Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005008, Wed, 12 Apr 2000 09:41:13 -0700

Re: more on American Beauty (fwd)
Yes, that would change the moral of the movie so very much. The anti-hero of
Lolita only becomes Humbert Humbert the minute he consummates his
relationship with Lolita, and it would make for a very sort of story if, as
in Dante or even Death in Venice, it was one that existed in his mind only.
It makes me wonder if this was a writer-made movie or a director-made
movie - I now suspect the latter. The very fact that the writer used the
indelicate word `screw' makes me question that he could have ever conjured
up the delicate moral universe of the movie. I could see how in the hands of
another director the whole affair might have been changed to a rather grubby
cross between Lolita and American Pie and now, how well the material was
transformed into something much more than the sum of its parts.

Camille Scaysbrook.

> Dear List:
> In an interview published in *The Globe and Mail* this
> weekend (April 8, 2000), screenwriter William Goldman
> says that in Allan Ball's script the Kevin Spacey
> character had sex with the girl. I quote in full:
> "In the original script, he screws her and it was a studio
> executive's suggestion that he not. Now Allan Ball, who
> wrote the script and won the Oscar, I gather was happy
> without it. But I find that kind of thing maddening."
> This changes the discussion about progressive mores,
> doesn't it?
> Dana Dragunoiu