Filming Further

1. According to Rolling Stone, Gus Van Sant’s film version of Tom Wolfe’s 60s-culture classic The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test will start shooting soon, and may feature Jack Black (bad idea) or Woody Harrelson (slightly better) as novelist and psychological adventurer Ken Kesey. Woody Harrelson might actually make more sense in the role of Beat legend Neal Cassady, who drove the bus called Further during the real-life cross-country journey chronicled in Wolfe’s book. He seems too old to play then-young Ken Kesey in this story, while Jack Black would have to severely rein in his comic instincts to avoid overpowering the role. I hope Gus Van Sant knows what he’s doing here.

2. Meanwhile, George Murray of BookNinja gives a hopeful nod to Steve Jacobs’ soon-to-be-released film version of J. M. Coetzee’s powerful Disgrace, starring John Malkovich.

3. A Bertrand Russell comic? Okay, though Russell was mostly bested by his star student Ludwig Wittgenstein.

4. The story of William Warder Norton, founder of the influential book publishing firm that bears his name.

5. Philip K. Dick and Jack Spicer.

6. Denis Johnson’s newest novel is called Nobody Move.

7. The earlist known dust jacket for a book has been found.

8. New Directions has a blog.

8 Responses

  1. Jack Black’s the right age
    Jack Black’s the right age but I’ll bet he’s clueless. How about Val Kilmer as Tom Wolfe–or Thomas Wolfe?

  2. Your statement is not
    Your statement is not logical.

    How was Russel bested by Wittgenstein? It’s like saying Zubiri bested Ortega y Gasset. Philosophy is not about being bested it’s about discernment.

  3. You know, on second thought,
    You know, on second thought, Jack Black *could* be great in the role if he played it straight. I don’t think Kesey was a demonstrative guy, though, and “demonstrative” is what Jack Black does. I bet he has read the source material, though.

    Leonard, I guess I was mainly referring to Russell’s highly structured and logical approach to meaning and language. I do admire Russell’s stances on many issues, especially political and social ones. You’re right that I shouldn’t be so dismissive, though I wasn’t actually aware that Russell still had some fans around.

  4. Is the revitalised Mickey
    Is the revitalised Mickey Rourke a consideration? Jack Black’s to door framed. Val Kilmer, why not go the whole hog with Brad Pitt.
    A complete unknown could be an option.

  5. Jack Black might know a thing
    Jack Black might know a thing or two about lsd but i think there’d be a lotta dead heads turnin’ in their graves if it happened.

    Mickey Rourke could kill the script, burn it, shit on it, flush it down the toilet, and bring it back to life again on screen, I’m thunkin…

  6. Fifteen or twenty years ago I
    Fifteen or twenty years ago I would have picked Woody Harrelson to portray Ken Kesey and Micky Rourke as Neal Cassady.

    The way Wolfe describes Kesey, athletic “aw, shucks” midwesterner, I picture Matthew McConaughey. People will probably disagree with me because McConaughey is in a lot of (for lack of a better term) chick flicks, but who knows if he can rise to a great notion.

    Generally, for Beat film projects like On the Road or Electric Koolaid Acid Tests, I think unknowns may be the best way to go (as long as they are really good!)

  7. Bah, what would you know
    Bah, what would you know Billy? And anyway there’s already been a movie made about Neal Cassady – chronicling his days in Denver to his death in Mexico. It’s called Neal Cassady and features a cast of unknowns…

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