Screening Room

January 29, 2013

Think of Bread in General: On Making Books Into Movies 12

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“Everyone accepts that stories and movies are different things.” Indeed. But how, exactly? Is one a higher art form than the other? Does one strengthen children’s brains while the other is more likely to rot them?

January 10, 2013

Ten Books to Read Now That HBO’s Girls Is Back 16

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These are books that — like Girls – explore what it is like to be young and hungry — hungry for love and hungry for sex, but most of all, hungry for recognition and hungry for adulthood. Ultimately, the girls in these books, like the girls of Girls, are hungry to become the women they will one day be.

October 30, 2012

Big Bird is History: Why We Fund PBS 15

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CTW’s Sesame Street started in 1969 as a grand experiment to see what would happen if you gave all children (inner city, rural kids, and suburban alike) entertaining pre-school lessons as a head start. When you consider the alternatives, this is an awfully cheap way to educate and unite kids all over the country.



October 26, 2012

Filming the Unfilmmable: On David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas 2

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Cloud Atlas is no mere adaptation: it’s a big, ambitious structural overhaul, one that has been likened by Mitchell, amongst others, to a mosaic, all of his Russian dolls smashed to pieces and carefully reassembled.

October 5, 2012

When Costner Was King: An Actor’s Rise and Fall (and Rise?) 8

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With 1989’s Field of Dreams, my Costner man crush truly began. I honestly don’t remember seeing it in the theater. It must have been VHS. Either way, I remember the feeling. That film, pie-in-the-sky as it may be, still gets me.

September 18, 2012

How to Write a Movie About a Writer 9

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Films rely on our familiarity with Hollywood-established Literary Personality tropes: needy yet reclusive, lecherous yet noble, wise yet drug-addled. You know, writers.

July 12, 2012

The Not-So-Silver Screen: Writers Acting in Film 27

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He tries his best, but let’s face it: SALMAN RUSHDIE, fatwa survivor, ex-husband of Padma Lakshmi, plays an obstetrician who is not using enough gel while operating an ultrasound machine. Disbelief has not been suspended if the audience starts yelling, “Use more gel, Rushdie! Use more gel!”

June 18, 2012

Shadow of a Doubt: Franz Kafka and TV’s ‘The Killing’ 16

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When I first began to watch The Killing two months ago, I told a friend who’d been watching since day one. His reaction was vehement. “Goddamn FUCK THE KILLING. I keep watching it and it keeps NOT GOING ANYWHERE. And yet I cannot stop watching.”

June 4, 2012

Ten Books to Read When Mad Men is Over 19

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Mad Men is about to disappear from our lives once again, leaving us to grapple alone with our complicated nostalgia for an era when men were men, women were secretaries, and alcoholism was glamorous. These books give a closer look at the era.

May 10, 2012

On The Road, On The Screen 9

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A large part of On The Road’s powerful and ongoing appeal undoubtedly stems from the lyricism of its language — as opposed to its linearity, or even narrative coherence. Translating this to the screen could quite simply be impossible. Indeed, one suspects it is the reason that, up till now, so many screenwriters have failed in turning Kerouac’s text into visual form.