Pickman's Model, a movie based on a Lovecraft story

w h pugmire esq

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#21
Wilum... a novel about Pickman could be a very interesting undertaking. I am wondering, though, given your tendency toward a sort of dream-like atmosphere in your tales, if you might be the one to handle the transition of Pickman from the almost straight horror of "Pickman's Model" to the figure we see in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. You may be one of the very few who could capture the dream-elements in the original story and gradually increase them as Pickman undergoes that change and becomes a part of that strange Dreamland. I don't think that it would be necessary to do such using a Dunsanian sort of style, even in the latter portions, but I do think that the eerie blurring of dream and reality which you do so well could be put to very good use with such a tale.
This really tempts me, and I am determined to do something. I need to write a book for Larry Roberts, for his trade pb line. Larry (he is Bloodletting Press) likes to publish novels that are racy and risque, perversely sexual. I would want this first Pickman novel (short novel, probably 40,000/50,000 words) to concentrate on Pickman's earth life and his relationship with a 1920's bohemian poet, Delia Eliot, who as a young girl posed for some of his most scandalous paintings. I've just tonight typed on my blog (A View from Sesqua Valley is my blog's name) that portion from "Uncommon Places" in which I introduce Delia Eliot and her relationship with Pickman. And I see potential for so much exploration: Pickman's origins, his taint of ghoul-breed and how it affects him physically and mentally, &c &c. It wou'd be a challenge to get the period correctly portray'd, but I think I'm up for it. I've got to write my first novel, wee thing though it may be. This may be the idea that will allow me that experience. And then, if I succeed, I could follow with a sequel that follows Pickman's descent into Dreamland and his further transformations. Gawd, there is so much potential in this idea! And then I cou'd publish the two short novels, eventually, as combined in one book. Yes, yes. I certainly have the time to work on this -- but do I have ye nerve...?
 
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#22
This really tempts me, and I am determined to do something. I need to write a book for Larry Roberts, for his trade pb line. Larry (he is Bloodletting Press) likes to publish novels that are racy and risque, perversely sexual. I would want this first Pickman novel (short novel, probably 40,000/50,000 words) to concentrate on Pickman's earth life and his relationship with a 1920's bohemian poet, Delia Eliot, who as a young girl posed for some of his most scandalous paintings. I've just tonight typed on my blog (A View from Sesqua Valley is my blog's name) that portion from "Uncommon Places" in which I introduce Delia Eliot and her relationship with Pickman. And I see potential for so much exploration: Pickman's origins, his taint of ghoul-breed and how it affects him physically and mentally, &c &c. It wou'd be a challenge to get the period correctly portray'd, but I think I'm up for it. I've got to write my first novel, wee thing though it may be. This may be the idea that will allow me that experience. And then, if I succeed, I could follow with a sequel that follows Pickman's descent into Dreamland and his further transformations. Gawd, there is so much potential in this idea! And then I cou'd publish the two short novels, eventually, as combined in one book. Yes, yes. I certainly have the time to work on this -- but do I have ye nerve...?
Let me know how things go with that first novel; it sounds an interesting take on the character and milieu....

If I may make a suggestion: I think that with Pickman, at least, the characterization would entail a certain amount of research reading the Puritans themselves (especially the Mathers), as he has such a close connection with the darker side of that era. While I would not suggest reading the entirety of the Magnalia Christi Americana (though, with your religious beliefs, you might well find it interesting), but if you can find a copy of the Arno Press facsimile reprint, that sixth book might be a good idea, as it not only contains that brief passage which inspired "The Unnamable" but is also full of other weird beliefs of the period... the sorts of things Pickman's ancestry (and Pickman himself, for that matter) were steeped in. (Incidentally, don't go looking for it under Arno Press but rather the Colonial Library of America, one of the lines Arno had going at the time, 1972.)

Then there's always Mather's Wonders of the Invisible World (there has been a very good reprint of that as Cotton Mather on Witchcraft from Dorset Press in 1991). A brief look at some of the writings of Increase Mather might help, too, but not as much (I think) as Cotton.

