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Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope: All-Story
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156011107, Paperback)In his introduction to Zoetrope: All-Story, Francis Ford Coppola explains exactly what possessed him to start a literary magazine. Emphasizing what should be an obvious point--a good movie requires a good story--the acclaimed director laments the lowbrow sensibility of motion-picture studios, pointing out that "none of them that I know of devote serious resources to the cultivation of literary work." Hollywood has a hallowed tradition of slapping together screenplays based on flimsy pitches ("It's like Babe meets Angela's Ashes"). In contrast, Coppola has his own humble request for "good writing, good characters, and intriguing stories that spellbind us, but also teach us about life."
The collection opens with Sara Powers's captivating story about commitment and doubt, in which a sporting couple agrees to experiment with selective lying (at the rate of three falsehoods per conversation). Amy Bloom's "The Gates Are Closing" is a vivid, funny, and typically touching story about a woman having an affair with her synagogue president's ailing husband. Still, the most amusing tale--and the one that may resonate loudest with struggling writers--is "Thinning the Herd." In Peter Lefcourt's comic fantasia, the narrator interviews one Warren David Warren (a.k.a. "Son of Shakespeare"), a self-proclaimed "revisionist literary Darwinian" who slaughters authors whose work he finds abominable. Defending the murder of a prolific bestselling scribe, Warren makes his case: "He kept spewing them out. Like rabbit turds. Who did he think he was--Trollope?" There may in fact be a glut of writers. But within the boundaries of this collection, at least, their stories are superb--and many of them would make great cinema. --Brangien Davis
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:34 -0400)
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