Here’s a follow up from last week’s Weekend Read links that went to stories about novel writers who were happy with the film adaptations of their work. The Guardian takes a look at Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining to see if author Stephen King had a right to be upset with how the film came out. (Kubrick was forever irritating authors with his adaptations of their books. Anthony Burgess has disowned the screen version of A Clockwork Orange, even when it is considered a classic by film critics. And Red Alert author Peter George was reportedly not happy with the way his Cold War thriller novel mutated into Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Start Worrying And Love The Bomb.)
Another film that gets some reconsideration this week is Michael Cimino’s infamous Heaven’s Gate. A runaway production with an out-of-control director lead to a final cost that bankrupted its studio United Artists had critics sharpening their knives long before the film even premiered. But was it deserving of all the critical animus it received at the time? The film has just been released with a new restoration and it appears as if given some remove from the excesses of its production, critics may be giving it more of a fair evaluation, as does this critique over at Slate.
And finally, we lost Roger Ebert this week, the best that film reviewing had to offer. There have been lots of praising of his career showing up over the last couple of days, and while all of them are heartfelt and worth your time, I do like this two-part discussion that took place Thursday evening on Chris Hayes’s show on MSNBC. Following that is the very first television appearance of Ebert with his long time reviewing sparring partner Gene Siskel.