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Newcity Chicago’s Ray Pride really doesn’t like the new Capote-in-Kansas movie, Infamous:
What a rotten, rotten movie, with the even more rotten fortune to follow the austere fictionalization of Truman Capote’s research of “In Cold Blood” that was Bennett Miller, Dan Futterman and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Capote.” “Infamous” reeks of curdled cosmopolitanism, with the co-writer of “Bullets over Broadway” taking a succession of potshots at his protagonist. [Douglas] McGrath’s got a callous, jaded eye, a patrician disdain for the motley on display. This is a sustained sneer of a picture. (Call it “Bullets over Holcomb.”)

McGrath takes a page from the form of his biographical source, George Plimpton’s paragraphese, cut-and-paste style as a drama-sapping device, with “Reds”-like witnesses shot against a studio-setting skyline…. McGrath’s screenplay moves almost in lockstep with Futterman’s, hitting many of the same incidents, figures and notes. (The two films were produced almost simultaneously.) “Infamous” zips blithely forward as if performed by a road company where the theater manager is a secret sot.
Pride adds, referring to the harrumphs about Capote’s depiction of William Shawn: “McGrath embroiders elsewhere, substituting the fiction of publisher Bennett Cerf accompanying Capote to the execution for Miller’s fiction of New Yorker editor William Shawn coming along to witness the deaths.”
And because sometimes I don’t have it in me to start a new post, a sort of related article: Peter Carlson in The Washington Post on the state of The Paris Review under semi-recently appointed editor (and mensch, in case anyone’s making lists) Philip Gourevitch. Wonder how long this story has been sitting around waiting for someone else’s missed deadline? I’m not certain I’d assign a piece on The Paris Review to someone who’d write that “Most literary mags have the life span of fruit flies, perhaps because most literary magazines are about as interesting as fruit flies,” but perhaps I’m too sensitive.


Thanks for this—I like the headline! However, this review originally appeared in Chicago’s Newcity weekly, which the link reflects.

Got it, thanks for letting me know!

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