Jeffrey Eugenides’s new short story collection is a mixed bag In “Baster,” the narrator learns that his beautiful, out-of-his-league ex-girlfriend. “The Baster” by Jeffrey Eugenides (, 17 pages) Jeffrey Eugenides (, USA) won The Pulitzer Prize in for his novel Middlesex. Jeffrey Kent Eugenides (born March 8, ) is an American novelist and short story writer. . His story “Baster” became the basis for the romantic comedy The Switch, temporarily putting Middlesex aside in the late 90s to begin work.

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The movie was remarkably faithful— perhaps too faithful —to the book, preserving the languid mood, reverential but impersonal treatment of the doomed Lisbon girls, and unusual, first person plural narrative voice. Last Friday a very different Eugenides adaptation, The Switchhit the big screen. Francis Ford Coppola founded the magazine with the idea that short stories are more akin to film and perhaps better source material than are novels, as both stories and movies are meant to be consumed in one sitting.

Each issue of Zoetrope includes a story that has been adapted to the screen: The movie is less broadly comedic than their resume would indicate. Money Never Sleepsis currently a hot-shot screenwriter, with 11 scripts in production or development. He is sure-handed in expanding the story, and the best parts of the movie are his own: She thought about them, the little children she never had. They were lined at the windows of a ghostly school bus, faces pressed against the glass, huge-eyed, moist-lashed.

When she awoke at night, she saw it slowly pulling away from the curb, and she heard the noise of the children packed in their seats, that cry of children indistinguishable between laughter and scream. Abortion remains more of a taboo in Hollywood than even five young women killing themselves, as in The Virgin Suicides.

The story makes the switch an insidious violation, done intentionally and knowingly though under the influence of alcohol. It was somewhere around hyena. Anne Shulock is a journalist living in San Francisco. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Jezebel, Salon and Sactown magazine, and she blogs on Open Salon. She is currently the editorial assistant at Zoetrope: All-Story, where she hopes to find the next great short story writer in the slush pile. Now if only the movie was better.

Maybe Ferrell should have been cast as Wally. Or maybe Jen needs to take a year sabbatical. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data is processed. The Millions’ future depends on your support. Become a member today. The 10th Tribeca Film Festival was a richly musical affair. Nearly lost in this pleasing din were two quiet movies, a feature and a documentary, that grew, respectively, out of a work of literature and the misguided urge to lionize writers.

Seamus Heaney’s seminal translation of the Old English epic Beowulf brought the work, first put to paper by an unknown Anglo-Saxon about a thousand years ago, into the 21st century.

Jeffrey Eugenides

Heaney considers Beowulf “one of the foundation works of poetry in English. Most of us are familiar with the story: Beowulf, the Geat, comes to the aid of Hrothgar and the Danes by slaying Grendel, a man-eating monster that has been terrorizing the great hall at Heorot.

I had a wonderfully illustrated version of Beowulf by Kevin Crossley-Holland and Charles Keeping that I would read jeffrfy look at often growing up, and returned to the tale when someone gave me Heaney’s translation.

But the illustrations in the eugeniddes I had as a kid have defined the visual elements of the story for me. Eugsnides what I always considered a bizarre and chilling twist, Beowulf, after vanquishing Grendel, tearing the beast’s arm off with his bare hands, is forced to do battle with Grendel’s mother in her lair at the bottom of a miasmic mear.


How weird, to use an Old English word in its modern sense. Keeping’s baste of the she-beast in the illustrated book are indelible a sample. So imagine my surprise when I found that, for the motion picture adaptation of BeowulfGrendel’s mother is played by That’s right, the she-beast has been scrubbed just a bit, as you can see from this still.

Apparently the movie’s writers took other liberties with the story as it relates to the relationship between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother. Well, that’s Hollywood, and hey, a sexy makeover can make any mother’s day. But what I would really like to see is Jolie voyage to jefffrey Danish countryside and return with bastfr hulking, hirsute, one-armed ogre with a taste for human flesh as the latest addition to her ethnically diverse brood of adopted children.

Baster by Jeffrey Eugenides

Monsters need love too. There’s something about an ensemble cast. And oh, the pastoral charms of a country house. Though I’d say this cinematic genre is English is certain fundamental ways, it works just as well elsewhere, a demonstrated by the list below Italy, France, Greece, Los Angeles, Spain, Canada, the O. One of the other interests of this genre is that some of its finest examples Gosford ParkThe Big ChillPeter’s Friendsand The Anniversary Partywork according to the classical unities unity of time, unity of place, unity of action.

