The Goldfinch review Donna Tartt adaptation settles for silver

An elegantly made attempt to transport the Pulitzer prize-winning novel to the screen boasts a strong cast but a confused emotional focus Is Donna Tartts Pulitzer prize-wining novel The Goldfinch unadaptable? Is it possible to condense 784 globetrotting pages of romance, terrorism, grief, drug addiction and art world espionage into a coherent and dramatically satisfying movie? After 149 minutes of Brooklyn director John Crowleys much-anticipated, and much-feared, attempt, the answer appears to be shrug emoji? Because its neither a rousing success nor an embarrassing failure, falling somewhere in between, closer to admirable attempt. Most importantly, its nowhere near the ungainly mess some had expected, its many, many moving parts stitched together with an elegant hand and unlike some weighty adaptations, …

From Little Women to Dickinson: how modernised should adaptations be?

Recent trailers for Greta Gerwigs take on Louisa May Alcott and Hailee Steinfeld as a punk rock Emily Dickinson suggest a resurgence for 1860s literary women The girls of the 1860s appear to be having a moment. Two weeks ago, the trailer for Greta Gerwigs adaptation of Little Women featuring a stacked cast including Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothee Chalamet dropped with much fanfare, depending on your cultural circle. The Lady Bird directors take on Louisa May Alcotts classic novel, first published in 1868, seems ready to breathe a modern, candid air into the story of four sisters confronting change and (often thwarted) ambition during the Civil War. In the trailer, Ronan, as Jo March …

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Ive lost people very dear to me through addiction

The film-maker on adapting James Freys controversial rehab memoir A Million Little Pieces Since leaving the art world to become a film-maker, Sam Taylor-Johnson has shown impressive range. Her debut feature film, Nowhere Boy (2009), was a tender depiction of John Lennons childhood. She followed it with the less tender Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015. Now shes back with A Million Little Pieces, an adaptation of James Freys scandalous semi-memoir about his rehab after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. Taylor-Johnson co-wrote the screenplay with her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who also stars in the film. They live, most of the time, in Los Angeles. You read A Million Little Pieces when it came out in 2003. It obviously …

JD Salinger estate finally agrees to ebook editions

Authors son explains that wish for accessibility has persuaded trustees to look past his fathers dislike of digital media After years of refusing to allow publishers to digitise his works, the estate of JD Salinger has announced that the authors famously small body of work will be published as ebooks for the first time. Salingers son Matt said that the author had always valued accessibility, but preferred the experience of reading a physical book. The Catcher in the Rye author, who died in 2010 at the age of 91, also hated the internet; Matt And in 2009, Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury told the New York Times: They wanted to put a book of mine on Yahoo! You know what …

From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re spellbound by ‘witcherature’

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist … witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spell A witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to quote the novelist #MeToo world, where Donald Trump a fan of the term witch-hunt is US president, it is really no surprise that female writers are examining the role of the witch in new ways. Since Trumps election, which inspired mass spell-casting by thousands of resistance witches (the selection of judge Circe, Millers reimagining of the story of the witch from the Odyssey. Shortlisted for the Womens prize and soon to become an HBO series, the novel sees Circe, a victim of rape, turn …

Monsters, men and magic: why feminists turned to witchcraft to oppose Trump

Whether its hexing the president, chatting in WhatsApp covens or featuring in TV reboots, radicalised women have been finding strength in the ancient pagan arts This is the time for getting scary, the writer Andi Zeisler told Elle magazine on the eve of the 2017 Womens March. We need to go full witch. At the dawn of the Trump administration, witches were suddenly everywhere in the US. Neo-pagans used blogs and social media to circulate popular rituals for hexing Brett Kavanaugh (accused of sexual assault, which he denies), and Donald Trump himself. The Trump curse was enacted by thousands of people, including the singer Lana Del Rey. Basic Witches, in which they explained: If you speak when youre told to …

Panic Attack review: a wake-up call the woke won’t read

Tagging Robby Soaves book with a Tucker Carlson quote is a mistake he makes a good case for the virtues of free speech When a member of the American Nazi party spoke at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1964, he did so at the invitation of a leftwing student group. As a stunt to promote the event part of a series which also featured Malcolm X, the conservative according to the feminist scholar Jo Freeman, and no one tried to stop them speaking. Debates about what the speakers had said, not whether they should have been allowed to say it, dominated student bull sessions for days. Contrast that episode with another recounted by the libertarian journalist American Civil Liberties …

A WIRED Booklovers Guide to the Moon

This story is part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Humanity had yet to set foot on the moon in 1968, but Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke were already envision­ing commercial space liners and a lunar research base on the big screen. Like many sci-fi films, 2001: A Space Odyssey undershot the timeline a bit. It’s been nearly 48 years since human beings last left low-Earth orbit to visit the moon’s surface, but if you’ve sensed a resurgence in spacebound hopefulness, you’re not a lunatic. At the annual meeting of the National Space Council in March, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return to the moon within the next five years, and …

