Jacob’s Folly in other countries; film news

Hello friends. First of all, about Jacob in Brazil. There is no publisher for the book there yet. But it is being published in Spain by Siruela and in Germany by Fischer Verlag (currently the translations are in progress. In Spain it comes out this fall). I hope a Brazilian publisher will buy it. The Private Lives of Pippa Lee was ultimately sold in thirty countries, so I am hopeful that Jacob too will have some reach. I think Jacob is considered a more literary book than Pippa was. To me, it’s a comic novel with well-chosen sentences, a plain old fun read you can sink your teeth into.

A writer friend asked me yesterday if I was writing fiction. I am carrying around a tiny notebook. It’s orange and has almost nothing in it except a few furious little notes. The woman accruing in my head seems to be filled with darkness, which is odd as I am so happy these days. But I suppose we all carry around our shadow selves and it’s best to let them out a little at a time, lest they quietly take up residence and then one day you’re totally depressed and have no idea why.

Mostly I am working on “Maggie’s Plan”, the film I am shooting in January. Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore are starring in it. Greta Gerwig is so perfect in this part, I sometimes wake up in a panic thinking I might not have cast her. She is the only person I know of that can make sense of this character, who is adorable-infuriating, innocent-bossy, ethical-destructive-right all along. ¬†What’s the fun of creating characters everyone knows are good from the word go? And Julianne Moore, also playing a Napoleon Pastry of a layered woman, is a great comic actress. I am beginning to see very clearly how to shoot this film. At first I was disappointed that we had to move the shoot from October to January; now I am glad. The clear, clean winter light, and the cold, when people move fast and communicate quickly outside (very good for pacing of a comedy) and the way New Yorkers often have to practically strip when they get inside their overheated apartments, providing lots of costume fun, make me think our bad luck might have its good side after all. It’s a cliche about adversity being the mother of invention, but also true, I find: the stills in “Personal Velocity” were a practical response to the fact that we simply didn’t have money or time to shoot the whole story. So we shot those sequences without sound, moving at the speed of light; then I chose stills and used voice over. The stills and voice over are now the principal distinguishing characteristics of the movie.

5 Responses to “Jacob’s Folly in other countries; film news”

  • Therese Wolfe:

    Perhaps it is precisely because you are ‘happy these days’ that you can (as in ‘are able to’) conjure up darkness in a character. Might not be possible if in darkness oneself to think it or write it. Van Gogh is a good example of a depressive painting bright colors, lighted landscapes, sunny flowers. His paintings are far from depressing (however much one can register his sadness or despair in his sunflowers and cypress trees).

  • kat:

    Judging a book by its cover…

    Last year I came across Jacob’s Folly while browsing the displays of new fiction at my local bookstore. The unusual cover caught my attention immediately. A young woman with flowers in her hair, rosy cheeks, swathed in pale blue and soft white robes. Her face framed by large pink cursive text and her bare breast, or more specifically her nipple, decorated with a…. fly?! What kind of author lets her book walk out of the publishing house looking like that? I had to buy this book! Since then the paperback has been released with a very different cover. Why? I don’t want to be negative but the paperback looks so boring compared. Just the 3 main characters standing around. Maybe some might ask what they have in common but it doesn’t seem to capture the best parts of your story: humor, absurdity, femininity, how past and present remain relevant to one another… I should mention that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. They say all stories have been told, but Jacob’s certainly has not. Congratulation on your work and I look forward the next book. Or movie, apparently. Quite the renaissance woman.

  • Kevin Keating:

    Dear Rebecca, We met long ago. I was the cameraperson that shot onstage with Peter Falk in rehearsal and later your conversation with your father. Did you complete that film?
    Kevin keating

  • sarah bevitori:

    At the start of summer, once school was out, I began taking my son to the library. He is six and I wanted him to have his own card and keep up with his reading. I began checking out new books weekly and became bored with the selection. Our library is very small, but they will ship books from other libraries on special order. After watching Ballad of Jack and Rose (one of my favorite stories), I decided to special order all Rebecca Miller they could get. I finished Jacob’s Folly about a month ago and I still think about Jacob, Masha, and Leslie. Now, I am comparing all other authors to Rebecca Miller. I found my favorite author (and this blog)! I think we are all waiting for more.

  • I recently watched Arthur Miller, Writer. It showed such a deep and vulnerable side of your father’s art and life and the film has filled my thoughts for the past few days. Thank you for sharing a subject so close to you in such a rich and respectful and beautiful way. Blessings to you and happy new year. -Annie

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