Phone Message Transcript: June 25, 2000
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]

"Hello, this is Anne Rice. It is June 25, 2000 - Sunday, and I am here in New Orleans putting this message on the machine. If this machine cuts me off, you can still leave me a message after the beep. And be assured that I am getting all of your messages and I am paying attention to them.

I want to recommend a new movie that I have seen, to you. It is not new. I catch up with things late, as many of you know. I caught up with this movie on late night television and watched it all the way through with rapt attention. Today, I watched it all the way through on DVD, which meant that I had to brave the mechanics of my DVD machine, which was no small feat for someone my age. But anyway, I wanted to be sure about this film before I recommended it, because I was so overwhelmed by it and loved it so passionately. The film was BELOVED. And it stars Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. I think it's absolutely, in many respects, what I would call a magnificent film. It is going to be a classic, it is going to endure. Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover are marvelous, all the cast is marvelous. It's a very strange film. It is also, in a very basic way, a ghost story. Beloved is a ghost. It's an intricate and fabulous ghost story, in the same way that Henry James, THE TURN OF THE SCREW, is a fabulous ghost story. I greatly, greatly admire this film. And I recommend that you go out and get it on VHS or DVD.

After I saw it the first time, I immediately sent for the book. I had to read the book. The film left me with the desire to have more. To be back with these characters and to understand the novel that had inspired this. The novel is by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison wrote this book in 1987 and I knew of its existence, but I didn't read it. I have read it now and I am going back and reading it some more and I can't recommend it too highly. The writing is rich and imaginative. It's a wondrous kind of writing that you seldom find in any kind of fiction that is written today. I think that those of you who know me, or know about me know that I don't read most contemporary writers because they are too barren for me, they are too restricted, they're too sterile. But Toni Morrison is not in any way that. She has tremendous power and she writes poetically in the very finest and best, in fullest sense of that word. Do read BELOVED. I think that you will absolutely love it. It isn't terribly long. The movie is magnificently faithful to the book. The lines that are spoken in the book come out in the script in the movie and it is just marvelous to read this book and watch this film. I can't recommend it enough and I think, though I can't tell the Academy what to do in Hollywood, but I can't quite understand why Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey didn't get Academy Award nominations for their roles in the film.

Now as for Toni Morrison, she is a very much admired writer and a recognized writer. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. I now want to read everything that she has written. You know, she has a book on the best seller list right now, recommended by Oprah Winfrey and I want to swallow that up whole. But anyway, those are my main recommendations today.

As you know, I highly recommend the movie BOYS DON'T CRY, with Hillary Swank, I think it is wonderful. I also recommend GLADIATOR by Ridley Scott. I thought it was great fun and very rich and interesting. And that is really all I have to tell you today.

Do give me your messages. I will answer more questions next time. Right now I am just in the mood and spell of BELOVED and I can't think of much else to say except that I love you very much and leave me a message.

Anne Rice "