Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Based On The Novel By Bret Easton Ellis.

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of numerous controversial novels including Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, and The Informers. He was often attacked for the intolerable violence in his novels, his character's passivity, and his generally "devoid of morals" esthetic, especially in 1991's American Psycho which was so violent that one publisher refused to publish it.
On Film Adaptations "I’ve had three different experiences. One was very disappointing -- Less Than Zero, my first novel. One I admired but found very chilly and thought that it maybe misinterpreted the book -- American Psycho. And I had a great experience with Rules of Attraction. I don’t think when you read my books, you’re necessarily thinking, "This would make a great movie. " They have cinematic scenes, they have a lot of dialogue, but often they don’t have that narrative momentum a movie needs. So I’m always shocked when people want to make movies out of my books." - Bret Easton Ellis (Interview w/ Randy Shulman)

In 1985 twenty-one-year-old Bret Easton Ellis jolted the literary world with his first novel Less Than Zero. Readers and critics were both fascinated and horrified by his depiction of wealthy, degenerate Los Angeles teenagers obsessed with mood-altering drugs and violent debaucheries. Ellis was viewed as the voice of a new generation and critics dubbed the book as "the first MTV novel". On the film, Less Than Zero, "I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I sold the rights, but I didn’t even know they were making it until right before it came out. I got a call from my agency about a check that had been sent to me. I said, “Well, that’s a big check. What’s it for?” My agent said, “Oh, they’re making the book into a movie.” And I said, “Well, no one told me.” The movie came together very quickly. It was shot and released quickly too." What did you think of it? "Well, it was undeniably exciting that someone had adapted my book into an art form that I love. Of course, the experience was also distressing because the movie had nothing to do with the temperament, the scenes, the dialogue — nothing to do with what the book was actually about. They’re completely different experiences. Although I like the way the movie was shot, and I like some of the music. I like Robert Downey Jr. in it, even though that character doesn’t really exist in the book. It was jarring to see the first time." -Bret Easton Ellis Index Magazine 2001
From the film soundtrack:
Hazy Shade Of Winter by The Bangles
Life Fades Away by Roy Orbison
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Slayer.

This tale of privileged college students at their self- absorbed and childish worst is the very book that countless students have dreamed of writing at their most self-absorbed and childish moments. Through a series of brief first-person accounts, the novel chronicles one term at a fictional New England college, with particular emphasis on a decidedly contemporary love triangle (one woman and two men) in which all possible combinations have been explored, and each pines after the one who's pining after the other. (Publishers Weekly 1987) From the film soundtrack:
Rise by Public Image Limited
Sunday Girl by Blondie

Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom.(Library Journal 1991)
There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.

Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Take the lyrics to "Land of Confusion". In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. "In Too Deep" is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like "In the Air Tonight" and "Against All Odds". But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite. Sussudio (Live) by Phil Collins.

Patrick Bateman on Huey Lewis and the News
Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when "Sports" came out in '83,I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor. In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News

Bateman on Whitney Houston.
Did you know that Whitney Houston's debut LP, called simply Whitney Houston had 4 number one singles on it? It’s hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks, but "The Greatest Love of All" is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation, dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves. Since it's impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important message, crucial really. And it's beautifully stated on the album. Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston.

Ellis on the American Psycho film, "I think the movie got pretty close to the temperament of the book. But the film is a lighter, flashier, funnier, not as hard-to-take experience. It’s not as cruel and not as violent, obviously."
From the film soundtrack.
Watching Me Fall (Underdog Remix) by The Cure
True Faith by New Order
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dope
Something In The Air (American Psycho Remix) by David Bowie


Post a Comment

<< Home