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?