Now A Major Motion Picture

Todd McEwen

Print on demand? Bah. E-books? Fuck you. None of these high-falutin pansy-ass would-be ‘technologies’ are going to save literature. Look at it. The book is practically dead—that almost unbelievably perfect human-made thing which brought literature into being, nurtured it, and proudly and beautifully published it to the world for centuries? The only way left to us to preserve all the thought, all that beauty that went before, which we ride around on like a shit-stained kiddy-kar, is to MAKE MOVIES OF IT? Oh, we’re looking forward to that.

The Wealth of Nations 1938 dir. Ernst Lubitsch. Leslie Howard, Edward Arnold. In 1780 London, a bewigged coffee-house bore tells everyone what to do.

Das Kapital 1950 dir. Erich von Stroheim. Ernest Borgnine, Robert Coote (as Engels). In 1890 London, an enormous German terrorizes the Establishment with his boils.

Hiawatha 1955 dir. John Ford. Jack Palance, Marlene Dietrich. A man of Chippewa descent is driven mad by rhythmic pounding.

The Prelude 1940 dir. Jean Renoir. David Niven, Margaret Lockwood. Failing to think only of his sister, a north of England man steals a boat and goes to college.

The Raw and the Cooked 1960 dir. Howard Hawks. John Wayne, Sidney Poitier. On safari, a white hunter realizes he does not understand the significance of dinner.

The Origin of Species 1960 dir. George Cukor. Rex Harrison, Trevor Howard, Sabu. A bored aristocrat sails to the South Seas, where he tells animals what to do.

The Theory of the Leisure Class 1955 dir. Billy Wilder. Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Angie Dickinson. Four philosophers visit Las Vegas and learn how to relax.

Mein Kampf 1947 dir. Henry Koster. Peter Lorre, Ginger Rogers. A ne’er-do-well Austrian artist finds the meaning of life.

The State and Revolution 1931 dir. King Vidor. Charles Middleton, Joan Blondell. A diminutive Russian has plans to dominate the earth but is filled with embalming fluid instead.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking 1960 dir. Jean-Luc Godard. Jayne Mansfield, Jean-Paul Belmondo. In occupied France, a dizzy WAC discovers a sauce that fights Nazism.

Baby and Child Care 1968 dir. Russ Meyer. Leo G. Carroll, Jerry Mathers, Patty Duke, Jay North, Oliver North. A mad doctor finds he has reared a nation of narcissistic monsters.

Civilization and Its Discontents 1940 dir. René Clair. Fred MacMurray, Greta Garbo, Robert Benchley (as Jung). A timid European doctor is haunted by his own penis.

See also the musical sequel:
Vienna Holiday 1950 dir. Victor Fleming. William Powell, Sonja Henie. After a scary dream, Dr Freud falls in love with a pretty skater.

Paradise Lost 1947 TECHNICOLOR dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Don Ameche, Loretta Young. In Yellowstone National Park, a blind, psychotic forest-ranger frames a newlywed couple for littering.

Seven Types of Ambiguity 1965 dir. John Ford, Jean-Luc Godard, Woody Allen, John Cassavetes, Otto Preminger, Roman Polanski, Cecil B. De Mille. Bob Hope, Anna Magnani, James Mason, Judy Garland. Four wacky intellectual castaways keep warm by knitting amazing neck beards.

Wittgenstein’s Nephew 1998 dir. Charles Crichton. Matt Damon, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Two wacky invalids discuss philosophy and get wheeled around a hospital.

The Cantos 1947 dir. Douglas Sirk. Adolphe Menjou, Linda Darnell. A caged poet dreams of better days.

Hunter’s Moon
Best of Young American Novelists 2: Introduction