Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pure Goldman

I was lucky enough to catch tonight's South Bank Show interview with William Goldman, writer of 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', 'The Princess Bride', and many more. Since reading his expose of Hollywood, 'Adventures in the Screen Trade', many years ago, I've had a great deal of respect for the man. Still do. Nothing new came out of the interview, but it's good to see him still so vital. While discussing his adaptation of 'Misery', he said something that I've been saying for years, namely that Stephen King is greatly undervalued simply because he is so successful. People forget that whatever you may think of his stories or style, he is a great storyteller. The same is also obviously true of Goldman. I hope my scriptwriting class were watching (a lot I mentioned such as Ernest Lehman's 'North by Northwest' came up, and the dastardly Robert McKee made an appearance, basking in a true scriptwriter's reflected glory no doubt), but I'd be overly optimistic to believe that they were.
Coincidentally I saw 'State of Play' today. Coincidentally, I say, because it was obviously influenced by another of Goldman's early successes, 'All the President's Men'. Influenced it might have been, but sadly it was only a distant echo of that earlier masterpiece.

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