Thursday, March 22, 2012
David Cronenberg made Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis into a movie. I don't know Cronenberg's work, but he has made some other novels into movies (IMDB). I guess he's very secretive about his projects, so an official trailer hasn't been released yet. I've been waiting for a trailer to pop up, and this foreign teaser-trailer just came out today. I think it's awesome that DeLillo's name figures so prominently in the credits. (Pattinson basically guarantees that a bunch of people who won't like the movie will see it. Paul Giammatti, Samantha Morton, and Juliette Binoche et al are also in it.)
DeLillo is really into movies, and it's part of his legend that his novels are inspired by film not literature. So, it's really exciting to see that someone might make a good DD movie. In 2005, DD actually wrote a movie, that got made, and had a stellar cast. The director really messed it up though. It looks like it was made for TV. I couldn't even finish it, so disappointing.
I read it a while ago, but I do remember Cosmopolis. The writing is classic DeLillo, and it's good fiction, but it isn't one of his most-read or most-loved novels.* But I think it has the potential to be a great movie. The protagonist is a modern-American-perfectionist-antihero: young, sexxxy, rich, wicked smart, Wall Street tychoon (I don't really know what this phrase means, but Eric Packer is really successful on Wall Street), so driven that even his meditation sessions seem less about his own well-being than about his success/all-consuming-impulse-to-be-The-Shit. The story follows Eric on an odyssey (deliberate floweriness--the story is meant to be like the epic tale of Odysseus/Joyce's Ulysses) across mid-town Manhattan where, I believe, he is supposed to get a haircut, but he gets sidetracked again and again. On the way, he stops to "see" his poet (or maybe artist or art curator) girlfriend, there's a traffic jam b/c of an absurdly elaborate funeral for a popular rap-artist, and other things like that. I'm surprised that there's so much violence in the teaser, because, though there is violence in the book, I remember it being more in the background (not thematically), except for a few strategic scenes. Well, we'll see, I guess.
Don't mess it up, Dave!
*Those are White Noise, Underworld, and Libra. According to one of my undergrad profs, DD is actually better known and more widely read (at least in English departments) outside the US! What a shame. When I read him, I get the feeling that he really gets America and Americans. I'm not the only one either. Crazy-people have called him "prophetic" because some of the things he writes about come eerily close to events that happen years later. His writing style turns some people off, I guess.