Weekend Read: Sex, Screenplays, Tarantino And Zeppo

Let’s start off this edition of the Weekend Read with a question – Are audiences becoming more prudish about sex scenes in movies? That’s what is explored in Nerve’s article The Demise of the Hollywood Sex Scene. Turns out that the answer probably lies more in the simultaneous rise of the home theater and unrestricted-by-network-censorship cable series like Californication and Game Of Thrones. Stimulating reading, nonetheless.

As movies move through development they often pass through the hands of a number of writers, each trying to contribute whatever the developing producer or director want in the screenplay. But not every writer who contributes something to a script gets their name on the final product. The process of determining who does get final screen credit (and the years’ worth of residuals that accompany a screen credit) is administered by the Writers Guild of America. As I discovered when researching something once, the WGA does not publicly comment on the arbitration process. But Die Hard 2 and Bad Boys writer Doug Richardson gives us a peek behind-the-scenes at the nasty fight over how the credits were determined for his 2005 Hostage, which he had adapted from a novel by Robert Crais, turned out to be. (And check out the rest of Richardson’s blog for more strange-but-true stories from the trenches of Hollywood.)

But not all stories involving novel writers and film adaptations of their work are as contentious. In fact, sometimes authors are thrilled with the final product, especially with whatever star is chosen to play their favorite character. The Atlantic talked to several big name novelists about the big screen adaptations they are most happy with.

One of the directors in the Atlantic article who delivered what a novelist thought was a faithful adaptation of his work despite a number of changes, was Quentin Tarantino with his translation of Elmore Leonard’s crime novel Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. It just so happens that this past week saw the iconic director’s 50th birthday, for which London’s The Guardian compiled this list of five reasons to be thankful for from the director’s career.

We end this week’s installment with an appreciation of the sometimes forgotten Marx Brother Zeppo, and how he sartorially influenced one young actor by the name of Archibald Leach, though you may know him as Cary Grant.

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About Rich Drees 6996 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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