series, The Gunslinger, begins with a simple, memorable declaration, "The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." [more inside]
posted by kbanas on Apr 18, 2008 - 160 comments

Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright

Edward Samuel's Illustrated History of Copyright A fascinating illustrated historical tour, looking at how different technologies have shaped how we think about copyright and intellectual property.
posted by carter on Jan 31, 2008 - 4 comments

Poisonville

In 1917, Dashiell Hammett, working as a Pinkerton detective in Butte, Montana, was offered $5000 to murder union organizer, Frank Little. Or was he? Maybe not. Anyway, Hammett quits being a detective and starts writing fiction. He draws on his Butte experiences to write Red Harvest about a lone detective who sets opposing factions in a corrupt city against one another and watchs the bodies pile up. Lots of people have wanted to make movies from Red Harvest. Akira Kurosawa did. Or did he? Maybe not. [more inside]
posted by CCBC on Nov 14, 2007 - 25 comments

It's a gift to be simple... provided you have the means

Starbucks saved his life, and now Tom Hanks is saving his bank account. A story of a middle-aged man with a successful career in advertising, was fired from his high-paying job, was divorced by his wife, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and found himself getting back to basics working for $10.50/hour at Starbucks, finding himself, and loving it. How does he manage to deal with such a huge downgrade from his previously life? Well, turns out it doesn't matter too much, as it's soon to be a movie starring Tom Hanks.
posted by Tommy Gnosis on Sep 27, 2007 - 77 comments

"...my most ambitious idea, 'The Bourne Arpeggio,' in which Bourne, now a violist, prevents the assassination of a Russian dissenter at the reopening of Alice Tully Hall."

With the Bourne Ultimatum released, that would appear to be it for the series. Not so for the books, even though original author Robert Ludlum has been dead for six years. This type of thing isn't exactly new, but do these ghost-written books do the originals justice, or are the authors' estates just cashing in?
posted by djgh on Aug 4, 2007 - 25 comments

"LOCK UP THE DATE!" --FBI for writers

FBI 101 -- "Essentials for Writers," an "exciting and informative" interactive workshop for writers being offered to members of my union -- the Writers Guild of America, East - by the FBI Office of Public Affairs and FBI New York. ... -- Very interesting account of a workshop the FBI puts on for writers in NY. What's in it for the FBI? ...The only question we have for you is 'Will it show us in a good light?'" ...
posted by amberglow on Jun 9, 2007 - 13 comments

Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall...

The His Dark Materials movie is taking shape. The award-winning children's series, considered the "anti-Narnia", is due on the screen in 2007, starring a actress found in open casting, along with Nicole Kidman (as Mrs. Coulter, for those who know the books). Unfortunately, the screenplay by Tom Stoppard has been dumped, though the new one appears to be to the author's liking. There is no official trailer yet, but there are several more or less painful fan-made ones. The series has also been made into a successful play, and a radio program. For those who haven't read it, an excerpt is here; and for those that have, try the interactive alethiometer or find out your daemon's name. Previous discussion on the debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury was here.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 31, 2006 - 52 comments

The beat goes on...

Looks like Buk is back and Jack is On The Road again.
posted by veryape on Aug 27, 2005 - 4 comments

Edward Bunker, 1933-2005

"It has always been as if I carry chaos with me the way others carry typhoid. My purpose in writing is to transcend my existence by illuminating it."
Crime novelist Edward Bunker, who died last Tuesday at age 71 (LATimes obit), became at 17 the youngest inmate at San Quentin after he stabbed a prison guard at a youth detention facility. It was during his 18 years of incarceration for robbery, check forgery and other crimes that Bunker learned to write. In 1973, while still in prison, he made his literary debut with "No Beast So Fierce", a novel about a paroled thief James Ellroy called "quite simply one of the great crime novels of the past 30 years" and that was made into the movie "Straight Time" starring Dustin Hoffman. Also a screenwriter ("Runaway Train"), Bunker appeared as an actor in nearly two dozen roles, most notably as Mr. Blue in "Reservoir Dogs." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Jul 25, 2005 - 9 comments

Spoil Yourself

It's all about the journey, not just the ending.
posted by Jim Jones on Mar 9, 2005 - 17 comments

Not just for Trekkies anymore...

Fandom is, at the core, neither good or bad. It simply is. [+]
posted by FunkyHelix on Feb 16, 2005 - 17 comments

berating the classics

"First, look up the most popular and critically-acclaimed books, movies, and music on Amazon. Click on 'Customer Reviews,' and sort them by 'Lowest Rating First'..." The Amazon.com Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game.
posted by reklaw on Jul 2, 2004 - 48 comments

Hollywood's Golden Era

GLAMORLUX Cool Collections ~ vintage photos, movie posters, book covers and album covers from Hollywood's golden era.
posted by crunchland on Jun 28, 2003 - 6 comments

Best of Best of Lists

List of bests permits you to keep track of how much you've read, seen, or heard according to all of those fun "X Greatest X's" of all time. A recommendation feature may be soon to follow.
posted by Ufez Jones on May 14, 2003 - 12 comments

Movie Adaptations of Books

Sometimes Movies Are Even Better Than The Good Books They're Based Upon. [More inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 2, 2002 - 56 comments

On The Road...

On The Road... coming to a theater near you (scroll down in link). Francis Ford Coppola is working on a film adaptation of Kerouac's classic (?), starring Brad Pitt. Genius? Heresy? I can see the Barnes & Noble tie-ins now...
posted by serafinapekkala on Aug 29, 2002 - 54 comments

Alexandre Dumas on film

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 - 15 comments

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 - 37 comments

Cultural popcorn

Cultural popcorn

Everybody's got their indulgences-- maybe it's an impressively bad tv show, a blatently comercial film you've watched dozens of times or the upteeth sequel of a good book by a lazy author. What's your cultural big mac? What can't you admit you love?
posted by christina on Jul 1, 2001 - 102 comments


You've seen the movie, maybe even read the book. But have you experienced the website? When the flash intro comes up, click on "You're a dead rat" for a good chuckle.
posted by inviolable on Apr 22, 2001 - 7 comments

I'm sick of the Cunningham rumors.

I'm sick of the Cunningham rumors. I no longer believe the Neuromancer movie will ever happen. Music by Aphex, in my dreams. Console yourself by listening to William Gibson read the whole freakin' thing.
posted by lbergstr on Mar 24, 2001 - 22 comments

Don't make Hunter mad.

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 - 14 comments

You've seen the movie, you've read the book. Now, watch Dead Man Walking, the Opera. (more inside...)
posted by Avogadro on Oct 15, 2000 - 1 comment

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