Sunday, 8 September 2013

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS: ADAPTATION

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS

2. ADAPTATION (2002, dir. Spike Jonze)

08/09/2013

It is entirely appropriate that I am breaking a writer's block by writing about this bloody film which, objectively, has the most boring, self-congratulatory and masturbatory of premises for a film, but works so well because of that.

I had intended to add an entry to this site of a film I would like to see made. Because I love the history of television as much as film, the story of the old ITV breakfast service TV-am would be great - a star-laden service with lofty ideals backfires to the extend that they cannot pay their electricity bills, they are saved by a puppet rat and reading the bingo numbers from the morning newspapers, before being taken over by an Australian executive who sacks half the company when they go on strike, running the programme by himself until the company makes enough money to pay off the strikers, then gradually dismantling the company in a sulk when they lose their licence.

It is a great story in detail, but then, I like details. The article I intended to write could not be started because I was overtaken by what details I wanted to write, before it collapsed under my own procrastination. Nicolas Cage, playing Charlie Kaufman, supposedly adapting a book, "The Orchid Thief," writes himself into his script as a way of getting to the bottom of what he wants to write, just as the real-life Kaufman does when he turned the adaptation for a real book into the film "Adaptation".

This article is already more about me than the film "Adaptation" - the article exists because I couldn't think of anything else to write about, and yet the self-reference on which "Adaptation" survives is about as convoluted as I can manage here. In an alternate universe, I wrote he article about TV-am, and it would have worked, just as a fictional twin brother for Kaufman writes a script that sells for big money in the film, which is the same fictional twin that gets a credit for writing the real-film... for fuck's sake...

Does anyone have a copy of "Being John Malkovich" I can watch instead?

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