Friday, October 13, 2017

Saturday on Rare Book Cafe: Book to Film

“Making a movie from a book is like trying to make a bouillon cube from a whole cow,” he summed up.

Sometimes one has to wonder what producers and writers thought they wanted to make a movie of, or if they even read the book. Peter Cameron and Michael Chabon’s masterful novels, The Weekend, and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, were turned inside out by film treatment that turned their central- and gay- characters into macguffins. Both disappeared, justly, without a trace.

P.L. Travers, the Mary Poppins author, found her dealings with Walt Disney’s relentless 27-year campaign to get the film rights arduous enough, but the making of the movie so life force-draining she forbade any adaptations of any other books in the series (Disney, who found her equally trying, didn’t invite her to the premiere until she shamed him into it). Another British author, P.G. Wodehouse, moved to Hollywood in the 1930s on a studio writing contract, was given nothing to write, and spent a glorious summer alternating between lolling on the beach and cranking out several more Bertie Wooster novels.

It’s a fraught business, the book-to-film journey. This Saturday, Rare Book Cafe considers it in a variety of aspects. Co-host Thorne Donnelley, whose parents worked in Hollywood, will draw on his experiences as a kid in the colony and a bookseller; co-host Steve Eisenstein's life has mingled both stage productions and book sales. Ephemera expert Kara Accettola will roll out promo materials and other publications from the silent film era and the golden age of the thirties. And miniature books master Edie Eisenstein will have new things, both fascinating and small. Join us!


Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at

No comments:

Post a Comment