You know, I've always had a sneaking suspicion of a connection (one beyond Mather himself or his book, or the historical period dealt with in each) between "Pickman's Model" and "The Unnamable". I don't know whether such an idea would help or hinder your development of the theme, but for what it's worth....
 

w h pugmire esq

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#23
Many thanks, J. D. I think I shall want to bring in Harley Warren and Randolph Carter as characters as well. I need to reread Dream-Quest. Yes, the witch world would have to figure as one of the main themes, so I need to study that. I love how much work it will entail, but I still hope, if I can actually write the thing, to have it completed by autun of next year.
 
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#24
Many thanks, J. D. I think I shall want to bring in Harley Warren and Randolph Carter as characters as well. I need to reread Dream-Quest. Yes, the witch world would have to figure as one of the main themes, so I need to study that. I love how much work it will entail, but I still hope, if I can actually write the thing, to have it completed by autun of next year.
You are most welcome! Yes, I think, with the connection between Carter and Pickman in Dream-Quest, that his inclusion would be very fitting. I hadn't thought of Warren being included here, as he was, I believe, from the South (though Joel Manton might well fit, come to that), but I don't see why he couldn't also be a part of the tale, either "on site" as it were, or through correspondence....

I hope you enjoy the research on this one -- a lot of rich stuff, good possibilities for story ideas there -- and I certainly look forward to seeing what you do with the material, whatever the time frame....
 

w h pugmire esq

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#25
My co-author on the Pickman novel was extremely critical of Chapter One, to the point where we are beginning from scratch and most of Lovecraft's characters will not be used as our own. I see the sense in all of this, but it increases the challenge. Still, the story is so rich and full of choice moments, that I feel a short novel inspired by the story can be written and stay true to the spirit of the original. We shall see if I have what it takes.
 
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#27
That's... something of an ambitious project for a film, to say the least. Granted, Yig (if such a being actually exists even in the context of the tale) is never seen, but what is seen would take some skillful doing. (It -- or something like it -- has been done before, as I recall, in an old film with Strother Martin, titled Sssssss, released in 1973, but it would still take some careful work to pull it off.)

Still, if they do manage to do it, it could be a genuinely eerie film....
 

w h pugmire esq

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#28
So, it was suddenly decided, last night over din-din, that I would be attending ye 2012 H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival next week-end. In a rather esoteric email that I chanced to see, I discovered that I am scheduled to do my ten-minute reading after something called Pickman's Apprentice. Any of ye know what this is, a movie? a novel?

Hope to see some of y'all in Portland next week-end!
 
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#29
No idea about Pickman's Apprentice... nor do I see any listing for such on any of the usual sources. Could this be a lapsus calumi for Pickman's Muse, perhaps...?
 
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#31
Or possibly for the Call of Cthulhu scenario "Pickman's Student"?
Ah... not being a gamer, i was totally unaware of this. Thank you. I really need to inform myself about the gaming aspect of Lovecraft, which has come up with some interesting insights into his work, from what I hear....
 

Ningauble

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#32
Ah... not being a gamer, i was totally unaware of this. Thank you. I really need to inform myself about the gaming aspect of Lovecraft, which has come up with some interesting insights into his work, from what I hear....
Yes, there are some interesting things to be found in the RPG extrapolations of Lovecraft's universe. For example, the Arkham Country books are very entertaining in their own right.
 

wonkishere

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#33
There has been a recent version of "The Dunwich Horror" -- 2009, in fact. It even featured Dean Stockwell playing Wilbur's main antagonist (Henry Armitage) this time around, as well as Jeffrey Combs playing Wilbur. And it was gawdawful. Had some interesting ideas, mind you, but... yeesh!

