Thursday, October 22, 2009

regarding Craig Finn adapting Chuck Klosterman's book.

The Hold Steady's Craig Finn is co-writing a script for a film adaptation of Chuck Klosterman's seminal first work Fargo Rock City with Late Show With David Letterman writer Tom Ruprecht.

Here's why that might be awesome: If Boys and Girls in America is any indication, Finn has a knack for pretty words. Ruprecht in turn brings over a decade of writing experience. They could prolly get this done. And they're adapting Chuck flippin' Klosterman. He's my favorite author and biggest influence on my writing, if only because he gave me the courage to even consider conjugatin' and adjective-slingin' in the first place. And Fargo Rock City is a hilarious book about growing up in a small town (a really, really small, rural town) and feeling isolated and also loving metal. Critics who write about Radiohead are a dime a dozen; only Klosterman writes about something as uncritically acclaimed as '80s pop-metal with such skill and unironic love.

Here's why it might crush my soul: The book doesn't exactly have a central narrative. Oh sure, it's about Klosterman's life, much in the same way his other books like Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live are about his life. But all three books are essay collections, snapshots of musical obsession and how that obsession provides a lens for viewing life. That doesn't necessarily translate to a movie, or at least not the one Finn mentions in the interview linked above.

“Seventeen or eighteen is the perfect age for characters in a movie like this, because it’s at that age that you have drivers licenses and a certain amount of independence, but you’re still young enough that you can totally make terrible decisions,” Finn says in the article. “And you’re still young enough that you can have a two-hour argument over whether Motley Crue would beat Guns ‘N Roses in a fight.”

That's cool. Here's where it gets scary: "Heavy metal is kind of a common bond among a group of friends,” Ruprecht says. “It’s the language they speak. But this will also be a universal story of dorky kids trying to be cool.”

The book is about metal. It's also about adolescence, but it's so tied to metal that separating the two would make the story something else entirely. Granted, Klosterman is going to have a certain amount of control over the property, and the first draft isn't even finished anyway, but Ruprecht's quote still has me spooked. Taking the metal out Fargo Rock City defeats the purpose of adapting it in the first place. Please don't let this become another Juno.

Is it fitting that I'm listening to Black Sabbath's Mob Rules as I type this very sentence?

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