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Entries in Capote (2)

Friday
Feb192016

Rest in Peace Harper Lee (1926-2016)

The world has lost one of its most important literary and cultural figures with the death of author Nelle Harper Lee. There’s very little to say about the importance of “To Kill a Mockingbird” that hasn’t already been said, both today specifically and in the nearly fifty six years since the novel’s publication. Having attended both high school and college in Georgia, I saw firsthand how much the novel rattled the consciousness of the deep South to its core. It’s still banned and its literary merits are still contested in many places in the South, demonstrating how much weight and resonance the novel still carries—we often turn away from truths that are too ugly to face.

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters in Robert Mulligan's 1962 Film Adaptation of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Though her impact in the realm of literature is clear, she also helped to shape the world of cinema. The 1962 screen adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird (which netted three Oscars, including a Best Actor trophy for Gregory Peck and a Best Adapted Screenplay prize for Horton Foote) left an indelible mark on the medium. She was also an uncredited researcher on her friend Truman Capote’s book In Cold Blood, which has been adapted many times over—most notably in Richard Brooks 1967 film.

For cinephiles, it’s hard to consider Harper Lee without thinking of Catherine Keener’s staid, impressive and underrated portrayal of the prize-winning author in Bennett Miller’s Capote. She played Lee as smartly observant, terse but incredibly perceptive. The scene on the train where Lee quietly picks up on the fact that Capote has paid the ticket agent to compliment his work is one of the film’s choice moments and is a wonderful (albeit fictionalized) window into the friendship of these two authors.

For what she gave to the world of literature, American culture and (inadvertently) the world of cinema we all love, we say to Nelle Harper Lee—thank you and farewell. Today will certainly not be the last time her name is spoken.

Thursday
Nov082012

Dr. Link

Columbia Journalism Review looks back at a watershed moment in celebrity profiles: Truman Capote meets Marlon Brando
The Film Doctor thinks Wreck-It Ralph is more corporate brainwashing for profit
Movieline Brad Pitt turns furniture designer. Unfortunately you can't see the show which is in New York next week if you're not in the design industry -- I looked it up after treading this; private appointments only 
Awards Daily Soundworks profiles Flight. How many Oscar noms will that film win? 
Studio Briefing Daniel Craig's "get me outta this" feelings for Bond since day one -- I'm amused by how seriously people are taking these comments. Please, it's not like he's going to quit just yet.

My New Plaid Pants a double o version of Do Dump or Marry shook and stirred me. So hard to answer!
Coming Soon It seems like Channing Tatum has as many movies coming out next year as he did this year! New pics from White House Down 
Cinema Blend the last star-laden version of Les Misérables, which was stupidly not the musical at the time,  comes to DVD in time for Christmas. Remember that one? Uma Thurman is Fantine and Liam Neeson is Jean Valjean
Family Room Gary Ross not at all sad that he walked away from The Hunger Games
/Film the beloved (but sometimes reviled) indie comic hit Elfquest from the 70s and 80s is still trying to become a movie. Fans who made a short film type trailer are hoping to be the ones to accomplish it. I'm a bit confused by their short though since it only features the female elves. It has to be a measure of Elfquest's impact that I recognized every single character... and not like distant memories either.

Today's Watch...
Well, if you have a couple of hours to spare that is...

Good concept though. They've linked up the Bond films chronologically, and then used roughly five minutes of film from each in sequential order to create a FrankenBond movie.