The problem is that Hollywood doesn't often understand "atmosphere" these days... it's all flash and bang when it comes to fantasy/horror/sf, and as close to zero intellectual content as can possibly be managed... which is quite close indeed most of the time. The majority of films which are at all faithful to Lovecraft in any way (they don't even have to be all that faithful to the text, but just to the spirit) are done by amateurs (as is the case here -- though I won't speak for how good or bad this one is, though I, too, was less than impressed by the trailer). Which, given Lovecraft's views on amateurs in general, is rather fitting. (Of course, in his day, "amateur" didn't carry nearly the pejorative connotations it does now, as it was quite often much closer to the meaning of the term: one who does something for the love of it.)

T
At any rate, I won't write off the film until I've seen it, as it wouldn't be the first time I've seen amateurish efforts which were nonetheless, when seen as a whole, quite good... but I remain skeptical, nonetheless.....
Oh god, the modern one was awful, just awful. They actually remade the story into this story about the wonderful properties of faith, etcetera. The only thing that movie had to do with Lovecraft was that they stole the title from his writings. It had nothing to do with his work at all.
 
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#34
I'd say it has a little more than that, plot-wise (as well as the list of characters)... but bloody hell, what they did with it! (Which is, to me, an especial pity, given that both Stockwell and Combs have done some very good work during their careers; whereas here even they are simply crap.)
 
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#36
Night Gallery did a very good adaptation of it .:)
Mmmmm.... I wouldn't entirely disagree, but then I wouldn't entirely agree, either. A few years ago, while attending a special Austin version of the Lovecraft Film Festival, I saw this for the first time in years; and while some parts of it held up rather nicely, other parts were, frankly, quite bad....
 

BAYLOR

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#37
Mmmmm.... I wouldn't entirely disagree, but then I wouldn't entirely agree, either. A few years ago, while attending a special Austin version of the Lovecraft Film Festival, I saw this for the first time in years; and while some parts of it held up rather nicely, other parts were, frankly, quite bad....
It's Night Gallerys best story segment.(y)
 
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#38
It's Night Gallerys best story segment.(y)
There, I would have to strongly disagree. I'd say there are many much, much better, from the three comprising the pilot for the series ("The Cemetery", "Eyes", "The Escape Route", all scripted by Serling), to "The Dead Man", "Room with a View", "Certain Shadows on the Wall" (from Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman's tale), "The Little Black Bag", "Make Me Laugh", "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" (all from the first season), to "The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes", "Satisfaction Guaranteed", "Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay" (based on a story by A. E. van Vogt), "Silent Snow, Secret Snow" (from the tale by Conrad Aiken), "Dr. Stringfellow's Rejuvenator", "Camera Obscura" (from Basil Copper's tale"), "The Messiah on Mott Street", "Logoda's Heads" (from Donald Wandrei's story), "Lindeman's Catch" (somewhat flawed in the fx department, but a fine story), "The Ghost of Sorworth Place" (from Russell Kirk's story), "The Waiting Room", "The Sins of the Fathers" (this one is, arguably, the best segment ever broadcast; it is certainly the grimmest), "The Caterpillar" (all from the second season), to even some of the rather weak third season's offerings, such as "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" (Fritz Leiber), "Rare Objects", "The Other Way Out", "Finnegan's Flight", "Something in the Woodwork" (from a story by R. Chetwynd-Hayes), "Death on a Barge" (based on the classic tale "The Canal", by Everill Worrell, a story which, if memory serves, Lovecraft himself approved of), or "Whisper". I would contend that most of these surpass "Pickman's Model" in actual quality, despite my fondness for Lovecraft and for this segment itself....
 

BAYLOR

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#39
I have a bit of bias on this one Pickman's Model is my favorite Night Gallery segment.



They did a decent adaptation of Cool Air . Off topic I think creepy magazine also did an adaptation of that one back in the 1970's?
 
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#40
I have a bit of bias on this one Pickman's Model is my favorite Night Gallery segment.



They did a decent adaptation of Cool Air . Off topic I think creepy magazine also did an adaptation of that one back in the 1970's?
Yes, the adaptation of "Cool Air" was fairly good, and yes, there was such an adaptation, though I think it was in Eerie rather than Creepy.....
 

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