MY OLD LADY: Complete Stage Play and Screenplay with an Essay on Adaptation
by Israel Horovitz
“This is essential reading for serious film students and filmmakers.”–Bette Gordon, film director and professor, Columbia University School of the Arts Film
“Adapting a play to the screen can be a perilous undertaking….Luckily, Israel Horovitz is the perfect guide for this undertaking….Essential reading for anyone wanting to take on the challenge.”—Barnet Kellman, director, Key Exchange (stage and film), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Murphy Brown, Mad About You; Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Co-Director, USC Comedy Dept.
Famed playwright Israel Horovitz has written more than 70 produced plays, which have been translated in more than 30 languages worldwide. Along the way, he has also written screenplays for film including Author! Author!, starring Al Pacino, as well as the award-winning Sunshine, James Dean, and The Strawberry Statement. At the age of 75, he directed an adaptation of his play My Old Lady, starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas. Now he shares tips and techniques on adapting plays for the screen. The book includes the full script of both the play version and screenplay of My Old Lady, along with an in-depth analysis by Horovitz of the challenges of adapting stage work for the screen. He discusses what inspired him to consider adapting the play in the first place, and his diligent efforts to distill the essence of the play without making “exactly the kind of movie I dislike.” In discussing his adaptation process, Horovitz brilliantly reveals his insights into the creative process itself, as well as how to keep inspired during the course of a lengthy writing career. As Horovitz reveals, “At age 74, I was not looking to build a hot directing career. My sole ambition was to make a beautiful film.” Indeed, My Old Lady, the film, was critically-acclaimed, as hoped for. In sharing the knowledge he gained, Horovitz makes a compelling guide for both cinematic students and anyone interested in the creative process.
My Old Lady: Complete Stage Play and Screenplay with an Essay on Adaptation
By Israel Horovitz
978-1-941110-36-2 Trade Paper; 978-1-941110-37-9 ebook
336 pages; $16.99
Publication date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016
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High Praise for MY OLD LADY by Israel Horovitz
“The magic of “My Old Lady” lies in the preternatural skill with which Mr. Horovitz propels his beautifully drawn characters toward what you trust will be their predestined fates. This is the kind of play in which you want your expectations to be fulfilled, and don’t feel manipulated in the least by the machinations that lead you down the path to the final destination.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A thoroughly original cinematic tale.” —AARP The Magazine
“A crowd-pleaser. Maggie Smith is Masterful!” —Hollywood Reporter
“A revelation and a pleasure.” —RogerEbert.com
THE ESSAY ON ADAPTATION
“This is essential reading for serious film students and filmmakers. Israel Horovitz, prolific playwright and screenwriter, combines personal experience with important information on the adaptation process and how to move from the more linear language of theatre to the visual language of cinema. A must-read!” —Bette Gordon, film director and professor, Columbia University School of the Arts Film
“Adapting a play to the screen can be a perilous undertaking. Language – the very thing that makes play great – can be the enemy of the cinematic experience. Luckily, Israel Horovitz is the perfect guide for this undertaking. He is a passionate master of both forms and a born teacher. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to take on the challenge.” —Barnet Kellman, director, Key Exchange (stage and film), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Murphy Brown, Mad About You; Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Co-Director, USC Comedy Dept.
“Brimming with bon mots and experience from his rich life in the theatre, Horovitz’s essay on adapting dramatic works should be required reading for aspiring (and established) writers of stage and screen alike.” —Abbie Van Nostrand, Samuel French Co.
Heaven and Other Poems
by Israel Horovitz
“Israel Horovitz is now one of a bare handful of playwrights, along with Tennessee Williams, Beckett, and a couple of Elizabethans, who can write first-rate poetry in English. These poems are not merely good for a man who happens to be a world-class playwright; they’re poems that make our lives larger than they would be without them.”–Russell Banks, New York Times Bestselling Author
With more than seventy produced plays and many produced screenplays, playwright/director/author Israel Horovitz presents a new dimension to his creative output in Heaven and Other Poems, his first-ever authorized poetry collection. A tour-de-force of emotion, empathy and deep, melancholic beauty, Heaven and Other Poems is a stunning collection of work crafted over a lifetime. From the epic poem “Stations of the Cross” with its startling, tenderly crafted images of familial love and loss, to the punchy and pointed aphorisms of the twin “Defining the French Novel” and “Defining the American Novel” Horovitz displays a remarkable range, and—throughout—a deep understanding of humanity. As the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history, many of his poems naturally are set in France, where Horovitz often directs French-language productions of his plays. The collection is filled with surprises and special gifts, such as the never-before-published translation of one of his poems by master playwright Samuel Beckett, from whom Horovitz found thematic and stylistic inspiration for his own work. A truly inspired poetry collection, which is, in turn, truly inspiring and fulfilling to its audience.
