William Faulkner has remained one of my favourite writers since I started reading his work when I was probably too young to grasp his genius. One of the cornerstones of literary modernism, his elegaic and experimental prose was ahead of its time (and even perhaps still is). So it was a great disappointment to me that I missed seeing James Franco's film adaptation of my favourite of Faulkner's novels, As I Lay Dying
, at Cannes this past spring.
Faulkner's stream-of-consciousness prose does not lend itself easily to adaptation, as so much of it is interior thought. But As I Lay Dying
received pretty solid reviews out of Cannes, so Franco is now set to tackle Faulkner's best-known work, The Sound and the Fury
. Also a stream-of-consciousness piece, but perhaps with a more solid narrative, it tells the story of a southern aristocratic family that falls into dissolution over the course of several years. Franco is planning to adapt the novel with Matt Rager, with whom he also co-wrote As I Lay Dying
. According to an article in the LA Times, they are courting Jon Hamm for the role of the family patriarch.
I admire Franco's desire to try his hand at just about anything, from gross-out comedies to soap operas to art cinema. Here's hoping the film is equal to his ambition.
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