Friday, February 21, 2003


I watched Adaptation tonight (technically, last night, as I write this). I hoofed to Harvard Square, and drank in a little atmosphere before disappearing into the "4-Ramp Low" screen at Harvard Loews Cinema.

The twist in the movie reminds me a great deal of Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy. The first book, City of Glass, features a character who receives a phone call. "Is this Paul Auster?" asks an urgent voice. The main character says "No." But after repeated phone calls for the mysterious Paul Auster, the main character eventually says "Yes."

Charlie Kaufman writes himself into his adaptation of Susan Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief, and we're on a marvelous and perilous journey as Charlie struggles with how to structure a screen play on top of a structure-less novel.

Adaptation is about creativity. It's also about passion. It's about the writing life, depicted in all its difficulty, and banality. In Kaufman's other screenplay, Being John Malkovich, we peek inside the head of the actor Malkovich. In Adaptation, we take a peek inside the screenwriter, and oh, how twisted it is.

This is the second movie I've seen in the theater this year.

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