Book Vs. Film
People are just people, like you. I think about this phrase often on the days when I work downtown in a small used bookstore. Some people are really just folks, reading their Ludlum's and Sheldon's, and are harmless. There are people who read narrischkeit like Eat, Pray, Love, profess it to be feminist literature of highest idiom and insist, upon every visit, that you read it already (no. NO.) People who read Clive Barker still exist, surprisingly, and I find they are some of the most identifiable readers; not by dress or manner, but by the weather that hangs around them. It's an intense atmosphere and not completely dissimilar from Pigpen. Our collection of history books, specifically WWII, is hundreds of books deep, regularly populated and picked through, and this is where I say: people are just people. They shouldn't make you nervous. Consider, readers, regular customers of WWII and Nazi Germany. "Anything specifically Holocaust related. That's the good stuff" was a reply given to my question about why history?, delivered dryly and without irony. They come in regularly for the good stuff. People. William Gass said that history likes both size and winning, and at first I thought maybe that was the draw. Is it informative? Is it comforting to know the ending? A release? Escape?
In the case of Todd Bowden, it lit him like a match. read more »
To Swiffer, a Baduism: I'm getting tired of your shit. Call Tyrone. It will be a cold day in hell--or, speaking Alighierically, a day of specific climes in the ninth circle itself, a day none-the-less fantastic, shouting ET TU at Brutus like a tourist--before I am to ever pine over a mop or find superb satisfaction in dusting shelves. Your commercials have been stricken by Stepfordites with mom jeans! I would rather jar worms. I understand advertising enough--I watch Mad Men, afterall, so I know how it works. with liquor, shit!--but, but, but, where are you getting this stuff? What kind of woman is romantically fulfilled by scrubbing the kitchen floor, without streaks? Satire can be a slippery slope to sled (the confusion happens all the time, mostly when convenient) and a schlock reading of The Stepford Wives seems to have come from all that slipping. I blame the film, or films if you wish to be specific, with its overt fetishization of household chores and cads of ersatz (I think you missed this most important of notes) women breathlessly asking each other about the virtues of cleaning supplies. read more »
"Do you hunger, Saint Merrin? Here, I give to you nectar and ambrosia, I give to you the food of your God!" croaked the demon. It excreted diarrhetically, mocking, "For this is my body! Now consecrate that, Saint Merrin!"
O Exorcist. Patron saint of possession, most iconic. Many a viceroy has come now, mimicking your monarch but I confess: they are all merely well-mannered pales, having one on you with their possessed girls and doubting priests, their body horror and murder. Though some strangely incorporate scenes in barns, sadly none have enough fantastical cussing. Most importantly, none have Linda Blair bellowing demonically about cocks in hell. Check: mate.
The Exorcist was strictly verboten in my house growing up. My mother refused to even talk about it, instead saying only, "It's evil." while maintaining a very clear position that I was never, ever to see it. Not never. Not like, you can't see Jaws, ever, until you're 13 and chaperoned by us. Never never. Unflinching. Glare and the sign of the cross at the mention. This is how serious some Catholics are about this movie, loyal to their Church who was mortified by its existence, and like any good Catholic, she would hatefully ignore the problem in the hope it would dissolve on its own. read more »
"Ah, let the right one slip in, slip in, slip in.
And when at last it does, I'd say you were within your rights
to bite the right one and say, what kept you so long?,
What kept you so long?"
If you ever just see Let the Right One In, you've had a nearly perfect film experience. If you've also read the book, you've had the whole enchilada. It's not necessary, but it never hurts. The democratic whole shebang. Look, allow me to illuminate, readers: I will just tell you what the book adds, where it differs in a way that would interest you, probably crush a little hard on the movie, and Matt Reeves is a douchebag.
While we are on the subject, and since you asked for my opinion, I have never seen the American remake, Let Me In. And I won't be, ever. And I'm only half a snob when it comes to Americanized versions: I prefer the American version of the Japanese Ringu, for example, and enjoyed Haneke's shot for shot remake of his own German Funny Games. I liked it the first time, too, and his bristled contempt for an American audience was gleeful. For every Ringu there is a Grudge, and for every Funny Games there is a painful The Vanishing. To remake a beautiful film for Western audiences just so they don't have to do any of that bothersome reading stuff or look at an albino for 90 minutes, and will pay handsomely for anything vampire related, especially if it already has great word of mouth, is a dreadful grab for ducats. I knew that they were just giving people lip service when they changed Eli's name. Eli. Yeah, it's weird to the Swedish kid, too, but there's a reason it's a strange name for a girl. Reeves was all, yeah, I want to be true to the book and stuff, faithful to the source and stuff, and yeah we're changing Eli's name to Abby. One of these things is not like the other. He had a good cast. There are my $.02. So, feel free to discuss your opinions down yonder re: Reeves's gilded lily bastardization. Moving on to the good stuff! read more »
In the wake of all the tragedy and sadness that occurred in in Japan last week, we're going to attempt to kick off this week with a new feature here at The Cult. So turn off CNN for ten minutes and read something that hopefully makes you a little happier for the hour.
This idea is something that's been at the back of my mind on and off throughout the years, but it took Tina Estlin Page, one of our more reclusive journalists, to jolt it back into the forefront. She put forth the idea of reviewing the 2010 adaptation of Allen Ginsberg's controversial writing piece Howl, which was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and stars James Franco as Ginsberg. And thus, the idea for this feature was born.
I'm going to call this new feature Book Vs. Film, but as you know, Howl is not a book at all, but a poem. Now, I'd love to actually call this a column, but I don't know with what sort of frequency we'll be able to keep up with. A lot of that will depend on you, the readers, and how well you respond to it. So here we go! - Dennis read more »