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My Movie Business: A Memoirby John Irving
Synopses & Reviews
John Irving's memoir describes his involvement (and lack thereof) in five of the films that have (and have not) been made from his nine novels. The primary focus of 'My Movie Business' is on the 13 years Irving spent writing and rewriting his screenplay of The Cider House Rules, for four different directors. A Miramax production, the film was finally shot in the fall of 1998; directed by the Swedish director Lasse Hallstroem (My Life as a Dog), with Michael Caine in the role of Dr. Larch. The Cider House Rules movie is a November 1999 release.
Irving also writes about the failed effort, with the director Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) to make Irving's first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie; about two of the films that were made from Irving's novels but not from his screenplays, George Roy Hill's The World According to Garp and Tony Richardson's The Hotel New Hampshire; about Irving's ongoing struggle, with the director Martin Bell (American Heart), to make the author's screenplay of his novel, A Son of the Circus, a film.
In addition to its qualities as a memoir — anecdotal, comic, and candid — 'My Movie Business' is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay. Never have the two forms of storytelling been so lucidly compared and contrasted, and with such generous detail, and with so many memorable and clarifying examples.
John Irving's memoir begins with his account of the distinguished career and medical writings of the novelist's grandfather Dr. Frederick C. Irving, a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, and includes Mr. Irving's incisive history of abortion politics in the United States. But My Movie Business focuses primarily on the thirteen years John Irving spent adapting his novel The Cider House Rules for the screen--for four different directors. Mr. Irving also writes about the failed effort to make his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, into a movie; about two of the films that were made from his novels (but not from his screenplays), The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire; about his slow progress at shepherding his screenplay of A Son of the Circus into production. Not least, and in addition to its qualities as a memoir--anecdotal, comic, affectionate, and candid--My Movie Business is an insightful essay on the essential differences between writing a novel and writing a screenplay. The photographs in My Movie Business were taken by Stephen Vaughan, the still photographer on the set of The Cider House Rules--a Miramax production directed by Lasse Hallstr
About the Author
John Winslow Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. He is the author of nine novels, among them A Prayer for Owen Meany and A Widow for One Year. Mr Irving is married and has three sons; he lives in Toronto and in southern Vermont.
From the Hardcover edition.
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