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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Confederacy of Dunces: The Book: The Movie

I was reading on Wikipedia that there's been numerous numerous attempts to make a movie out of the the book "A Confederacy of Dunces" and yet there's never been a movie made out of it.

According to this article: "http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hollywood/2006/12/a_conspiracy_of_dunces.html" ....

..... It appears there was a Belushi and Richard Pryor version in the works that was canned, then a John Candy version, a Chris Farley version, a Will Ferrell in a fat-suit version, and most recently a Zach Garofololohforgetit version was in the works.

All five of these versions were in development yet were never made. I wonder why there have been so many attempts to bring this piece to the big screen but all ended in failure. Who knows. Some have even applied a haunted curse on the work because so many involved with it died young.

The book itself was published after the writer, John Kennedy Toole, died young in his thirties. Belushi died very young, so did Chris Farley, and John Candy died pretty young too. People are saying the book is cursed .... and maybe it is.

Whatever it is, it's a good book, it's written well. It's a bunch of weird New Orleans characters who are tied together through certain key-events, leit-motifs, macguffins, and they are also all tied together by the buffoonery of the main character ... the super-selfish and genuinely repulsive human being ... Ignatius J. Reilly. It's good, if you like reading, you should read it.

In this article we shall look at if indeed there is a curse on this book and then we shall ponder and speculate that if someone made a 2017 attempt at this accursed tome who should play Ignatius on the big screen.


Is it Indeed an Accursed Tome?

If anyone has read this blog before who's reading this you probably know that I don't believe in various magicks, voodoos, ghosts, ghouls, ouijas, and shit. I do not believe in curses.

The only thing that could tangibly be of note is that since the writer did commit suicide and die before his book was published ... maybe people involved in working with the material get depressed over that and the whole dealings with the book feel morbid and morose. I wouldn't call that a "curse" though.

As for the young deaths of names attached to the Ignatius character. Look, some of these people didn't live the most healthy of life styles, you know? Some people's deaths are a tad more shocking than others let's say. Like when I heard the Juice Man Jack LaLanne died in the news I was like "Woah, the healthy old juice man died? Wow" ... but when someone like Sam Kinnison or someone dies you don't have that shock as much, you know? A person who lives their life drinking vegetable juice and doing jumping jacks you don't expect to die but a person who lives their life eating bacon sandwiches, washing them down with 5 eightballs of illicit cocaine, a bottle of gin, and then has 5 prostitutes for desert .... well, you aren't wicked surprised when you read in the news that they sprung off their mortal coil.

Guys like Farley, and Belushi? They are more in the Kinnison boat than the Jack LaLanne boat, let's say. When your idea of fun is eating non-stop, drinking non-stop, doing hard drugs non-stop, and banging whores non-stop ... it's gonna eventually catch up to you. I don't think many people were super shocked to read either of these two icons died to be honest. I'm gonna guess it was their lifestyle that killed them young and not the fact that they were booked or rumored to play Ignatius J. Reilly in a movie.

John Candy
As for John Candy? He wasn't as hard core as these two but he was a big dude too so dying of a massive heart attack is not uncommon for a 320 pound man to die in this fashion. I do not think his name being rumored or attached to a Confederacy project led to his early demise.

Will Ferrell and Zach Garafalalawhocares are both still alive so only 3/5 people attached to the character even died to begin with ... as much as 40% of the people tied to the Ignatius character are still alive today as only 60% of them actually died young.

So is there a curse around this comedic tome of the ages? No, there's not. It seems 40% of them didn't even die and the 60% that did can be explained by the fact that party animals don't tend to live into their salad or twilight years.

Is it cursed? No.



Well Then, Who in the Comedic World Could do A Decent Ignatius on the Big Screen?

Alright so will there be another attempt to bring this good book to the big screen? Probably. The question is who would be able to bring the Ignatius character to life.

Art is subjective and everything. One's man's caca is another man's golden caca, y'know? For me, just personally, I don't see Zach G. as Ignatius working ... I don't. I watched the first Hangover and it was funny and Zach is okay in it ... but I'm not gonna watch the ten remakes of it that came after though, one is enough. He's funny but this person is not an Ignatius. He's just not.

Selfish unlikeables over the years like George Constanza and others are departure points for the character but I don't see George Costanza on Seinfeld as meeting the Ignatius criteria either. I mean, yes, George was a selfish horrible butthole but he's still not an Ignatius-level selfish horrible butthole.

