“A deep part of us continues to yearn for some direct access to the unknown.”
Life of Pi director Ang Lee
“My track record as a writer didn’t show much promise. My first effort, a collection of short stories, sold all of eight hundred copies in Canada. My first novel only did a little better, barley breaking the threshold of a thousand copies sold. Welcome to the world of literary fiction. Still, I wrote. The artist creates out of necessity—I had to get Life of Pi onto the page—and so I isolated myself in my office, not only because I needed the time and the quiet to write, but also to shelter myself from the indifference of the world, a world that would have told me, ‘Listen we dont’ need another novel, or poem, or play, or anything like that. There’s plenty out there already that’s very good, so stop dreaming, grow up, and get a real job. I wrote the story in a state of constant jubilation. It came together nicely. After four years it was done. My third book, this weird story I’d concocted mixing religion and zoology, was ready to be shown to the world.”
Forward to The Making of Life of Pi; A Film/ A Journey by Jean-Christophe Castelli
Not much I can add to that except when Life of Pi was finally published it came out on September 11, 2001. Martel writes, “If there ever was a novel that was fated to end up quickly in the remainder pile, it was Life of Pi.” And while sales of the book were slow at the start, when the novel was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2002 it would change Martel’s life just before he turned 40-years old. Now ten years later the story is finding a new audience via the film directed by Ang Lee from a script by David Magee. In its first ten days in theaters Life of Pi has grossed over $100 million worldwide. It’s an extraordinary film. A welcomed addition to the cinema of the fantastic that my last post I quoted Frank Darabont speaking about.
I started out 2012 not being a fan of 3-D movies. But after seeing Hugo in January and now Life of Pi in November I’m becoming a convert. I will see the movie again before I read the book, and am enjoying the well-crafted and documented The Making of Pi published by HarperCollins. If you’re looking for a holiday gift for a lover of movies than check out Jean-Christophe Castelli’s book. It’s packed with interviews, quotes, designs, facts, and photographs of the making of Life of Pi.