Friday, May 22, 2009

North Shore writers on film, sort of

I posted a while ago that ABC is adapting John Updike's Witches of Eastwick as a TV series.

Earlier this spring news was released that Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is being adapted into a teen comedy called Easy A starring Emma Stone as a
high school student who pretends to be the school slut, hoping to benefit from the publicity. Which is sort of, but actually not really at all, like the ordeal endured by Hawthorne’s heroine, Nester Prynne. (Empire Movie News; Nester is their typo, or maybe the artistic license of the screenwriters?)
Sounds terrible, but other literary classics have inspired a few good movies in that genre, if you're the kind of person who thinks any teen movie could be good. Clueless drew on Austen's Emma, Ten Things I Hate about You was a re-working of Taming of the Shrew, and She's All That was based on Pygmalion. So who knows? Easy A is shooting now.

This morning I caught a story about summer movies, and one called Fireflies in the Garden starring Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe, named after the Robert Frost poem. Some articles describe the movie, about a dysfunctional family dealing with unexpected tragedy, as being based on or an adaptation of the poem. The Internet Movie Database even gives Frost a writing credit. Here's the 1928 poem in its entirety.
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.
Hard to hang a 2-hour film on that, but it's an evocative jumping-off point. Fireflies in the Garden is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on June 26.

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