Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Has Died

Sadly, Kurt Vonnegut passed away last night. He was 84.

Films of Vonnegut tned to be rather underwhelming, certainly in comparison to the source material. Slaughterhouse Five made for a fine film, in truth, but it feels rather tangled, light and blunt when held up against the source novel.

Keith Gordon's Mother Night would be my recommended tribute viewing. Not least because the film is seldom discussed, but because the book has been a little overlooked too. The adaptation into a screenplay - by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Robert Weide - is the most successful translation of Vonnegut's Vonnegutness to the big screen. It's like getting punched hard, but in a way that somehow makes you laugh and this laughter just encourages another of these funny punches... and another... and another...

Campbell, played by Nick Nolte in Mother Night quotes Anne Frank. I think this was an important idea to Vonnegut, so I'm going to quote it too.

"In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart."

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