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Entries in Adaptations (184)

Tuesday
Apr262016

Silent Chambers and Spider Webs in "Throne of Blood"

The first time I saw a Jackson Pollock in the flesh, I had to sit down, dumbfounded, in my attempt to take it in. I was staring at just one painting (and there were several) for a good 15-20 minutes before I had to force myself to move on. While the artist's famous splatter paintings seem random there's such an intricate hypnotic depth to them once you're in their presence, like it's possible to slip right inside them and get lost. Each flick of paint, every solid drop, on top of another streak and another spill gives the impression that the painting goes on for years underneath no matter which detail pulls your eye in.

bronze

I kept thinking of that Pollock painting - bear with me through this unexpected reference point - while watching Throne of Blood (1957)...

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Saturday
Apr022016

TV @ The Movies: "Damien" Flashes Back

Though I know not why it's so, considering I prefer original material in nearly all mediums to rehashes, I sample nearly every TV series that's based on a movie. Not that the interest tends to last. So it was that I binge watched the first four episodes of A&E's new series Damen.  The Omen (1976) was the first horror film I ever watched that didn't involve vampires (I was really into vampires for some reason as a little boy, even though I was never a horror film aficianado). I snuck watched The Omen one night during one of its television airings in the early 80s.

Though the new series never mentions Damien's birthday, the wee Antichrist's birthdate was June 6th in the original movie (6/6 natch) which is also my birthday. Little me actually ran to the bathroom to make sure there was no mark of the beast on his scalp after the movie. (He had so many nightmares that week, poor little guy.)

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Monday
Mar282016

Stage Door: The Color Purple

The Color Purple (1985), Steven Spielberg's hit adaptation of the 1982 bestseller by Alice Walker lives in Oscar infamy as one of its two greatest losers with 11 nominations that produced zero wins. Here's a lesser known piece of trivia: The Color Purple, the stage musical adaptation of the same novel, narrowly avoided repeating that exact same trick at the Tony Awards in 2006. It was nominated for  11 Tony Awards but LaChanze won the Best Actress prize that eluded Whoopi Goldberg in the 80s for interpreting the mousy but resilient Celie.

Despite the original production closing only 8 years ago, The Color Purple is back on Broadway in a revival that's been winning raves; it's aiming for a bigger trophy haul this time. [More...]

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Monday
Mar282016

Cast This: Highsmith's Ripley TV Series

Manuel here. Patricia Highsmith is definitely back in vogue. We'll obviously credit Carol (based on her Price of Salt novel) but the ample filmography her books have begat should remind us that she's been the type of author whose works seem ready-made for the screen. While there's still no new word on whether that Gillian Flynn/David Fincher Strangers on a Train remake is still in the works, we now have another Highsmith property to get excited about.

Well, perhaps "new" is too strong a word. [More...]

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Wednesday
Mar232016

Reader's Choice: Cruel Intentions (1999)

Wednesday nights are now devoted to you. We'll alternate between a Q&A and a Reader's Choice Movie. So you are essentially picking the topics each week. We started with Gattaca but y'all kept asking for Cruel Intentions so here we are again.


Believe it or not, I've never seen Cruel Intentions (1999) so I gladly accept the multiple requests to discuss. This is written and directed by someone named Roger Kumble and the name did not ring a bell. It turns out he's still working, mostly on television and he's working on a TV sequel to this very movie. I missed this news somehow but Sarah Michelle Gellar is reprising her role so this post is more timely than I meant it to be.

The credits also inform us that it's only "suggested by" Dangerous Liaisons.  That's a fancy word for adapted if you want to compete in Original Screenplay at the Oscars. (Not that this teen picture had any such designs.) I'm not sure if you know this but Dangerous Liaisons (1988) is one of my all time favorite movies. And Swoosie Kurtz is in this one, too! We begin with her as Sebastian Valmont's (Ryan Phillipe) therapist. Her broad gestures and funny notes remind us that this is a comedy. Of sorts. 

Swoosie, an unlikely victim in both Dangerous Liaisons movie

In both movies Swoosie is the mother of someone who couldn't have possibly come from her womb: Uma Thurman in the 1988 movie and Tara Reid in this movie -- so, downgrade. Tara must have been left on the editing room floor because this photo is all we see of her

His therapist is immune to young Sebastian's charms but she learns as he's leaving that her daughter wasn't. She screams at her nasty patient as he leaves the building and he flashes her this baby devil grin. [More...]

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