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The MoorTHREE WAYS OF LOOKING AT "THE MOOR"

By Russell Banks

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

7:00 p.m. Staged Reading,
Film Screening, and Discussion
Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Russell Banks' award-winning short story "The Moor" is the tender, affecting tale of a chance encounter between a middle-aged man and the 80-year-old woman who had been his lover three decades earlier, when he was 19 and she 49. The Writers Institute will present a unique opportunity to experience the story in three different formats--the printed text, a stage adaptation, and a 2005 screen adaptation by Caerthan Banks, the author's daughter.

  • The short story version of "The Moor" received the 2002 Pushcart Prize. It appears in the story collection, The Angel on the Roof: The Stories of Russell Banks (2000).
  • The film version of "The Moor" had its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival in May 2005 as an official selection in the "C'est la Femme" short film program. The film stars Timothy Carhart, who has had small roles in such major films as Ghostbusters (1984), Witness (1985), The Hunt for Red October (1990), and Air Force One (1997). Carhart also played the drunk who attempts to rape Geena Davis's character in Thelma and Louise (1991). The film also stars Jill Andre who has had roles in such films as Lost in America (1985), And the Band Played On (1993), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), and Twin Falls, Idaho (1999).
  • The screenplay took first prize at the Oshun55 International Screenwriting Competition. The film was also screened at the Los Angeles Short Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and the Miami International Film Festival. A stage adaptation of "The Moor" was written by Howard Aaron and Julie Akers and was performed at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon in 2005.

Followed by Commentary and Q&A with
Author Russell Banks and Filmmaker Caerthan Banks

The author of ten novels and five short story collections, Russell Banks currently serves as New York State Author (2004-6). Winner of numerous awards for his work, Banks is a leading voice of working class experience in modern letters. He is a past recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the John Dos Passos Award, and the O. Henry Memorial Award. He received the American Book Award for The Book of Jamaica (1980). Two novels, Continental Drift (1986), and Cloudsplitter (1998), were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent novel, The Darling (2004), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Director, screenwriter, and actress Caerthan Banks was featured in Atom Egoyan's adaptation of the Russell Banks novel, The Sweet Hereafter (1997), winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes. She also shared the award for Best Ensemble Acting from the National Board of Review. Her stage production of Bruce Graham's Minor Demons was an L.A. Times Critics' Choice, and her stage production of Writer's Block took first prize at the prestigious Jerome Lawrence USC One-Act Play Festival.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.