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Entries filed in: 'Page to Screen'

PAGE TO SCREEN: “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich

Posted by · 4:40 pm · July 27th, 2010

(NOTE: This week’s Page to Screen text is the source material for David Fincher’s upcoming film “The Social Network.”) If, with its short, sketchy chapters and preponderance of surface-level description, Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires” resembles less a work of literary non-fiction than a treatment for a more substantially developed screenplay, that’s probably precisely what […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “London Boulevard” by Ken Bruen

Posted by · 7:39 pm · July 13th, 2010

When Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed”) brings Irish crime writer Ken Bruen’s 2001 novel “London Boulevard” to screen in his directorial debut, he won’t be adapting the text so much as returning it to its natural source. A short, sharp, deliciously black-hearted thriller that reads not unlike a readymade screenplay in its brisk, dialogue-dominated […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Posted by · 4:21 pm · June 29th, 2010

SPOILER ALERT: By necessity, this article must reveal some key plot developments of the novel, though no more than you might have gleaned from the film’s recent trailer. “(T)hough the tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sobbing or out of control,” writes Kathy, the young female narrator of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel “Never Let […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “The Long Walk” by Slavomir Rawicz

Posted by · 5:15 pm · June 15th, 2010

In one of the year’s more groan-worthy feats of movie marketing magic, Disney recently slapped their plucky horse ’n’ housewife drama “Secretariat” with a paradox of a tagline in “The Impossible True Story.” No sooner had they done so than assorted sniggering blogger types responded with a perfectly reasonable question: if the story is impossible, […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Posted by · 1:31 pm · June 9th, 2010

(Apologies for the delay in posting this column. Page to Screen will return to its regular Tuesday spot next week.) Chick-lit, the unflatteringly named brand of light confessional writing intended to universalize the problems of modern professional women, has been a beast of a publishing phenomenon since the near-simultaneous arrival on the scene of Helen […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Brighton Rock” by Graham Greene

Posted by · 11:05 pm · June 1st, 2010

Welcome to 2010’s first installment of Page to Screen, our summer series in which I spotlight the source material behind some of the year’s most notable forthcoming adaptations. After a spectacularly prescient 2009 season – in which I blew my load over “Chéri,” largely dismissed the awards potential of “Up in the Air” and didn’t […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Push” by Sapphire

Posted by · 12:32 pm · July 15th, 2009

As is clear from their determination to cling to the ungainly handle “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” the team behind the upcoming big-screen adaptation of New York poet Sapphire’s well-regarded 1996 novella are keen to acknowledge the film’s literary heritage. (And not just because a lousy February release stole their original title.) […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

Posted by · 1:20 pm · July 9th, 2009

Deep into Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel noir “Shutter Island,” there’s a wonderfully telling exchange between the two central characters. Reflecting on the gothic heights to which their situation has spiralled, one observes, “It’s all a bit Grand Guignol, don’t you think?” His partner’s reply: “I don’t know what the fuck that means.” Ostensibly a nod […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “An Education” by Lynn Barber

Posted by · 11:17 am · July 1st, 2009

“I was damaged by my education,” writes renowned British journalist Lynn Barber at the end of the captivating centerpiece essay in her newly published memoir “An Education,” a sober conclusion to a personal account that otherwise brims with breezy anecdotal humor. The eponymous “education” is not academic, though she makes clear her lingering resentments over […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Playing the Enemy” by John Carlin

Posted by · 11:42 am · June 10th, 2009

There are few things as antithetical to great drama as an unmitigated hero, a character rendered almost inhuman by unfailing nobleness and valor. In fiction and non-fiction alike, we are inevitably more compelled by the flawed and conflicted of our kind – whether in lurid warts-and-all celebrity biographies or more subtly probing character studies. In […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

Posted by · 2:16 pm · June 3rd, 2009

Remarkable cinema can be born of lesser literary source material, and vice versa. An arresting narrative hook can be enough for an adept screenwriter and filmmaker to fashion into an evocative cinematic vision; the artistry (or otherwise) of the prose is of secondary importance. Sterling cast and credentials aside, it is for this reason that […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

Posted by · 3:11 pm · May 27th, 2009

Of all the literary adaptations reaching our screens this year, none is as seemingly impossible – and yet, simultaneously, rife with possibilities – as Spike Jonze’s long-awaited realization of “Where the Wild Things Are.” A work that occupies multiple positions within the popular culture pantheon – grade-school standard, highbrow literary classic, cult hipster item, fine-arts […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Up in the Air” by Walter Kirn

Posted by · 9:13 am · May 21st, 2009

“Airworld” is novelist Walter Kirn’s term for the impermanent realm of regional American air travel, a sleek network of bland local airports and adjacent beige hotel rooms, linked by the plush grey trails of business-class flights. It forms the scattered but otherwise constant home to thousands of American corporate drones, and is the simultaneously alien […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

Posted by · 12:14 pm · May 14th, 2009

We’re working from the outside in on this one, folks. You may recall that Brian Kinsley offered a thorough examination of Joe Penhall’s “The Road” screenplay for this column back in September last year, which already addressed many of the challenges inherent in this particular adaptation. However, in keeping with Page to Screen’s return to […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Chéri” by Colette

Posted by · 8:52 am · May 6th, 2009

Merely casual acquaintances of French literature will likely associate the name Colette with her short story “Gigi” – or rather, the flouncy musical film adaptation thereof that swept the board at the 1958 Academy Awards. A sunny, sanitized interpretation of an intricate study in sexual politics, it captured the author’s sensibility in its lavish set-dressing, […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Che” by Peter Buchman

Posted by · 6:52 am · September 16th, 2008

“To the people of Santa Clara, this is Commandant Che Guevara. The enemy would have us live in fear. But it is they who should be afraid. Because the power of the people is irresistible. Blockade the streets. Open your homes to rebel soldiers. And if you have a gun, pick it up. If there was ever a time to fight for your liberty, […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Gran Torino” by Nick Schenk

Posted by · 10:58 am · September 9th, 2008

“I didn’t buy all this stuff blockhead.  I’ve lived here for fifty years.  A man stays in one place long enough he tends to attract a decent set of tools.” There are a lot of admirable things about “Gran Torino,” a simple yarn precariously told by screenwriter Nick Schenk.  It wallows unforgiveably in the bigotry […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “The Road” by Joe Penhall

Posted by · 12:26 pm · September 2nd, 2008

“You think I come from another world, don’t you? Filled with all these strange things you’ve never seen…Well I do, I guess.” Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” debuted last year to one of the biggest literary love fests in recent memory. From Oprah to Pulitzer, the author had one hell of a year, not to mention […]

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