Yesterday I happened to notice that Brutal Youth author Anthony Breznican (otherwise and more routinely known as the high-profile Entertainment Weekly movie writer) is signing copies of his book this evening at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre, more specifically before a screening of Jason Reitman‘s Young Adult at 7:30 pm. (Signing begins at 6:30 pm.) I wrote Breznican and asked what was up. Is Reitman a fan of the book or something? Is he thinking about adapting it into a film?
Breznican’s response (in part): “I would be thrilled if Jason felt like adapting my book, but no bullshit — that is not the case. He has a full slate, and that’s not in the cards. The thing this evening is strictly casual, strictly friendly.
“I would also love it if another filmmaker wanted to adapt it, but again — that may happen (hopefully) but it’s not in the works yet. The book just came out last week, so it has to prove itself first. It has to get good reviews, it has to sell. Then there’s a chance it may catch the attention of someone who sees possibility in it for the screen. Or for a miniseries perhaps. That’s a long, uncharted road, though.
“The connection with Reitman is pretty simple: we’ve become friendly over the years. I like his storytelling, he trusts me. We’ve done a lot of stories together, starting with Thank You For Smoking‘s Sundance debut — my first trip to that festival, and his first with a feature. We’re about the same age, had kids around the same time, and shared a similar taste in movies so we’ve become pals.
“[On another leve we’ve] bonded over a shared affection for characters who don’t automatically command affection. So when I told him I had a book coming out, he asked to read it — not for business purposes, just on a casual basis. He liked it and offered a blurb for the galley, which I appreciated, since we share that sensibility. I hope people who dig his stories might like mine. But that’s as far as it goes.
“The American Cinematheque series came about when they asked to meet with me and see about coordinating some screenings. They like to have q & a’s and I could help with those.
“Since I had the book coming out, I proposed a weekend film fest of double features — all intense coming-of-age stories of one stripe or another. It seemed like a fun project, a good way to see some favorites on the big screen again, and had the added benefit of maybe pushing a few books in the lobby.
“Each night has a theme. On Friday night it was combustible friendships — Heavenly Creatures and Stand By Me. Saturday night, corrupt authority — Brick and The Chocolate War. Tonight is about aftermath — one story about a person who never escaped adolescence (Young Adult) and another about kids who bind together and find a happier ending (Perks.)”