TITLE: History & the Movies: An Historian Writes a Screenplay
SPEAKER: James Reston Jr.
EVENT DATE: 05/11/2011
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 77 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
The process of compressing history into drama often generates sharp tensions between the historian and the dramatist. As James Reston Jr. will testify, the historian usually feels a sinking disappointment as the dramatist explains what it will take to capture and hold the attention of an audience. When Reston was asked to write a screenplay based on his own 2005 book, "Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors," he leapt at the chance to resolve and to control the historian/dramatist tension.
Speaker Biography: James Reston Jr. is the author of 15 books, three plays and numerous articles in national magazines. His last five historical works--"Defenders of the Faith: Christianity and Islam Battle for the Soul of Europe 1520-1536" (2010), "Dogs of God," "Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade" (2002), "Galileo: A Life" (2000) and "The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 A.D." (1999)--have been translated into 13 foreign languages.