‘I felt kind of promiscuous’: Gemma Arterton on Vita and Virginia

With director Chanya Button, the star has made an ambitious drama about the passionate Bloomsbury love affair. They talk about female desire and the rise in lesbian romances on screen Chanya Button are frolicking for the camera in a female-only London club. Behave as if you would normally, orders the photographer. We could cuddle up, quips Arterton, but that would give the wrong impression. She has just rushed up from Chichester, where she is staying with her boyfriend Rory Keenan, while he performs in a play. Its a reminder if any were needed that both women are busy, busy, busy. They have arrived late, creating a comic road-drama of their own as their respective assistants monitored their cars converging from …

8 Essential Books in the Queer Comics Canon

More than a decade ago, when Batwoman was reimagined as a gay character, it was a big deal. She was a woman in comics who dated and danced with other women, experienced heartbreak, and went through many of the mundanities of relationships that queer people aren't often afforded in mainstream media. Katherine "Kate" Kane was revolutionary. She was, and is, also not alone. LGBTQ+ people are now featured in a lot of comics. In fact, when it comes to queer representation, the Marvel and DC movies and television shows are pretty far behind their paperback counterparts. Batwoman is only just now getting a her own show, and Marvel is promising that a gay character is coming, but such a character …

Catch-22: has George Clooney broken the curse of the unfilmable novel?

Its a modern American classic, but Joseph Hellers fractured story has defied suitable translation on to the screen until now Fans of the unfilmable novel must be having a terrible time of it now. In the last three weeks alone, two of the most notorious examples have made their way to screen. Admittedly one Amazons Good Omens functions as a pretty watertight argument for never trying to adapt an unfilmable book. But the other is Catch-22, and that functions as an equally watertight argument to the contrary. I have to admit that I didnt see this coming. Throughout its gestation, the Catch-22 series seemed like an almighty act of hubris; as if Hulu, still drunk on the success of The …

Judith Krantz, sex-and-shopping novelist, dies at 91

The bestselling author behind bonkbusters such as Scruples and Princess Daisy has died at her home in Los Angeles Judith Krantz, who chronicled the sex and shopping of the super-rich and super-beautiful in bestselling novels from Scruples to Princess Daisy, has died at the age of 91. The American writer, who sold more than 85m copies of her 10 novels in more than 50 languages, died at her Bel Air home from natural causes, surrounded by her family, friends and dogs, she liked the capital letters went to Wellesley College and wrote for womens magazines including Cosmopolitan on subjects such as The Myth of the Multiple Orgasm. She turned to fiction at the age of 50 with Scruples. This story …

Ill never be a cute object… Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace on bank heists, sexism and loving England

As her latest film, The Captor, is released, the star of the Millennium trilogy tells why shes determined to portray women taking control of their lives Noomi Rapace found fame across the world playing the fearless Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. The films based on the Millennium thrillers are now a decade behind the Swedish actress, who went on to co-star with Michael Fassbender, Glenn Close, Tom Hardy and Will Smith in a succession of Hollywood blockbusters. Yet, Rapace says, the fighting spirit of the heroine of the late affecting the state of Louisiana, Rapace was working in New Orleans. I was so upset to be in the city. It is so backwards and so …

The Wizard of Oz at 80: how the world fell under its dark spell

The 1939 classic has inspired everyone from David Lynch to Salman Rushdie. Novelist and super-fan Luiza Sauma explores why the films message about home still holds such power Eighty years ago, in the summer of 1939, 16-year-old Judy Garland appeared on cinema screens as the orphan Dorothy Gale, dreaming of escape from bleak, monochrome Kansas. Find yourself a place where you wont get into any trouble, her aunt beseeches, too busy for poor old Dorothy, who soon breaks into song: Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue / And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. Her wish is soon granted by a tornado that carries her to the gaudy, Technicolor Land of Oz, instilling her …

Denis Villeneuve Is Working On a Dune TV Series

Hello! Welcome to another edition of The Monitor, WIRED's pop culture roundup. What's happening in the news today? Plenty, actually: Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve is working on a Dune television show in addition to his Dune movie; the cowriter of Coco is about to go to Narnia; and Facebook is commissioning even more shows. Let’s tune in. There's a New Dune Series in the Works For those who just can't get enough Dune, we have some good news. In addition to the new film set to be released in 2020, WarnerMedia announced this week that it is also working on a companion series for its streaming service. Titled Dune: The Sisterhood, the show will focus on the mysterious …

Goodbye X-MenYou Flawed, Frustrating Cinematic Revolution

The 1990s were a weird time if you liked comic books. A speculation boom and subsequent bust wiped away shops and publishers alike, and even Marvel—yes, Marvel—filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Yet the 1990s were even weirder if you wanted to see comic books on the big screen. Dick Tracy. The Rocketeer. The Phantom. Spawn. Judge Dredd. Jim Carrey in The Mask. Wesley Snipes as Blade. Even the Batman saga, which Tim Burton had kicked off with such promise, sputtered into garish weirdness. By 1999, moviegoers looking for something adapted from sequential art had their choice of exactly one film: Mystery Men, an ensemble comedy with a peripheral connection to an oddity called Flaming Carrot Comics. Graeme McMillan 5 Comics …