Heaven and Other Poems by Israel Horovitz
ISBN: 978-1-941110-11-9 Trade Paperback; ISBN: 978-1-941110-12-6 Ebook
112 pages; $15.95
Publication date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Praise for Heaven and Other Poems by Israel Horovitz
“Israel Horovitz is now one of a bare handful of playwrights, along with Tennessee Williams, Beckett, and a couple of Elizabethans, who can write first-rate poetry in English. These poems are not merely good for a man who happens to be a world-class playwright; they’re poems that make our lives larger than they would be without them.” —Russell Banks, New York Times Bestselling Author of Rule of the Bone and The Sweet Hereafter
“For 48 years I have known and enjoyed Israel’s plays, so it is no surprise that he is a really great poet at heart.” —Michael Douglas, Academy Award-winning actor (Wall Street)
“Sometimes the best of writers express themselves beyond their identifiable disciplines, and now the renowned playwright, Isreal Horowitz, exhibits his remarkable way with words in his first book of poetry.” —Gay Talese, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Writer’s Life and Honor Thy Father
“Israel Horovitz loves language like most of us love oxygen. Words spill out of him and pile up in his work like beautiful mounds of rubble. never easy. never silly. Always tough, meaningful, funny, tragic and true. He makes me laugh and smile and think (and that is the rarest feat of all). He teaches me with every sentence and makes me happy to be alive and i know no greater compliment than that. HEAVEN AND OTHER POEMS is a collective sigh, the work of a master writer and a hopeful man–perhaps the last among us to still believe in the redemptive powers of both love and art.” —Neil LaBute, director/screenwriter of Some Velvet Morning, The Wicker Men
“The poetry in this collection is variously political, personal, passionate, funny, nostalgic, elegiac, verbally playful, and unsparingly honest. Wordsworth said of the sonnet: ‘with this key Shakespeare unlocked his heart.’ The same can be said of the poems of Israel Horovitz.” —Kevin Kline, Oscar-winning actor; A Fish Called Wanda
“In this collection Horovitz gives a powerful bone to marrow account of his life as a man and world class artist. He encompasses so much: the brooding poet, a walker in the city, another member of another lost generation in Paris, the wanderlust of a wandering Jew, the older lover, and the man in his 70s with the specter of death over his shoulder.” —Doug Holder, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene
“Horovitz is truly a renaissance man, so it makes perfect sense that he’s as adept with verse as he is with stage direction and dialogue.” —Jordan Foster, BookTrib
“This poetry collection should delight the lover of verse, and those averse to poetry. Horovitz writes accessible, earthy, and mainly short poems that charm and beguile. . . Fans of the poet’s famous rapper son, Ad-Rock (a.k.a. Adam Horovitz), of the Beastie Boys, might want to see what the old man’s up to.” —American Jewish World
“The poems . . . display erudition, bilingual fluency, celebrity cadre, and panache. Horovitz charms throughout this memoir-in-poetry.” —The Rumpus
“Serious autobiographical pieces . . ” —Publishers Weekly
About Israel Horovitz
Playwright-screenwriter-director Israel Horovitz’s seventy stage-plays have been translated and performed in as many as thirty languages, worldwide. His plays have introduced such actors as Al Pacino, John Cazale, Jill Clayburgh, Marsha Mason, Gerard Depardieu, and many others. Best-known plays include Line (now in its fortieth year, off-Broadway), The Indian Wants the Bronx, Park Your Car in Harvard Yard, My Old Lady, The Widow’s Blind Date, It’s Called the Sugar Plum, Rats, Morning, and The Primary English Class. Best-known films include Author! Author!, Sunshine (for which he won the European Academy Award–Best Screenplay), James Dean (which introduced James Franco), 3 Weeks After Paradise (which he wrote, directed and starred in), and My Old Lady, which he recently adapted for the screen, and directed, starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Horovitz’s memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris were recently published in France, where he was decorated as Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and is the most-produced American playwright in French theater history. Heaven and Other Poems is the first collection of his poetry he has authorized for publication.
More information is available on his website www.israelhorovitz.com.