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The Grey Zone: Screenplay and Director's Notes

The Grey Zone: Screenplay and Director's Notes
Your Price: $26.95 CDN
Limited Quantities
Author: Tim Blake Nelson
Publisher: Newmarket Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 244
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 1557045828
ISBN-13: 9781557045829

About the Screenplay:

HARD TO FIND BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

Complete with the original shooting script, this official companion book to the award-winning film The Grey Zone also contains extensive historical material and commentaries.

For five years, director, writer, and actor Tim Blake Nelson prepared himself and others to make this searing Holocaust drama, which drew acclaim and ire from critics and viewers throughout the country. First realized as a play, then a screenplay, Nelson's story is based on historical events, centering on Auschwitz's twelfth Sonderkommando squad, a group of Jewish concentration camp prisoners assigned work in the crematoria, and their struggle to organize the only armed revolt in October of 1944. Released in 2002, the movie stars David Arquette, Daniel Benzali, Steve Buscemi, David Chandler, Allan Corduner, Harvey Keitel, Natasha Lyonne, and Mira Sorvino. It won the 2002 National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award, and was named one of "The 10 greatest second world war films you haven't seen" by The Guardian.

This book is the fascinating record of Nelson's journey – from his initial readings and research, to assembling the brave ensemble cast, to reconstructing the crematoria 80 percent to scale on location in Sofia, Bulgaria, and to his work with the art director, costume and production designers, and others on his team.

To acquaint his cast and crew with the difficult material, Nelson summarized his research and his cinematic vision in a compelling, lengthy pre-production memo, which is reproduced in this book. Also included are his screenplay, his annotated reading list, movie stills, excerpts from from some of the reading that inspired him – an essay by Primo Levi, and the source chapter from the book Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account, by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli.

Altogether, this unique book delivers an insider's view of the world of independent filmmaking, while revealing why Nelson chose such a difficult project and how he addressed its challenges. Ultimately, The Grey Zone transcends its subject so that as Nelson writes in his preface, "Its context is the holocaust, but it's a film about being human."

What people say:

"Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone strikes a bold, even courageous blow against the pious cliches of most Holocaust films. Jagged, unrelenting, claustrophobically intimate, it does more than any other in recent memory to avoid the platitudes and cheap sentimentality that, on film anyway, have come to represent the murder of 12 million people by the Nazis during World War II." — The Washington Post

"Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone ... focuses on the Jewish Sonderkommando, who kept the gears of death oiled under the promise of another day’s survival and a bit of food. After the initial shock of the setting, the film settles on a seldom-told story of concentration camp insurrection. We all wonder what we would do if we were put in this horrifying situation. This is the rare film that dares to answer." — The Guardian (UK)

"Fearless and intense... No dramatic feature has ever come quite this close to the matter-of-fact ugliness of the Nazi crimes." — Entertainment Weekly

"The Grey Zone is haunting, electrifying, edifying and unbearably heartbreaking." — The New York Observer

"Immediate, unblinking and painful...The Grey Zone is a film about making choices that seem to make no difference, about attempting to act with honor in a closed system where honor lies dead." — Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author:

Tim Blake Nelson is an American actor, writer, and director. He is an accomplished character actor who is perhaps best known for his role in O Brother, Where Art Thou as well as his recent work in the Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His most notable work, The Grey Zone, tackles tough questions about the existence of evil and the meaning of faith.

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