Thursday, 22 August 2013

Films I Would Like To See Made: Tom McCarthy's "Remainder"


An amazing book from the creator of the International Necronautical Society, Remainder (2005) is a slow burning tale of maniacally recreating de ja vu experiences in order to understand what left you with no memory in the first place. McCarthy's book is a modern-esque nightmare of existential anxiety and contemporary greed where money matters, no matter what you spend it on. Even though it reads wonderfully (and I definately recommend you read it if you haven't already), it is described so well that you picture it perfectly in your own internal movie theatre. So why hasn't it been made into a film already?

PITCH: "Traumatised by an accident that involves something falling from the sky and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer, our hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting memories and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them... But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts reconstructing more and more violent events, including hold-ups and shoot-outs." - The blurb from Metronome's wesite

TREATMENT: The descriptions in this book, and the protagonists thoughts, are so matter-of-fact that it would be silly to have any kind of fancy photography or directing style. The way in which a bank robbery is innocently recreated IN A REAL WORKING BANK, WITHOUT THE BANKERS KNOWING ABOUT IT, is so disconserting and rediculous, you wouldn't need fancy camera work. Maybe someone like Ben Wheatley and his film Kill List, where the weirdness is expected but unexpected at the sametime, would be appropiate, or maybe even someone like David Lynch. If Alfred Hitchcock was still alive, I'd imagine he'd have an incredible take on this story too. 


BUT WAIT>>> There's been rumours of this film being made for years. Film Four snapped up the rights for it pretty soon after the book went mass market, but still, no film. And then I read in the September issue of Sight and Sound, in an off the cuff sentence, "Now Omer Fast, it turns out, is working on an adaptation of the Tom McCarty novel Remainder". And thats it! And really, that is about it. When you type "Omer Fast Remainder" into Google you get five results (that must be some kind of record). All I can tell you is that it is being produced by Film Four and the UK Film Council, its being directed by Mr Fast, and its going to have Arsher Ali, from Four Lions, in it.

If Omer Fast directing Remainder will be an interesting one. A video artist, his works usually portray some kind of political comemmentary, from splicing up CNN reporters news stories to his latest, on display at the Imperial War Museum, 5000ft Is The Best, about the use of drones in warfare. It would be his first *movie* film as well. I imagine it'll be more like Steve McQueen's Hunger as less of the happy-go-luckiness of Sam Taylor-Johnson's Nowhere Boy. Either way, I'm just finally happy that someone is pulling there finger out and making this book into a film. I will be keeping a close eye on the progress.

Layla

P.S. Don't forget to vote which film you want us to review next week; Elysium, You're Next or Pain and Gain. Leave a comment, write on the Facebook page or tweet us @Richeeandlayla


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