Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Curious Case of Bob Dylan

The movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button received 13 Oscar nominations today, including nominations for best picture, best director and best actor for leading man Brad Pitt. The Academy Awards will be presented February 22 at Hollywood's Kodak Theater.

The Confessions of Max TivoliWhen I first saw the trailer for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a historical romance about a man who ages backwards, I thought it was based on Andrew Sean Greer's excellent 2004 novel, The Confessions of Max Tivoli, also a historical romance about a man who ages backwards. But it's not, y'all!

The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button is based on the classic 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, while the totally unrelated The Confessions of Max Tivoli was inspired in part by Bob Dylan's 1964 song, My Back Pages.

Author Andrew Sean Greer explains: "When I began my book in early 2001, I had never heard of Fitzgerald’s story or the movie . . . . The idea of man aging backwards is as ancient as literature–it turns up as early as Plato, and even Fitzgerald seems to have acknowledged Twain and Butler. My own inspiration was Bob Dylan’s 'My Back Pages' and T.H. White’s Merlin; I would be happy to acknowledge F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I had never heard of his story!" . . . Huh!

Masked and AnonymousIntriguingly, a Japanese-language cover of Dylan's song "My Back Pages" is included in the soundtrack of the 2003 movie Masked and Anonymous, a film which features, along with Dylan and many others, Mickey Rourke, who, like Brad Pitt, was nominated today for best actor for The Wrestler. Weird!I’m Not There

Moreover, Cate Blanchett, the actress who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Bob Dylan in the 2007 movie I'm Not There, also stars in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Hard to believe, eh?

Of course, none of this really means anything, other than Carnegie-Stout Public Library has a lot of cool books and movies to check out.

~ Mike, Adult Services


  1. Martin Amis also wrote a novel about someone living his life in reverse called "Time's Arrow".

  2. Thanks, Ice X. We do have Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis at the library.

    We also have the graphic novel version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which will "will allow fans of the film to experience the original source material in a fresh and fun format."