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The New Yorker, or at least its Web site, has quickly become the go-to place for those eager to learn about Robert Crumb’s upcoming and much-anticipated adaptation of the Book of Genesis. Blogger Leigh Stein’s latest revelation comes courtesy of Crumb neighbor and fellow artist Peter Poplanski, who talks about how he helped Crumb do research for the book by taking photos of Biblical-themed movies:
“Robert would go over and over the costume folds, how the robes fit, the drapery. Once you know the gravity of fabric, you also have to light it, so the fabric has weight,” Poplaski said.
He scoured flea markets and discount bins for copies of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” (1923 and 1956), William Wyler’s “Ben Hur” (1959), and a made for TV Samson and Delilah starring Dennis Hopper as a Philistine general. He also turned to some less predictable Hollywood sources—Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Sheltering Sky” (1990), Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1998), and Stephen Sommers’s “The Mummy “(1999) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001).
Update: I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but apparently the latest issue of the New Yorker contains an 11-page excerpt from the book. So be sure to run out to your local newsstand dealer post-haste.