Dear Film & History Scholars,
The HBO series based on the David McCollough book and titled JOHN ADAMS
cycles up for the first time on Sunday night. (Check local listings for
MARCH 16, 2008.)
IMDB has basics and there is an HBO web site for the mini-series.
David McCollough has revived the reputation of Harry Truman and his book
Adams was extremely popular. It will be interesting to see how director Tom
overlays his interpretation of a popular book. Indeed, the director is
among all the "stars" involved in the production.
Paul Giamatti, who plays John Adams, is the son of Bartlett Giamatti
(1938-1989), first a Yale
professor of comparative literature and then the commissioner of baseball,
an interesting coda
to his life. Paul, the son, was the troubled protagonist of _Sideways_ and
is a "surprise" choice
for such a role, but may have been a good one.
Those of us with interests in film and history will be interested in:
1. Reconsidering the interpretation and "new research" reflected in the book
I remember when it came out that it was praised for original research
into the Adams letters,
all of which had been in print since the late 1930s. (I remember being
assigned to read a
goodly number of them as a junior in college.)
2. Examine how the motion picture medium brings Adams to life. Adams was a
the years--there developed a category known as the "Adams Federalists."
These folks were to be
distinguished from the nasty Hamiltonians of the Federalist crowd. Will
the film get into such
details or will it presume an ignorant audience and waste all its
resources telling a story not new
and not even cinematic.
Or will we say "Sit Down, John!"?
Sunday night the seven part series begins.
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