Genius

I woke up and watched the terrible news coming from Orlando.  My parents phoned me, and my father told me about the account being set up for me which will give me a substantial amount of money.  I didn’t want to sit around all morning watching the news, so I took the bus out to El Cerrito and looked through the Daiso store.  I walked over to Barnes and Noble and renewed my membership and bought a Star Wars coloring book and a commemorative issue of Rolling Stone magazine about Prince.  I walked over to the theatre to see “Genius.”  It had Colin Firth as Max Perkins, the book editor who worked with Thomas Wolfe.  Jude Law was Wolfe.  Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, and Guy Pearce were in the movie, too.  I thought they should have cast Americans to portray Americans.  The title of the movie doesn’t make it clear whether the genius in the story is Perkins or Wolfe.  The genius has to be Wolfe, who produced the goods, so to speak, even though the work needed to be shaped.  I thought of Perkins as a George Martin figure, or maybe Martin Scorsese’s film editor.  Perkins certainly was a key figure in the success of Wolfe’s first two novels.  Wolfe’s later work didn’t show the same brilliance.  I read all those books during the 1980s.  Wolfe was someone who needed input and a strong editor.  One other writer who obviously needed an editor was J.K. Rowling.  Those Harry Potter books got longer and worse as they went on.  It is very difficult to make a good movie about a writer and the writing process.  I can’t say that this film was a complete success.  I’m not too sure that I really wanted to see a movie in which one of the main characters was an editor.  I can agree with Perkins’ ideas about having a point and being disciplined with storytelling.  We don’t want to read hundreds of pages of nothing.  It seems that the movie should have been about Wolfe, who looked like the colorful character in this group.  I rather liked “Genius,” although I am not dying to see it again.  Before the move, we got to see the trailer for the new Woody Allen movie, “Café Society.”  I went home and watched the end of the hockey game between the Penguins and the Sharks.  The Sharks didn’t have enough to make up the one goal in the third period.  I watched part of the Columbo episode “Now You See Me” before I went to sleep.  Some of the people who died on June 13 include Benny Goodman (1986), Geraldine Page (1987), and Jimmy Dean (2010).  Today is a birthday for Ally Sheedy (54), Tim Allen (63), and Malcolm McDowell (73).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 13, the original version of “The Maltese Falcon” was released in 1931.  In 1986, “The Manhattan Project,” starring John Lithgow, was released.  In 1992, Billy Ray Cyrus was Number One on the album chart with “Some Gave All.”

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