Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Noria Jablonski's "Human Oddities"

Noria Jablonski, author of the story collection Human Oddities, grew up in a commune in Petaluma, California. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Here are some ideas she had about the actors she would cast in the movie adaption of the book and, more importantly, which directors might best capture her work on screen:
I’ve only ever imagined Human Oddities: The Movie as a very far off abstract idea. I never went so far as to actually imagine actors playing the characters in my stories (except for Jack Black; after seeing the movie Jesus’ Son, it’s easy to picture Jack Black in my story about a hospital orderly).

Spike Jonze could direct a version where John Malkovich plays all the parts — from the aging conjoined twins to the drag queen on acid.

In the Wes Anderson version Angelica Huston would play both of the conjoined twins, and Owen Wilson could be the drag queen. Bill Murray would play Mad Manya, the owner of the mystic café where Owen Wilson works.

In the David Lynch version the conjoined twins would be played by Robert Blake in drag. Or Grace Zabriskie (she was Laura Palmer’s mother). Or the Log Lady. Or any combination of those three.

The other day a reader suggested that Todd Solondz would be a good fit as a director for Human Oddities. Dawn Weiner would fit right in with the oddballs and outcasts in my stories. I could definitely see Heather Matarazzo playing the daughter of the woman whose tummy tuck goes awry. Cher could play her mother.

Or, going in a different direction, Sarah Polley could be the daughter. Patricia Clarkson could be her mother.

I love what director Rose Troche did with A.M. Homes’ story collection The Safety of Objects. It’s Solondz-esque, but quieter, more graceful.

Human Oddities: The Movie is not poised to be a blockbuster. It’s definitely an independent film, an offbeat comedy/drama.
Visit Jablonski's MySpace page and learn more about Human Oddities.

The Page 69 Test: Human Oddities.

--Marshal Zeringue