The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

Graham Author Page

Friday, August 20, 2004

Radio silence and Village idiots

Apart from a brief appeal for funds,the Loneliest Jukebox has gone rather quiet of late, due to twin pressures of work and childcare. Contrary to rumours, my disappearance has nothing to do with the launch of the video game Doom 3. This has meant I’ve little time to blog about the debased spectacle of reality television eroding the distinction between public and private life. Maybe Big Brother 7 will be the last anyway. I’ve also had no time to pen a review entitled ‘Village Idiot’ about the new M. Night Shyamalan vehicle The Village. If you can’t see the ‘twist’ ending coming a mile off, then you’re asleep at the start as well as at the end. Never mind reviewers, Disney should put out a spoiler warning. Disney might have its hands full however, as author Margaret Peterson Haddix is threatening a lawsuit over the similarities between The Village and her 1995 book Running Out Of Time:
Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan and The Walt Disney Co. are bracing themselves for legal action, after a children's author declared similarities between her book and new movie The Village. The Village, the latest thriller by Shyamalan, stars Joaquin Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver and Adrien Brody and has proved to be a hit at the American office. But now that much-needed success - Disney has endured a string of flops this year - has been marred by publisher Simon & Schuster Inc's announcement it is reviewing its legal options against the company and Shyamalan. Last week, reports circulated that The Village's plot and surprise ending were parallel to Margaret Peterson Haddix's first book Running Out Of Time, published in 1995. Haddix says she heard about the similarities last week when fans - and then journalists - began calling and emailing her and her publisher to ask if she had sold the book to Shyamalan. She claims she has never spoken to Shyamalan or to Disney, adding, "It's certainly an interesting situation. I'm just examining what my options are." A joint statement from Disney and Shyamalan's Blinding Edge Pictures says: "(We) believe these claims to be meritless". Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Tracy Van Straaten adds, "This is a children's book that sold more than half a million copies and won prizes, so it's not an obscure book for us." Shyamalan has previously battled a copyright lawsuit brought by a Pennsylvania screenwriter who claimed the plot from his 2002 film Signs mirrored his unpublished script Lord Of The Barrens.
(Sourced on 11 Aug).

If Rod Serling was still around he’d be suing Shyalaman too.

Talking of plagiarism and the like, the latest reassessment deadline for university coursework has come and gone, and with it a range of excuses for not handing in work. Mike North wrote wisely on this topic in a recent THES; see Mike North (2004), ‘In memory of my late mum: my late essay’, THES, 4 June, p.25. Students old and new might also want to think about lectures and what can be learned from them. This link takes you to the provocative thoughts of Professor Al Filreis. Remember him next time you are tempted to transcribe a lecture verbatim.


Post a Comment

<< Home