It seems that Yorgos Lanthimos could lead an adaptation of the fabulous Hawkline's monsterby Richard Brautigan. He is not the first to try. Hal Ashby spent about two decades trying to lift the project. When did it start, Brautigan was still alive. They argued a lot. Brautigan did not like Ashby's script. Brautigan was not going through a good time. He would end up shooting himself and nobody would find out until much later. The house would smell like a thousand demons when they found the body. I imagine Hal, in his house, going around the script, having lost his pair of first actors - nothing less than Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman - and congratulating himself on the couple of seconds achieved - the Bridges brothers, Jeff and Beau - when He received the call.
From Tim Burton, the other contender to date, it is known that he also planned to have Jack Nicholson, and upped the ante with Clint Eastwood. Wasn't it, after all, Hawkline's monster a wéstern? The most delusional western ever to be written? It was. Forget, if you have read it, the highly recommended The Sisters brothers, by Patrick DeWitt, in all likelihood, a great tribute to the brave Brautigan classic. Forget it because Hawkline's monster Everything goes there that can go. It is so absurd that it reinvents the very idea of the absurd. In it there is, for example, a butler that fits in a shoebox. And of course, a monster trapped in a jar that fears nothing but its own shadow.
It could be said that Hawkline's monster they are the misadventures of two gunmen hired by Miss Hawkline and the disturbing Magic Girl to liquidate the evil monster, who lives in a jar in her mansion. The monster was created by Doctor Hawkline, and then he died. Now Miss Hawkline believes that the monster has taken over the house, but all the monster wants is sleep. Yes, Tim Burton would have done a good job. At least, Tim Burton of the 90's. But it didn't work out. Will it work with Lanthimos? Ianthe Brautigan, the writer's daughter, thinks so. He also believes that his father would have loved it. He said it the day he the Hollywood Reporter communicated the news. In the news it is said that she appears as an executive producer.
Every work contains in part its author. The essential, it would be said, of its mismatch. The work of Lanthimos, as powerful and absurdly cruel as the spoiled monster character that Olivia Colman plays in The favourite, is not as different from Richard Brautigan's as one might think in the face of his apparent lack of concern for children. One may use a clean mood, without evil, naked, unbearably vulnerable, and the other a dark, twisted, radioactive, sick mood to shape it. But both have played and play with the same thing: innocence. Perverted innocence or interrupted innocence, or innocence used. Let's remember the family of Canine. To the boys, not children, of the family. As at the mercy of his parents as Brautigan once was his.
No, Brautigan's mother did not make Brautigan believe that the planes she saw in the sky could fall - as they fell, in the form of a toy - in her garden, as the parents of Canine. Who knows what was behind that story, and if there was anything really. Brautigan's mother was named Mary Lou and was a waitress. He kept messing with different guys all the time. He had children with all of them. Brautigan went from one place to another with his mother and his new boyfriends and half brothers. Brautigan only saw his father twice in his entire life. His father didn't even know he was his father. He learned after Brautigan committed suicide. "Why did they wait almost 50 years to tell me he was my son?" He asked himself then. It didn't help. His son was already dead.
From his childhood, the childhood of a nomadic child with a mother who has not just fit any of the types he dates, Brautigan especially remembered the days he spent alone with his then only sister in a motel Great Falls, Montana. They had gone there with their mother, but their mother left and did not return. Brautigan was nine years old. His sister, some less. It took her mother two days to return. Sometimes I wonder if Richard Brautigan, the Richard Brautigan who tried unsuccessfully, that beatniks they accepted him, Richard Brautigan who threw a stone at a police station to be put in jail and eat and ended up in the psychiatric hospital because the policemen thought he was crazy, Richard Brautigan who wrote a first novel entitled The God of the Martians, which had only 600 words, 600 words divided into 20 very short chapters, was not born in that Great Falls motel.
If he did, if Richard Brautigan would end up writing about tigers that can do your maths duties - there are tigers like that In watermelon sugar, a novel before Hawkline's monster, published without much success in 1968 and recovered in Spain almost a decade ago by Blackie Books - was born in that motel of Great Falls, wondering if his mother would return and what would happen if he did not return - think of a nine-year-old boy with a little sister in charge and in a state, that of Montana, full of Indian reservations. And if there is any of that child despair in Hawkline's monster - there is, no doubt, as in everything he wrote; there is the man who speaks with the only thing left of his lover in Fallout hat, long black hair - Yorgos Lanthimos could be about to cross to the other side of the mirror and shoot from the point of view of one of his perversely tormented characters.