Back on January 23, I had a meeting with photographer Martha Cooper. While it was the first time I had met her, we had been emailing a bit and she knew about Madonna of the Toast. First thing she does when we meet is hand me that day’s New York Times Arts section, pointing me to the front-page article about the Sundance Film Festival. She told me that one of the mentioned movies involves a question of faith, instigated by the appearance of what may or may not be Jesus on a stucco wall. I thanked her and shuffled the paper into a pile of other papers, having read and written about films that dwell on these visual manifestations.
The other day I finally gave the article a look, and I have since learned more about Henry Poole is Here. Yes, the title has pulled me in, since it is not everyday that I share my surname with a fictional character, played by Luke Wilson no less. Even better, however, is that newbie distributor Overture Films picked up the flick for $3.5 million! This seems to drive home the fact that these stories have truly become part of our cultural fabric. I’ve been advocating that idea for the past year, with evidence the runs the cultural gamut, from eBay to Johnny Carson, and from The Simpsons to the US Constitution. Now, no one has paid me millions of dollars yet: indie book publishing and indie filmmaking are two different realms from what I can tell. But Sundance is famous as a clearinghouse for Hollywood to convert independent films to blockbusters, so I take this as a sign of things to come.
You can watch this video to find out more about the plot, though it sounds like much of what I write here. Henry Poole is terminally ill and hopes to spend his final days as a recluse, until his neighbor discovers what some see as the face of Jesus, which of course changes Poole’s outlook on life. Also interesting is that this movie also stars George Lopez, who was also in the less hyped Tortilla Heaven.
It seems like this movie will indeed be in theaters near you, but in the meantime, wouldn’t you rather read the book?