Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cultural literacy

Sleepy Hollow (1999) -- A Colonial-era constable probes a series of grisly decapitations in an upstate New York hamlet. Based on Washington Irving's ``The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.''

This is from Zap2it.com's TV listings. Wouldn't you think lightning would strike them, or their fingers would cleave to their keyboards or something?

On the other hand, if all they did in junior high lit was read modern stories about cheerfully empowered multi-racial, multi-ethnic friends, the most dynamic of whom are female and some of whom have disabilities, overcoming the developers who plan to create jobs in their community, maybe they have no idea who Washington Irving was or what on earth his story was about. It's plain that Tim Burton didn't give a damn ... (And for anyone inclined to say that it's a good horror flick, that don't signify. If "Citizen Kane" had been called "The Red Badge of Courage," it would still not have been based on the Stephen Crane novel.)

They probably simply cribbed from imdb.com. For those disinclined to click upon the above link, here's a portion of the listing ... verbatim ...

In the early United States of America, young policeman Ichabod Crane is sent to from New York to the fledgling settlement of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of ghoulish murders. On his arrival, the town council informs him that the three victims were killed in open ground, and the heads had disappeared - taken by a headless ghost that is supposedly responsible. Ichabod is unconvinced of this, but learns more about the ghostly horseman - it is the ghost of a Hessian sent by the British during the revolutionary war, and he was caught by redcoats and decapitated with his own sword. When Ichabod sees the ghost kill one of the town council members, his skepticism evaporates - and he soon discovers that the horseman's ghost has an unholy connection to Balthus Van Tassel, a wealthy farmer - and whose daughter Ichabod is falling in love with...

Rant mode off. And a Happy Thanksgiving to my reader(s) in Sleepy Hollow ...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, gee, thanks a bunch. I was over there for a couple of days but didn't get to read this until now (Sat. PM) Must alert the rest of the troops.
I did see the movie a couple of years ago, and, any connection to the Irving work of the same title aside, it was kind of amusing. Johnny Depp, you know. They have one of those big movie theatre posters of it (forget what they're called) - quite handsome, actually.

Mom

Anonymous said...

Loosely based - maybe "inspired by" - would be better. Movie did well here (I enjoyed it) but some were disappointed that it was filmed in England and not here. The Wikipedia entry might be more to your liking.
Sis in Sleepy Hollow

Mike said...

I'm having trouble even accepting that a comic tale about a superstitious, vain, greedy schoolteacher who falls for a prank by the local bully could be said to have "inspired" a horror story in which the monster is real and the protagonist is a cop.

I like "named after a story by Washington Irving."

(Just reread the original and I have to say it would be hard to make into a movie, though it might make an interesting basis for a TV show -- a lot of "Northern Exposure" in the story. Of course, by the second season it would be "Tonight: Ichabod and Brom get locked in the cellar together.")

Dann said...

[quote]"On the other hand, if all they did in junior high lit was read modern stories about cheerfully empowered multi-racial, multi-ethnic friends, the most dynamic of whom are female and some of whom have disabilities, overcoming the developers who plan to create jobs in their community, maybe they have no idea who Washington Irving was or what on earth his story was about."
[/quote]

If for no other reason...and there are plenty of other reasons...I owe you a beer....or something....for the above. Game, Set, and Match to the gentleman residing in the formerly sovereign state of Maine

Mark Jackson said...

"Having your book made into a movie is like having your ox made into a bouillon cube." - Bill Neely