Intro for April 9, 2013
Back in October, I mentioned that I was engrossed in a book called Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. It was recommended to me at TIFF by the National Post’s Shinan Govani. I remember he very specifically said to me at a party late one night, while we were waiting for Kristen Stewart to show up, I think, that “Lainey, the Elizabeth Taylor fan in you will love this book”. That was enough for me to not buy it online and get the hardcover copy instead.
It was announced yesterday that Beautiful Ruins will be adapted for film, with the author Walter co-writing the screenplay with director, Todd Field. Todd Field of course is of In The Bedroom and Little Children, both mega acclaimed, and both films that confront conventional assumptions, calling out the hypocrisy of our social and cultural standards, without beating you over the head with it, so that the stank beneath our Norman Rockwell daydreams reveals itself gradually, but irrevocably, and one day you can no longer deny that Jesus, I am living in sh-t.
Consider then what Walter said of Beautiful Ruins:
"(I’ve been) simultaneously drawn to and repelled from Hollywood for years. I wanted to explore how we're all defining ourselves now. With Facebook and Twitter, we're all our own little publicists in a way. And the thing we think of as Hollywood is this kind of studio system, this thing that is sort of fractured and not what it was. The novel is full of shots at the vacuous banalities Hollywood turns out. Hollywood is like a giant mirror, I think, and I used it that way in the book, reflecting characters back to themselves." (Source)
That’s what Celebrity Gossip is, non? It was the spirit of my TED Talk last fall. Because you cannot consume gossip in a vacuum without filtering it through the prism of your own experience, interpret it through your own personal lens, shaped by your perspective. Which is why what comes out the other side can be a pretty definitive declaration about who we are. Whether or not we’re happy with it is another matter entirely.
I can’t wait to see this movie.
Yours in gossip,