Monday, December 3, 2007

Hearts And Jungles

Believe it or not, Joseph Conrad would have been 150 years old this year. And believe it or not, this writer, whose works rank among the greatest in the literary world, only learnt the English language when he was in his 20s! He once admitted that his written English was far better than his spoken one.

And why did I bring all this up? Because while reading about it here, I was reminded of U-Wei Hj Shaari. I know what you're thinking - that I should be reminded of Francis Ford Coppola instead. Unfortunately, the making-of documentary for Apocalypse Now turned out to be infinitely more interesting than the film itself! (One other film with the same situation, that I can think of, is Philip Noyce's Rabbit Proof Fence.)

And because of Conrad, this thread of memories leads me inevitably to celebrate once again the DVD release of Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, despite the title being overly melodramatic. Long overdue release, like Werner Herzog's hilarious documentary about the Loch Ness monster, which I happened to catch while lying in my hospital bed (someone re-release it, please!).

Why U-Wei? Because some years ago, he divulged that he would be making a film of Almayer's Folly, Conrad's first novel, also a story set on a river, in the Borneo jungles, involving Sulus, Dayaks and Arabs. It would have been a visually arresting film, and in U-Wei's hands, would have been interesting to see what and how it turns out.

The most interesting bit? Harvey Keitel was said to have expressed interest in the project. We haven't heard anything about the project since 2004, but hopefully it's still on.

Finally, why's everyone so obsessed with what The Joker looks like? First there was the Empire magazine cover that was leaked, and now this.

People seriously need to relax. Sheesh.

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