Stephen King at the Movies - CoverIf you're a fan of the legendary horror-writer, Stephen King, then you might like to know that Palazzo Editions are going to publish a book based on his life and career. Entitled, 'Stephen King at the Movies', this 224-page hardback book allows us the opportunity to study both the man and his work, with the use of a fully illustrated guide to his time in the industry. Want to know more? Then please check out the following interview I did with the author of this book, Ian Nathan.

Stephen King at the Movies [Hardcover]

1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, Ian?   Keeping this as brief as I can, I am an author, a journalist, and a film critic living in London. I have published eleven books to date on a wide variety of different movie subjects, including well-received books on 'Alien', Tim Burton, The Coens, 'The Lord of the Rings', and now, of course, the adaptations of Stephen King. I am also the former editor of 'Empire Magazine' (which you may have heard of) and, wearing a very different hat, I am one of the talking heads on the 'Discovering Film' series on 'Sky Arts'. So, I get around, and see and think about a lot of movies. Other than that, my star sign is Cancer, I have two argumentative cats, I love to travel, eat, read and drink good whiskey. Hmmm... this is now starting to sound like a dating profile.

Stephen King at the Movies - Stand By Me
2) What inspired you to create, ‘Stephen King at the Movies’?   I suppose that I wanted to make sense of his enduring popularity and relevance in today's climate. In fact, my true starting point was an interview I did with the late screenwriter, William Goldman, many moons ago for that mostly forgettable adaptation of 'Dreamcatcher'. He told me with total conviction that to think of King as a horror writer was to miss the point. 'He writes American folklore', Goldman insisted. Indeed, he compared King to Mark Twain in his level of importance. That really stuck with me. Then as I started to contemplate a structure for the book, I thought what a wonderful dare it would be to watch and assess every single King adaptation to date. To go on that journey and ask the right questions. What worked and why? What were the recurring themes? What did they say about King and culture? This is kind of like a biography in disguise.

Stephen King at the Movies - The Shining
3) After writing this book, what do you find is the most surprising fact featured in it?   I always knew that King didn’t like Stanley Kubrick’s version of 'The Shining', but I never knew how much they had worked together at the beginning of the production, when Kubrick would call him in the middle of the night and pester him with questions like... did he believe in God? Seriously, the sheer volume of what you might call biographical details that haunt all his best adaptations… They may be horror stories, but they are drawn from real life.

4) What song would you say best represents this piece and why?   This might be cheating a little, but I would put together a medley of Pino Donaggio’s score from 'Carrie', Wendy Carlos’s doom-laden synth from 'The Shining', Mozart's aria from 'The Shawshank Redemption', and the Ben E. King version of 'Stand By Me'. That, or 'The Monster Mash' by Bobby Pickett.

5) Apart from the great man himself, if you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   In terms of promotion, I would definitely want someone King related so they can spread the word, the widest and the loudest! You know, someone like Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, or Jessica Chastain, for instance. But if I could wave a magic wand and come up with something special, no doubt about it, I'd bring Stanley Kubrick back to life and host a live Q&A with him so we can really get into the details of 'The Shining'.

Stephen King at the Movies - IT
6) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Well, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you'd watch all of King’s adaptations in one single sitting, especially if you’ve got to think and write about each one. Plus, there were the interviews, the research, and timing it all was very tricky. Also, let’s just say that more than a few of his movies tend to lean towards the mediocre. So, to keep my sanity, I spaced out what I knew to be the good ones: the 'Carries', the 'Shawshanks', 'Misery', 'The Green Mile', etc-etc-etc, because they felt so good after a batch of 'Children of the Corn' sequels, that's for sure.

7) If you had a personal motto, what would it be?   Trust your reader.

And on that note, I'd like to thank Ian for telling us about his book, 'Stephen King at the Movies', before encouraging you to pick up a copy at Amazon or the main Palazzo online store (available on the 5th of September, 2019).

STEPHEN KING AT THE MOVIES STEPHEN KING AT THE MOVIES Reviewed by David Andrews on August 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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