Call them antiquated and fussy if you will, there is a certain satisfaction in a movie that stays put and, in something approximating “real time,” resolves the troubles it introduces.

The latest literary adaptation: Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Bad movies, like all bad art, have an important job to do. Without them we wouldn’t be able to identify, appreciate, and differentiate the great, the good, and the merely passable.

It’s not that bad is the new good.

It’s that bad is vital and timeless because without it there could be no good. You sense this from the first frames when, to droning synthesizer moans, the credits play over washed-out still photos of abandoned movie theaters. People have stopped going out to see movies! In an interview with the Tribeca Film Festival, the writer of some classic movies Taxi DriverRaging Bull and the director of some pedigreed dogs HardcoreAmerican GigoloLight Sleeper explained that this credit sequence was his way of lamenting the fact that technology is killing the communal experience of going to a theater to sit in the dark with strangers and watch large pictures move on a screen.

This myth that people will always want to go out to the movies, they’ll always want a communal experience — I don’t know that that’s necessarily true. The Canyons opens with a long, rudderless scene in a restaurant where we meet the main characters, a reptilian crew who are all involved in the making of some kind of B movie.

The king lizard on this reptile farm is Christian, played by James De e n get it?

Jeffrey Eugenides Could Be More Excited For His Jennifer Aniston Movie

Deen has a hard time giving a convincing line reading, and yet after a while I started to see him as an inspired casting choice. Christian is a trust fund kid he refers to his father as “The Asshole” and he wears his sense of entitlement effortlessly and convincingly, on his face and in his body language, in his car and his clothes and his promiscuous sex life and, especially, in his preposterous house perched above the Pacific.

He’s a character only Bret Easton Ellis could love. His girlfriend is Tara Lohanwho looks puffy and wears Kabuki eye makeup and sounds like she’s back on the Xanax. As a pampered party girl who doesn’t do much of anything but have sex, drink, and go to the gym, Lohan is another inspired casting choice. It’s impossible to separate her tabloid meltdowns from what’s on the screen here, and in an unsettling way, it works. Christian and Tara are celebrating the fact that Ryan Nolan Gerard Fun ka pretty-boy hick just off the bus from Michigan, has won the lead role in Christian’s new movie, with a boost from Tara.


Ryan’s girlfriend Gina Amanda Brooks is Christian’s assistant. Neither Christian nor Gina is aware that Ryan and Tara are having an affair. Welcome to the reptile farm.

Throughout this scene, Christian ejffrey Tara gaze into their smartphones as if they’ve been hypnotized by the things. Eventually we learn why: Christian likes to take videos of the bazter he and Tara make with a revolving cast of men and women. Who needs movie theaters when you can make porno in the comfort of your own home?

And that’s pretty much what The Canyons is about. It seems to want to join the venerable company of movies about the making of movies, from Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland DriveThe Playerand Hugo. But there isn’t any actual movie-making in this movie. Instead, these people do drugs, they do lunch, they do each other.

They drive around and walk through malls and shop. The sex scenes are graphic without being even slightly erotic, which could be the whole point. The dialogue is often dreadful “Nobody has a private life anymore” and “Who’s really happy? Put it in your fucking mouth”. In eugeniees end it’s hard to care about any of these people, with the possible exception of Tara because Lohan, our distaff Charlie Sheenbrings a raspy vulnerability to the part.

Again, that might be the whole point. After eugenidea, we’re deep in Bret Easton Ellis country, southern California zip code. Which means there will be sex and there will be blood eugrnides anything goes and nothing matters. His goal was to get out from under the thumb of studio suits.

As someone who has written magazine articles that got carved up by committees of editors, I can appreciate Schrader’s yearning for creative control.

But if this mess is what creative control produces, I say bring back the suits. On paper, the pairing of Schrader and Ellis looks like a natural.

Both have had long, if uneven, careers working society’s margins, exploring the lives of misfits, the privileged, the kinky, the benumbed. I’ve long admired Ellis for having the courage to create mercilessly repellent characters, baser given today’s tyranny of likability. I think the anomie-soaked Less Than Zero is his best book. But he has given up novel writing in favor of screenwriting, a sensible career move given the way moving images continue to overwhelm and marginalize the writing of serious fiction in America.

Based on what’s on the screen here, though, maybe he should consider returning to his fictional roots. I haven’t read The Canyons script, but I saw what’s on the screen. At one point Christian, who is about as deep as a mud puddle, offers this bit of gravitas: Ellis was unhappy with the finished product.

I saw this as a pranky noirish thriller, but Schrader just turned it into, well, a Schrader film. When this Schrader film’s final scene ended, everyone in jetfrey theater burst out laughing again.