Tag Archives: movie

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride by William Goldman The Princess Bride by William Goldman is one of those novels that I never though that I would read. To start with: I hated the movie. Just as unpopular a move as hating The Never Ending Story movie (which I do), but I could never get into the bland love story and murder of cute, giant rats. Fezzik and Inigo, of course, were always cool. I ended up picking the novel up to read this summer simply because the teacher who had my classroom before me used their Title 1 funds to buy a whole grip of them. Next year in Literature in the Media I am planning a unit on “classic movies (based on novels, read a book, darn it)” and I wanted to try a novel that the kids might actually, you know, like. They loved Harry Potter, but they also refused to read the book (not a huge loss as the movie is surprisingly close, though the book is subtly better). I know I want to teach Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but I needed some more novels. Time to expand my horizons! Enter William Goldman.

The most notable difference between the novel and the movie is that, in the novel, the frame narrative is much more depressing. It starts with the adult Goldman failing to have an affair because he’s so obsessed with getting a copy of The Princess Bride, a real novel in the novel’s meta premise, for his son. Goldman’s wife is frigid, his son is fat, he hates them for sucking, true, but his hating them also makes it a little hard for us to like him. He is supremely likable when he reminisces about his father, an immigrant, reading the book to him as a sick child, and editing it mercilessly. (That’s where Fred Savage and Colombo come in movie-wise.) Amazingly this frame narrative is completely fictional, which is a relief, because it’s a downer.

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless. – Banksy

Exit Through the Gift Shop Movie PosterExit Through The Gift Shop was a movie that I had been meaning to watch for a long time, so long, in fact, that I started getting nervous about it since I’m like that. I have this weird thing where I get scared to watch things sometimes because they won’t live up to be expectations, it’s a totally creepy, random thing about my personality, so of course I just posted it on my blog.

Anyway, the tag line for the movie is “The world’s first Street Art disaster movie …” which is really accurate. It starts out as Thierry Guetta’s story of becoming obsessed with his video camera, discovering that his cousin is street art icon Space Invader, and setting out to meet Banksy. Then it rapidly turns into Banksy taking over the film (in the timeline, he’s credited as the director), inadvertently turning the already eccentric Guetta into a major street artist (Mister Brainwash) overnight, and regretting it.

I have to confess it’s utterly fascinating and Banksy really seems to hold back with his comments, maybe not to seem catty, but the quote at the top of the page is perfect. Guetta almost tricks Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and others into mentoring him by 1) appearing to be a crazy but well meaning doofus, and 2) making himself indispensable. Then he simply hires artists to do all the footwork (a la Warhol) combines Banksy, Fairey, and Warhol’s styles, and throws himself a giant art show.

Art collectors, the morons that they generally are (and I say this as an art collector), see the endorsements from his famous friends, and sell the show out to the tune of over $1 million. By the end of the documentary I really disliked Guetta for devaluing both modern art, street art, and just art in general, all at the same time. However, you also hate art collectors and fans for being such rubes that you don’t really end up feeling bad for anyone. Except perhaps Bankey, Fairey, and the others who honed their skills over years while building a reputation only to have a hanger-on come in a become famous overnight (unless you count the years of assistance as an apprenticeship, perhaps you do).

In the end though the movie is wonderful to watch because of the information on the growth of the street art movement, and all the wonderful behind the scenes footage for the creation of these pieces, I could not get enough of it, just as much as I couldn’t care less about Mister Brainwash.

Top 10 Reasons That the Novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Better Than the Movie

To turn a book into a movie small, acceptable crimes must be committed, but there are some changes that they made to Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the conversion process that open a gulf between the novella and the movie that must be detailed. That’s why I present to you the Top 10 Reasons That the Novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Better Than the Movie … I could have also called it Crackerjack Prizes vs Christopher Metals Comma Saint* …

My Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired collage

10. In the movie they write out Joe Bell – who, in the novella, is a very sweet, lovable, and important character. He’s also part of the novella’s overarching theme of “other” kinds of love, a larger category of love that is next to removed from sexuality, this is the way that both the narrator (Paul in the movie, unnamed in the novella) and Joe love Holly.

9. Rusty Trawler, Mag Wildwood, and José Ybarra-Jaegar (they changed his last name for the movie for some reason) – are all mangled in the name of film continuity, as is all of the action surrounding them (the party, which is pretty altered, and a group vacation that gets written out completely). That they make Mag shorter than José, leave out Mag becoming Holly’s roommate, and make Trawler’s character (eventually) broke and heterosexual (in the novel he’s actively fighting a homosexuality which horrifies him) are just some things that get left out. In the novella they’re wonderfully fleshed out and they’re missed in the movie, but all that would make for a 5 hour film so it’s somewhat understandable.

8. The Falling Out – is totally different in the movie and not nearly as poignant because, in the novella, there’s a long period of time that passes before they make up, whereas in the movie it’s the very next scene. In the novella it’s a clash of character while in the movie it’s precipitated by Holly drunkenly mentioning Paul’s being “kept” by his “decorator friend.”

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Hors de Prix (Priceless)

I have to admit I was more than a little nervous when I started watching “Hors de Prix” aka “Priceless” (2006) since French romantic comedies are known (to me at least) for allowing their main characters to end up, well, not together … but this movie was so wonderful I (clearly) ended up having to write about it. The movie was funny and charming and so much better than the sicky-sweet formulaic rom/coms that I’m more than used to (I’m looking in your direction “Made of Honor,” cough).

Basically “Priceless” follows gold digger Irène (Audrey Tautou) who seduces Jean (Gad Elmaleh) thinking that he’s fabulously rich, only to realize that he’s poor about 10 minutes after being dumped by her sugar daddy. To punish Jean’s unrelenting affection she blows through his life savings in roughly 24 hours, leaving him stranded at their hotel, about to be turned in to the police, when he himself gets picked up by a rich older woman. Irène and Jean then both find themselves in the pocketbooks of older people, neighbors in the same hotel, and the become friends and quasi-co-conspirators as the movie goes on.

I really loved it, “Priceless” was like “Pretty Woman” if “Pretty Woman” was actually good … and French … and fun to watch. Okay, fine, it wasn’t like “Pretty Woman” at all, but I really loved it (“Priceless,” I mean) so there you have it.

If you have Netfix you can find it here and it’s instant watch (for now at least) which is always a plus.

~ Brigitte