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Speaking of... Filmmaking Angst

By Jessica Mathews

“Adaptation” (2002, Columbia Tri-Star, $19.94) How do you adapt a thoroughly uncinematic book like The Orchid Thief? Well, if you’re Charlie Kaufman, you write yourself into it and add a fictional twin brother, some action scenes and a feel good song at the end.

“CQ” (2001, M-G-M, $14.95) In Roman Coppola’s debut, he tells the story of film editor Paul (Jeremy Davies) who must make sense of a convoluted Barbarella-esque thriller when he’s thrust into the director’s chair.

“Stardust Memories” (1980, M-G-M / UA, $14.95) Woody Allen misfires as he tries to voice his complaints about people preferring his early funny films and pay tribute to Fellini when he stars as Sandy Bates, a successful filmmaker who is having his own “8 1/2” crisis.

“The Big Picture” (1989, Columbia Tri-Star, $24.95) In Christopher Guest’s Hollywood send-up, recent film school grad Kevin Bacon knows the movie he wants to make, but a studio boss just wants to make it a little more commercial.

“All That Jazz” (1979, Twentieth Century Fox, $9.98) Bob Fosse’s alter-ego Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) is trying to complete a biopic similar to Fosse’s “Lenny” while he converses with his guardian angel (Jessica Lange) and succumbs to the effects of his dangerous lifestyle.

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