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Kathryn Bigelow has been getting a lot of attention for directing a very good movie about men when she, in fact, is a woman-- crazy! But Lynn Shelton was right there with her in 2009, directing the funny and insightful indie Humpday and not even getting an Oscar nomination for it-- I know, how dare they.
But Humpday earned enough attention from the right people that Shelton has moved on to something bigger, and maybe even better, for her next project. In a chat with Indiewire recently, Shelton said she'll be working on an adaptation of Then We Came To The End, Joshua Ferris's hilarious and tragic novel about an advertising agency going under.
She didn't specify precisely what she'd be doing on the film, but given that she said she's working with producers Anne Carey and Ted Hope, it's safe to assume she'll be involved in the writing and the directing process as well. I love the idea of Shelton tackling the novel with her small-scale skills, since it would be easy for Ferris's book to become unwieldy and gigantic in a different director's hands. I'm also fascinated to see how Shelton will handle the book's central gimmick-- it's narrated in first-person plural, full of phrases like "We loved free bagels in the morning" and "Karen Woo always had something new to tell us and we hated out guts." In some ways that kind of insular groupthink is easier to depict onscreen, but it makes Ferris's unique tone even harder to translate to the screen.
Shelton didn't explain when she plans to start work on the project or when we might see it, but I'll be watching closely until we hear something else. A filmmaker as exciting as she is deserves faith for pretty much anything she tries next.