Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weir Filming 'The Long Walk' NOT by Stephen King. The Good One.

This is good news: Peter Weir, who directed The Truman Show and Master and Commander, is doing a film version of Slavomir Rawicz' "The Long Walk," a book that describes the journey Rawicz took with several others escaping a Russian prison camp and walking more than two thousand miles from Siberia to India, over the Himalayas, in the early 1940s.

I absolutely loved Weir's treatment of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander, along with his film The Mosquito Coast, based on the book by Paul Theroux. He's excellent at capturing an epic, and at drawing out character. He's also adept at working with original source material, like novels, to the point they don't feel truncated or totally rewritten. (Yes, he changed the prey in M&C from an American ship to a French ship, big deal.) He also squeezes his actors for every last drop, rather than letting them phone in their performances. When I go to see a Peter Weir film, I know it's going to be worth the money I paid for it.

Anyway, I read Rawicz' book years ago, a lucky find at a local thrift store. I've re-read it several times, and just can't get over the determination these men showed, and the sadness they lived through. Cannot wait to see the film. My wife, however, isn't sure if she'd want to see it. She's read the book as well, and found the story terribly sad. Which it is.

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