Famed playwright Israel Horovitz has written more than 70 produced plays, which have been translated in more than 30 languages worldwide. Along the way, he has also written screenplays for film including Author! Author!, starring Al Pacino, as well as the award-winning Sunshine, James Dean, and The Strawberry Statement. At the age of 75, he directed an adaptation of his play My Old Lady, starring Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Now he shares tips and techniques on adapting plays for the screen.
The book includes the full script of both the play version and screenplay of My Old Lady, along with an in-depth analysis by Horovitz of the challenges of adapting the written language of a play to the visual language of the screen. He discusses what inspired him to consider adapting the play in the first place, and his diligent efforts to distill the spoken language of the play into the visual language of film. In discussing his adaptation process, Horovitz also reveals his brilliant insights into the creative process itself, as well as how to keep inspired during the course of a lengthy writing career.
Three Rooms Press; March 2016
- ISBN: 9781941110379
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: My Old Lady
- Author: Israel Horovitz
Imprint: Three Rooms Press
In The Press
"Horovitz illuminates the process of adapting spoken drama for film and provides lessons for students and practitioners of both forms . . . Copious examples are included . . . For libraries that serve students of writing for film and stage." Library Journal
"Adapting a play to the screen can be a perilous undertaking. Languagethe very thing that makes play greatcan be the enemy of the cinematic experience. Luckily, Israel Horovitz is the perfect guide for this undertaking. He is a passionate master of both forms and a born teacher. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to take on the challenge." Barnet Kellman, director, Key Exchange (stage and film), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Murphy Brown, Mad About You; Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Co-Director, USC Comedy Dept.
This is essential reading for serious film students and filmmakers. Israel Horovitz, prolific playwright and screenwriter, combines personal experience with important information on the adaptation process and how to move from the more linear language of theatre to the visual language of cinema. A must-read!” Bette Gordon, film director and professor, Columbia University School of the Arts Film
Brimming with bon mots and experience from his rich life in the theatre, Horovitz’s essay on adapting dramatic works should be required reading for aspiring (and established) writers of stage and screen alike.” Abbie Van Nostrand, Samuel French, Inc.
"Horovitzs complete stage play and screenplay must be read by every aspiring screenwriter or filmmaker." Ulcer Alakabrova, Let the Movie Move Us
The magic of My Old Lady” lies in the preternatural skill with which Mr. Horovitz propels his beautifully drawn characters toward what you trust will be their predestined fates. This is the kind of play in which you want your expectations to be fulfilled, and don’t feel manipulated in the least by the machinations that lead you down the path to the final destination.” The Wall Street Journal
A thoroughly original cinematic tale.” AARP The Magazine
A crowd-pleaser. Maggie Smith is Masterful!” Hollywood Reporter
"My Old Lady . . . is a delight." Daily Express
[My Old Lady is] compelling viewing, People who complain about the absence of genuine adult drama from cinema screens have an opportunity to put their monies where their mouths are here." RogerEbert.com
About The Author
Israel Horovitz: Playwright-screenwriter-director Israel Horovitz’s 70+ stage-plays have been translated and performed in as many as 30 languages, worldwide. His plays have introduced such actors as Al Pacino, John Cazale, Jill Clayburgh, Gerard Depardieu, and many others.
Horovitz wrote and directed his first feature film (at age 74) based upon his stage-play My Old Lady, starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Horovitz’s memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris were recently published in France, where he is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history. He has written and published one novel, Cappella, and one novella Nobody Love Me. Awards include OBIE (twice), Prix Italia, Sony Radio Academy Award, Writers Guild of Canada Best Screenwriter Award, Christopher Award, Drama Desk Award, Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Lifetime Achievement Award from B’Nai B’rith, Boston Public Library’s Literary Lights Award, Massachusetts Governor’s Award, and many others.
In addition, in 2014, at age 75, Horovitz saw his first poetry collection, Heaven and Other Poems, published by Three Rooms Press.
Horovitz was recently decorated as Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest honor awarded to foreign artists. He is Founding Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage, and active Artistic Director of the New York Playwrights Lab, and is co-artistic director of Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto in Italy. NYC’s Barefoot Theatre celebrated Horovitz’s 70th birthday by organizing The 70/70 Horovitz Project, a year-long event with 70 Horovitz plays having had readings and/or productions by theatres around the globe.
He is the father of five children: film producer Rachael Horovitz, TV producer/novelist Matthew Horovitz, Beastie Boy/composer Adam Horovitz, writer/filmmaker Oliver Horovitz, and academic Hannah Horovitz. He is married to Gillian Horovitz, formerly England National Marathon Champion and record-holder. The Horovitz family divides its time among homes in NYC, Gloucester, Massachusetts, and London.