Art And Culture

‘Birdman’ Drives Interest in Raymond Carver Collection

‘Birdman’ Drives Interest in Raymond Carver Collection‘Birdman’ Drives Interest in Raymond Carver Collection

Birdman, winner of four Oscars on Sunday night, including Best Picture, is doing good things for Raymond Carver.

The film, which chronicles an actor’s attempt to reinvigorate his career with a stage adaptation of Carver’s short story ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’, has driven sales of the author’s same-titled short story collection, which was originally published in 1981.

Carver’s short story collection has, according to Vintage Books publishing company, seen print sales jump 121% in the 12 weeks since the film opened, in October.

Birdman, which stars Michael Keaton, enacts parts of Carver’s short story and the collection’s title is seen frequent throughout the film on the marquee of a theater featured in the film. Birdman received nine academy award nominations and won for best picture, best director, best cinematography and best screenplay.

Literary agent Andrew Wiley, who represents Carver’s literary estate, said that the author’s widow, writer Tess Gallagher, is a collaborator of ‘Birdman’ director Alejandro G. Inarritu. Wiley said Gallagher worked with Inarritu to structure the film around parts of Carver’s short story. Inarritu even thanked Gallagher, on stage, after receiving the Oscar for Best Picture.

Wiley emphasized that Gallagher “supported the film from its inception” and that she admired Inarritu’s “film tribute to her late husband.” The film, Wiley added, is something Gallagher sees as “a true mirror of the artist’s struggle against even himself, which Carver also experienced.”

The movie itself, is hoping to take advantage of surging interest in the film.  Fox Searchlight, the specialty film distribution company that released Birdman, a division of 20th Century Fox, is releasing the movie into hundreds of additional theaters. The movie should also get a key boost from video-on-demand sales, which have become an increasingly important driver of studio profits.

Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. (1938–1988) was an American short story writer and poet. Carver contributed to the revitalization of the American short story in literature during the 1980s.