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Fall Movie Preview

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They’re brilliant, they’re famous, and they’re dead — and this fall they’re coming to a theater near you. In a movie season alive with wonderful possibilities, deceased authors, especially of the classic variety, will undergo enough resurrections to give George Romero the heebie-jeebies, including Henry James (who returns with The Portrait of a Lady); Thomas Hardy (see Jude, formerly known as Jude the Obscure); Ernest Hemingway (the subject of Sir Richard Attenborough’s In Love and War); and the undeadest poet of them all, William Shakespeare (who’s got four flicks in the works — including Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet and an Al Pacino take on Richard III called Looking for Richard). Of course, not every script this fall was written by a dead guy. There’s also Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! (and no, it isn’t about microscopic organisms found in a space rock); Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt; David Mamet’s American Buffalo; John Grisham’s The Chamber; Madonna’s Evita; and — speaking of literary masterpieces — Beavis and Butthead Do America. The upshot: Movies are alive and well this season, even if some of their writers aren’t.