Monday, January 08, 2007

Infamous versus Capote

We saw Infamous tonight at Bear Tooth. It isn't too often that we get to see two different contemporary takes on the same story. Yes, we have remakes of old films, and copies of successful non-English films by American film makers, but not two crews working on the same story, independently at the same time. And getting both out into theaters. Both these movies follow Truman Capote's trips to Kansas to cover the murders for his book In Cold Blood. I thought the first one to come out - Capote - was a strong movie. But Infamous seemed significantly better. I'm still trying to figure out why. I think it just felt more natural. The photography wasn't as dramatic, and Toby Jones as Capote seemed to become his character and make it believable that this unusual man could win the trust of his informants. In comparison, Philip Seymour Hoffman seemed to be working hard throughout the movie to keep in character.

The story also raises questions about the relationship between the writer and the subject - a relationship I've been keenly aware of while writing a blog and one my daughter raised questions about the other day.

Ultimately I was struck by this opportunity for film students to see the final products of two good crews working on the same story.

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