Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When the Author is the Superstar

One of the more interesting and strange films I saw this year at TIFF was Horns. To say it was unusual is an understatement and while I'm glad I saw it, I'm not positive I'd widely recommend it.

But whether or not I loved it, isn't really what I want to talk about.

The film was showing in a relatively small venue for TIFF. Less than a thousand seat theatre for sure. And it's kind of an odd/awkward theatre where it's impossible/difficult to shield the film stars from the audience. And Daniel Radcliffe was in this movie. So... they had a bunch of uniformed police standing in the aisle--I've never seen that. Even for Brad Pitt, or Jennifer Lopez. I assume the cops were there ready to pounce on anyone who tried to pounce on Radcliffe.

Thing is... this wasn't the type of film that would draw a big Harry Potter fan club contingent. Nor would it draw the screaming teen girl types. Sure, people clapped for him when he came up on stage before and after the film...

But who did this crowd go gaga for? Joe Hill.

And Joe Hill is the author of the book on which the film is based. And at least half of the questions from the audience during the Q&A were directed at Hill. I thought this was kind of cool.

Juno Temple, Daniel Radcliffe, Joe Hill -- Q&A after world premiere of Horns
Now, of course, I do wonder if he'd have such ardent fans if his dad wasn't Stephen King... (doesn't he look uncannily like him?) but still... It's not often that the writer gets the rockstar treatment at a film screening. Joss Whedon does. Stan Lee, I guess... But it's not that often that people get as excited about the writers as they do the actors.

Now, Horns... Hmmm.. How do I describe this film.

Radcliffe and the female lead, (Juno Temple), insisted it's a love story/romance, during the Q&A after the film. And I suppose that's true at it's core in the end. But to reveal that is a bit of a spoiler. And if someone goes expecting a romance... well, they're going to be shocked by a lot of other things in this movie.

The story starts with a young man, who's being hounded by the press and public, because he's been accused of the brutal murder of his girlfriend. But he can't remember the night in question at all. At first he thinks he didn't do it. But it's clear that even his mother thinks he's guilty, and he starts to crack up.

Soon, the audience starts to doubt him too, especially when, um, he starts to grow horns from the front of his forehead. And then other characters start confessing really terrible things to him and/or asking his permission to do unspeakable things. And I guess we're supposed to believe that he's the devil at this point? But that's the part of the story I never really understood in the end... Because, well, let's just say I didn't understand why or if he was the devil. The plot takes some twists and it's not as simple as that.

Okay, maybe I am recommending it. For the adventurous film goer, anyway.

Although, based on my quick glance at IMDB, it doesn't look like this film has a distributor yet, so you might never get the chance... :(

At least I got to see it, and to see an author being treated like a movie star.

And an addendum... Speaking of authors getting the star treatment: Here is a snap of our Miss Molly reading from Wild Child Monday night.

Is there an author or screenwriter or TV writer you'd give the movie star treatment to?


Stephanie Doyle said...

Aaron Sorkin. I would squee like a girl seeing the Beatles for the first time if I walked into a room with Aaron Sorkin.

Then I would start trying to talk to him, REALLY FAST, to see if I could keep up with him.

Simone St. James said...

I admit I'd be pretty darned excited to see Joe Hill. What can I say, I've been following him on Twitter for years, along with 200,000 other people.

I love to see writers treated like celebrities. That's cool!

Eileen said...

I'm with Steph. I'd swoon over Sorkin. We watched the last episode of the second season of The Newsroom and I'm not sure how I'm going to wait for summer 2014 for season 3.

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