Times: Shivas Irons' Golf in the Kingdom Comes to Film

The Times starts its meaty article about the long-awaited film version of Michael Murphy's famous golf novel, Golf in the Kingdom by saying that the book is "practically a sacred text." We think that they mean that it has mystical and philosophical qualities, that people read the book with veneration, and that it addresses ultimate issues of life and meaning. Indeed, like religion, the game of golf is quite elaborate in its rituals and practices and in its demarcations of space. And the classic golf book in question goes far beyond addressing those surface issues. It's one of the most memorable books we ever read.

We are eager to see how the film treats the highly complex book and the more elaborate realities of the game itself. Charles McGrath's essay on the film's long gestation, "A Mystical Tale, From Tee to Green," for the Times begins thusly:
For many golfers Michael Murphy’s 1972 novel, “Golf in the Kingdom,” is practically a sacred text. It’s about a young man, modeled on Mr. Murphy himself, who on his way to an ashram in India stops off in Scotland, where his life is transformed by an encounter with a golf pro and mystic named Shivas Irons, who knows as much about Pythagoras and the Hindu scriptures as he does about hitting a high fade. Several filmmakers have felt similarly transported by reading the book, and “Golf in the Kingdom” has been optioned or in development since before it was even published. Gus Van Sant was interested for a while. Sean Connery was approached about playing Shivas. Clint Eastwood fell in love with the book and clung to the rights for a decade or so before giving up.

At last, though, “Golf in the Kingdom” is coming to the screen. It opens in New York on Friday in a version written and directed by Susan Streitfeld, who has never played golf in her life, and produced by Mindy Affrime, an independent producer...more...

No comments: