Miranda July is the writer and director of 2005’s Me and You and Everyone We Know. An independent character driven film that tells the story of people’s intersecting lives. The film elucidates the themes of hope, loneliness, and identity. Her short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You (Scribner, 2007) touches on many of the same themes. Though not similar outwardly, I envision July’s book as adaptable as Raymond Carver’s stories, in the Robert Altman film, Short Cuts. These stories contain tales of human emotion that lean toward young hipsters. I’d like to see Maggie and Jake Gyllenhall, as well as Michael Cera and Ellen Paige cast in lead roles with an additional cameo by July herself who is an accomplished performance artist.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran-Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel deals with the aftermath of the attacks on the Towers at the World Trade Center in New York York City on Spetember 11, 2001. Much like his previous novel, Everything is Illuminated, which was made into a film starring Elijah Wood. ELAIC the novel is structured like a carousel of changing points of view including that of a boy named Oskar Schell and his grandparents who are survivors of the bombing of Dresden, Germany in World War II.
ELAIC is remarkable because of it’s experimental approach to the novel as a form, incorporating pictures and post-modern writing styles similar to novelist Dave Eggers and his quarterly McSweenys. It’s realization as a film would best be executed with a child star in the vein of Haley Joel Osment playing Oskar and perennial sage Alan Arkin playing his grandfather.
In The Lake of The Woods, Tim O’Brien
Tim O’Brien is best known for his short story collection, The Things They Carried, a fictionalization of his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. His 1995 novel In The Lake of Woods, reads like it was written for the screen. Telling the story of a failed senatorial candidacy in Minnesota. In The Lake of The Woods is the tale of love and lives coming apart as we learn new details of John Wade, the candidate’s, true life story and experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. By the stories end we are left wondering what happened to the once upstanding community member. Ed Harris would be the best cast male lead as the failed candidate Wade with Laura Linney providing backup as his wife, Kathy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Wade’s slimy campaign manager.