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From: "Alice K. Turner" 
Subject: (urth) Pullman
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 23:25:01 -0400

Surprise today! Opened Vanity Fair, a glossy US mag usually obsessed with
celebs and scandals (usually rather well done, I must say), to find, of all
things, a piece on Philip Pullman, written by Christopher Hitchens, VF's
resident gadfly on the left. A rather *reverent* piece, if you can imagine
such a thing from Hitchens (for whom kiddie lit is rather a stretch from his
usual snide political beat). I was agog. The interview info was not new for
anyone who has tracked Pullman dowm on the net, as I have done. Anti-Lewis,
anti-Tolkien, anti-Milne (well, that was new). Quite explicit about the
unbeliever aspect of the series, which worried me till I realized that the
VF audience is not likely to have him stoned to death.

A ray of hope: though I have grave doubts about a movie (or series, as
kiddie flicks now seem to be), it turns out that Tom Stoppard is busy on a
script. That could be...well...awesome. Or that is the opinion of an
erstwhile English major who screamed with manic appeciation during
Shakespeare in Love every time the pre-pubescent John Webster was shown
torturing small animals or pulling the wings off flies. There were two
bylines on that movie, but such hysterically apt literary savvy seems to me
to be pure Stoppard, and I would trust him more than any other screenwriter
on Pullman. Hoping that he would rein in his instintive irony for the many
deadly serious moments--but I trust him here too.I'm so emotionaly invested
in this series that I'm really proud that so eminent a writer as Stoppard is

Oh, boy, now fantasy casting! Given that Mrs. Coulter is the most charming
creature who ever was, could Nicole Kidman handle her? Lord Azazel, Anthony
Hopkins, I guess. I hope not James Earl Jones as the bear--it would b so
disconcerting to have him sound like Darth Vader. And how about Serafina
Pekkala? Glamour beyond even Mrs. Coulter!


p.s. Oh, funny thing, same issue, a small preview of the new Harry Potter
movie. What does this mean?


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