David Mamet to Adapt The Diary of Anne Frank Once Again
by Brandon Lee Tenney
August 11, 2009
Acclaimed filmmaker David Mamet (House of Games, Homicide, Heist, Redbelt) is set to write and direct a new rendition of The Diary of Anne Frank. According to Variety, Disney (of all studios) has recently acquired the rights to the 15-year-old Holocaust victim's diary first published in English in 1952. The film is going to be an amalgamation of Frank's own writings, Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich's stage play, and (of course) Mamet's own original take on the material. Supposedly, this take may explore the young girl's right of passage. Now, I'm no fan of David Mamet. At least not when he's sitting in the director's chair…
He's written a couple of my favorite films -- The Verdict and The Untouchables - and he even wrote The Edge, which, you've got to admit, is a classic. But when Mamet retains complete control, both writing and directing, it's all a bit too much. What some call terse and clever dialogue, I call stilted and unbelievable. And as for subtlety - yeah, about that. So, pairing Mamet with material that demands a soft brush and giving him free reign to interpret an iconic story of hope and courage that, to this day, stands as a testament to an entire people's strength and hope at large - it just doesn't mesh. But that's just me. What about you?
Reader Feedback - 6 Comments
I agree completely with your take on Mamet. the butt of some of the greatest jokes were created because of "The Diary of Anne Frank" I wouldn't be surprised if this movie ended the same way and gets laughed out of the theaters. honestly do you think anyone really needs to hear this story again? i sure as hell don't, like everyone else in white suburbia I was forced to read this book every 40min.
DoomCanoe on Aug 12, 2009
I think this could be genius. And i completely commend Disney. With Christmas Carol, Alice, Tron, and this they really seem to be stepping up their game.
CG on Aug 12, 2009
Nothing wrong with the original so why do it? What could Mamet possibly add to the story that holds any relevance? As for DoonCanoe's objection, his comments are exactly why people should be encouraged to read it. As for white suburbia being forced to read it, that's a load of crap unless he lived in China, USSR, etc, when he was in school. I went to school and no one in my school was forced to read it, we were encouraged, but certainly not forced. I'm not Jewish and frankly don't know anyone who is, but if you ask me The Diary of Anne Frank and Schindler's List should be mandatory in school because if they were, the world would be a more tolerable place to live. But that's just my opinion.
Mark on Aug 12, 2009
Are you joking????? The Edge a classic? His films are great and usually universally loved by critics and the higher brow audience...of course they aren't for everyone, but if you enjoy a great screenplay, his films are wonderful...Have you seen Glengarry Glenross? I know he didn't direct that one, but the film is purely Mamet...then Heist was also great, same with Redbelt, House of Games, Spanish Prisoner(wonderful villainous turn by Steve Martin btw), Spartan with Val Kilmer was also pretty damn solid. He is a great screenwriter but I think a lot of people would agree with me, he's a truly gifted director. Watch some of his older stuff, you'll see what I'm talking about.
LINKFX on Aug 12, 2009
Man, I get tricked every time!!! I was reading this and was all impressed with Alex's diction and proper statements a piece of infamous literature that does not deserve to be tarnish, then I see who wrote this. Secondly, Spartan? Seriously?
Tra la la la la di da on Aug 12, 2009
LINKFX -- I do hope you know that I called The Edge "a classic" facetiously. Seriously, though -- Sean Connery. And a bear GETS STABBED WITH A SPEAR. Classic. Also, I've seen most of Mamet's work. There are *always* moments of greatness in his films, but for me and my tastes, they never click as a whole, complete experience. Mark -- You should make some Jewish friends. Mensches we are. (Great comment, though. Everyone should read The Diary of Anne Frank.)
Brandon Lee Tenney on Aug 13, 2009
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