9/07/2004

The Orchid THIEF

In what should not be surprising news but still is, the movie "Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid" is still number three at the box office and has made twenty four million so far. And I think that screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (he wrote the screenplay for the movie Adaptation) should be laughing his ass off at the movie's premise.

If you have not seen Adaptation here is the scene that shows why Kaufman should be chuckling:

VALERIE
So, tell me your thoughts on this
crazy little project of ours.

In one motion, Kaufman swabs his forehead and pulls a book
entitled The Orchid Thief from his bag.

KAUFMAN
First, I think it's a great book.

VALERIE
Laroche is a fun character, isn't he?

Kaufman nods, flips through the book, stalling. A photo of
author Susan Orlean smiles from the inside back cover.

KAUFMAN
Absolutely. And Orlean makes orchids so
fascinating. Plus her musings on
Florida, orchid poaching. Indians.
Great, sprawling New Yorker stuff. I'd
want to remain true to that, let the
movie exist rather than be artificially
plot driven.

VALERIE
Okay, great, great. I guess I'm not
exactly sure what that means.

KAUFMAN
Oh. Well... I like to let my work
evolve, so I'd want to go into it with
sort of open-ended kind of... and also
not force it into a typical movie form.

VALERIE
Oh. That sounds interesting... what
you're saying. I mean, I'm intrigued.

KAUFMAN

(blurting)
It's just, I don't want to ruin it by
making it a Hollywood product. Like, an
orchid heist movie or something.
Or changing the orchids into poppies and
turning it into a movie about drug
running. Y'know? Why can't there be a
movie simply about flowers? That's all.


VALERIE
That's what we're thinking. Definitely.

KAUFMAN
Like, I don't want to cram in sex, or car
chases, or guns. Or characters learning
profound life lessons. Or growing or
coming to like each other or overcoming
obstacles to succeed in the end. Y'know?
The book isn't like that. Life isn't
like that. It just isn't. I feel very
strongly about this.


Okay, if you have not figured out where I am going with this story here is the description for the movie Anacondas: The Hunt for the BLOOD ORCHID.

A scientific expedition is sent to the jungles of Borneo to search for a rare black orchid by a powerful pharmaceutical company that hopes the orchid can be used to unlock the secrets of youth and immortality. What they discover is that the orchid is already being used by a powerful group... a swarm of giant snakes that derive their super strength, size and vitality from the flowers, and extremely large snakes are also extremely hungry snakes...



Now I am sure Charlie Kaufman sees this and just thinks "I knew they were going to do something like that.
But I bet if his "brother" Donald was alive, he would think Anacondas was a great script.


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