I dunno, who can pull it off?

Who's fat these days? Pinette died (RIP), Ralphie May is of the plus sized variety, Artie's quite large, there's a Mexican guy working who's fat too, Louie Anderson is still around here and there, Jim Gaffigan's pretty fat, Danny Devito is short but also fat .... hmmmmmm, none of them are Ignatius though.

What about a female cast as Ignatius? They do that in Hollywood all the time now, I think it's "rule 63" the young people are calling it. Like they will cast a 13 year old Estonian girl to play Iron Man in the next Iron Man movie just to make a point or something. Could Igantius be portrayed by a woman in a fake moustache and green hunting cap? Who's fat in the female world of comedy these days? Amy Schumer's ... wait ... you can't just call ladies "fat" now a days ... Amy Schumer's uhhhh, retaining a little water these days ... but even with a fake 'stache and green hat I can't visualize her as an Ignatius.

Hmmm. I guess there's no one.

Or is there?

I was watching the new season of that show Silicon Valley the other day (which is good this year as Jiang Yang is getting more air time and Gavin Belson is like seriously up to something, man) .... and it was a scene which was not a central scene to the plot and was kind of neither here nor there of the Erlich character selling dope to the Monica character so she can frame some evil Chinese jock at her workplace. Erlich, played by TJ Miller was doing his lines, and it's his enunciation of every sillible of every word. It's just ..... there's something there. I know it .... this person's enunciation and delivery of words is Ignatius caliber.

Est tu Ignatius ??
The scene ends with him looking at the camera and saying ".....I said that? Well, I say a lot of things." The delivery of this line was the most Ignatius like demeanor ever recorded. I honestly believe that. It was a line in response to the Monica character telling him she went on this crazy stratagem over something he told her the other day. The Erlich character drives the story through these buffoonish selfish acts, and the way Miller delivers and enunciates his lines? It's him, THAT'S HIM. That is Ignatius J. Reilly .... It is.

But is T.J. Miller fat enough? No, not exactly but he's not far off. I read that Mac character on Always Sunny in Philly gained like 60 pounds just to be fat in one season of that show. I thought when I watched that season that Mac just got fat by accident but he didn't ... that Mac fat on Always Sunny was method acting! Wow.

If Mac can gain like 60 pounds than Miller could too I bet. He's not in the Ignatius weight division as it stands now and fat suits are dumb. He'd need around 60 to 80 pounds of method acting to do it.

There's other people a modern Confederacy movie would work with, but, I really think there's something there with this actor ... I think he's Ignatius caliber.



Conclusion

Is Confederacy a good book? Yes, it's a wonderfully presented text, I do say, Yes indeed.

Is it an accursed tome? No, it is not accursed in the least, I do say. No siree.

Is Zach Garafalo a good pick for Ignatius? No. 
  
Who in the acting sphere as of May 31st of 2017 meets the criterion to be able to act like Ignatius? My own personal opinion from seeing scenes of him on Silicon Valley is T.J. Miller. He's sort of an Ignatius-like character on the show already who's buffoonish selfish nature tends to drive various aspects of the story ... but it's not that ... it's the embellished soliloquys mixed with the extra ordinarily pompousness of the enunciation of sillibles that qualifies him.

Ignatius is lost in his own over-educated liberal arts moron world in this book, to do this character you need a guy who can just turn away from the other character and just look directly into the camera and do an overly enunciated elongated soliloquy and then turn back to the character of which he's engaging like nothing happened.

There's times I watch  Silicon Valley and think ... that's him, Miller can do Ignatius. I truly believe that.

Then again what do I know? I don't watch a lot of modern shit in the art media world. Like I watch old awful movies on youtube, old wrestling from before I was born like Dick Murdoch vs. Special Delivery Jones, and shit. I don't know much about the current affairs of the work-a-day modern art media world.

The only stuff I really watch that's "new" these days is Mike Tyson Mysteries, Ash vs. Evil Dead, I started the new season of Silicon Valley now as mentioned, Dragon Ball Super, and the the Dr. Steve Brule show ... that's about it of new shit I watch so I don't know all the best people operating these days probably.




*End Note: By the way, Back when I read the book I read it in Rik Mayall's voice because it fit so well for what my brain could connect to. I read Igantius in like a "People's Poet" voice. Rik died young too. He died in like a vehicle crash though so it's not curse related.

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