My Old Lady: Complete Stage Play and Screenplay with an Essay on Adaptation

Three Rooms. 2016. 334p. ISBN 9781941110362. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781941110379. THEATER
Playwright and screenwriter Horovitz (The Indian Wants the Bronx; Park Your Car in Harvard Yard; TV movie James Dean) bookends his treatise on adaptation for the screen with the script (which marked his film directing debut) for My Old Lady. Prompted by his desire to write and direct a love letter to Paris, Horovitz illuminates the process of adapting spoken drama for film and provides lessons for students and practitioners of both forms. It is the function of film to show; of a stage play, to describe. Copious examples are included of the rearrangements of his 2002 stage production that were made to accommodate the liberating properties of film. A contradiction is noted, though, in the author's claim about everyday life. On one page, he writes that plays and movies "slow life down to a comprehensible speed so that we…can understand in art what we may not be able to understand in life—because life passes too quickly." Later, he suggests that "real life passes slowly…stage plays and films have to compress time."
VERDICT For libraries that serve students of writing for film and stage.
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