Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The Rum Diary

Bruce Robinson is an interesting and humorous man, his early "Withnail & I" film was a bit of a "phase" I went through at high-school, if you could call a film a phase. I guess they were right when they said it made sense that the college students made "Withnail & I" the cult classic it is today - the major cinemas wouldn't touch it! So, my friend and I would dart about in long coats, quoting parts of the film and sneaking into pubs underage for Guinness.

I think Richard E Grant in this film got me smoking cigarettes, which is ironic really having found out many years later (We didn't have quick access to information via the Internet, so stumbling across magazine articles was one of the only ways to be informed) that Richard didn't smoke (Nor drink) and the cigarettes he smokes in the movie are actually herbal cigarettes. However Bruce Robinson does drink and smoke (His autobiography is called: Smoking In Bed: Conversations With Bruce Robinson), so in the end, all is well.

Bruce at first tried his hand at acting, and did pretty well at it too. Appearing in Ken Russell's "The Music Lovers", Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" and François Truffaut's "Histoire d'Adèle H., L'". Apparently the actors life was not for him, therefore "Withnail & I" casts a pretty grim picture of it either way.

The other film of interest by Bruce Robinson is "How to Get Ahead in Advertising" which I found to be a really good film. Once again the lead played by Richard E Grant, the film is unusual enough to cater for my tastes. It's about an advertising executive who grows an extra head.

The film, The Killing Fields, of which Bruce Robinson wrote the screenplay and was nominated for an Oscar I haven't seen.

The next project makes Bruce Robinson's career even more interesting. The Rum Diary based on the novel by Hunter S Thompson and starring once again in a Hunter adaptation, Johnny Depp. I am at odds to what is going on in Tinsel Town with these choices of adapting Hunter S Thompson's work. First there was Terry Gilliam who struggles to even get telephone conversation time with the major studios, and now Bruce Robinson the quiet and unassuming British cult film writer/director. I am looking forward to this, as I thought Gilliam was a perfect candidate for doing Gonzo, Bruce Robinson certainly is too.

So who is going to write the screenplay and direct Prince Jellyfish? Lars von Trier? John Waters?

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