If you think America's addiction to slavery was cured by a few strokes of a presidential pen, then a new PBS documentary called "Slavery by Another Name" is going to be a real eye-opener. The film, narrated by "Matrix" revolutionary Laurence Fishburne, will focus on the struggles of the post-Emancipation era, as well as the labor practices and laws that effectively created new forms of slavery in the South (and which persisted well into the twentieth century). The book on which the documentary was based, by Wall Street Journal writer Douglas A. Blackmon, was the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for general nonfiction. Needless to say, we've high hopes for the film.
On the lighter side, Diablo Cody's next venture will take audiences to a world most of them haven't visited since ... well, high school. That's right, a "Sweet Valley High" movie is in the works, and Cody has decreed that it will be "glamorous and colorful and bubblegum and a feast for the senses." It's already been a banner year for the popular book series creator, Francine Pascal, who just this year released Sweet Valley Confidential, a new novel that revealed what the Wakefield twins are up to ten years after high school (even though the series started in 1983, but hey, who's counting?).
What's this about a "Rocky" musical? Sylvester Stallone claims that this time the story will focus more on the romance between the prize-winning boxer and his beloved Adrian, adding: "To see this story coming to life on a musical stage makes me proud. And it would make Rocky proud." Better start exercising now; you don't want to strain your credulity when this actually becomes a hit.
The neurological cause of synaesthesia, a condition in which the senses overlap and interrelate (and which has afflicted famous authors such as Norton Juster and Vladimir Nabokov ), may have finally been found. The culprit: unusually excitable visual cortex neurons! Are we any closer to seeing how colorfully the text of Lolita would have appeared to the man who wrote it? Because that's an edition I'd sure like to see ... and hear, and so forth.