Profiles, Novels and Film

Publisher’s Weekly interviewed me recently for a profile piece. You can read the online version here. My friend Angie Hunt and Tracey Bateman are also profiled. In fact, this edition contains an entire section on Christian fiction, and for those who enjoy novels with Christian themes it’s worth examining. For example, you can find out about five brand new novelists, and there’s a very informative article on the surge in Christian films since Mel Gibson’s phenomenal success with The Passion. Looks like we can expect quite a few more film adaptations of Christion themed novels in the near future. I just hope the quality is there, having seen some poor reviews of a few recent offerings, which apparently did not rise to the level of the novels.

Speaking of motion pictures, let me recommend two fairly low budget films, both of which have recently hit the shelves at my local video store:

First, there’s Copying Beethoven. Ed Harris does a remarkable job in this picture. It might be the best work he’s done, and he’s a fine actor so that’s really saying something. I think he should have gotten as Oscar. And the script . . . oh, my. There’s a scene where Beethoven describes music as God’s voice, and musicians as those who take down His dictation. As a writer, I loved that perspective on art.

Beethoven describes his relationship with God, saying they were two grouchy bears in a den too small for both. How many of us feel that way sometimes? I certainly do.

And there’s a fabulous scene near the end when Beethoven lies on his death bed and dictates a fugue to his assistant, beginning in strictly musical terms and ending with a lyrical description of entering heaven . . . it’s just pure magic on several levels. I don’t know anything about Rivele or Wilkinson (the screenwriters) but someone behind this picture knows the Lord. (For those who might be uncomfortable with such things, there is one scene in Copying Beethoven where a bottom is briefly exposed, but it’s certainly not gratuitous.)

Then, there’s Ten Items or Less. While it doesn’t touch on humanity’s relationship to God as overtly as Copying Beethoven, it may do a better job with that whole “love you neighbor as yourself” thing. Ten Items or Less stars Morgan Freeman as you’ve never seen him before: light hearted and playful. The female lead is Paz Vega, who is also very good, and it was written and directed by Brad Silberling, who has a long TV directing career but only one other picture to his credit, that Lemony Snicket thing. It’s about an actor with a career on the skids who meets a clerk in a Latino grocery while checking out a location for a film. The clerk and the actor are from totally different worlds, but they end up spending the whole day together, and because of the chemistry between them (not romantic, just a connection, you know?) they inspire each other to step up and do something about their lives. That’s it; the entire plot. But the acting! The dialogue! Wow. I was alone when I watched it. I gave it a round of applause anyway.

Do yourself a favor. Read the PW online articles and rent these pictures.

Posted byAthol Dickson at 10:49 AM  

4 comments:

BJ said... May 24, 2007 at 3:04 PM  

Loved Copying Beethoven, Athol! Thought Ed Harris was absolutely brilliant, and of course the music was enough to make the movie a success. I'd never heard of it--just chose it because of the music connection. We thoroughly enjoyed it--will probably watch it again.

BJ

Angela said... May 24, 2007 at 3:07 PM  

Hey! I just blogged on Copying Beethoven, too! You know what they say about great minds . . . tee hee. I loved it, too.

Angie

Athol said... May 24, 2007 at 4:04 PM  

Angie, I just saw your blog on Copying Beethoven was posted on "Friday, May 25." You're in Florida and I'm in California, so maybe that explains it, but according to the calendar here, it's still Thursday the 24th. I guess they added a few time zones between here and there while I wasn't paying attention. Ha!

Glad you enjoyed Copying Beethoven. Let me know what you think of Ten Items or Less, and thanks for dropping by!

Rachel Hauck said... May 24, 2007 at 7:57 PM  

Congrats on being in Pub Weekly.

Rachel

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