Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.
As I Lay Dying, one thought screamed loud in my head: "Dear God, don't let James Franco screw this up." Not that Franco is much of a screwer-upper, in my opinion. I genuinely like him as an actor (see also: 127 Hours) and as what appears to be his latest incarnation as literary tastemaker in Hollywood (he's also directing Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, Andre Dubus III's The Garden of Last Days, and a screen bio of Bukowski). But when it comes to Faulkner's 1930 novel about a family's disastrous attempts to transport their matriarch to a final resting place, I'm passionate and protective. As I Lay Dying is my favorite Faulkner (followed closely by The Sound and the Fury). It's certainly the most accessible of the Faulkner novels I've read; and I think that might be what attracted Franco to direct, write and star (as Darl Bundren) in the movie. The trailer gives me hope that Franco at least preserves one of the novel's best aspects: the shifting points of view, narrated by 15 different characters (including Addie, the corpse in the coffin). The movie premiered at Cannes yesterday and while early reviews have been mixed (one reviewer called it "a tedious dud"), I'm reserving judgment until I can see it for myself. I'm not ready to put this film in a coffin just yet.