When They Make a Movie of Marisha Pessl's Night Film, Will It Kill You?



The movie that poses a literal threat to its viewer is a cherished trope, helped along both by literary and TV treatments. In her heavily hyped thriller Night Film, which just made its debut on the bestseller list last weekend, Special Topics in Calamity Physics author Marisha Pessl goes the idea one better: She not only created a fictitious horror director whose movies leave marks on their audiences, she set about planting her own viral film clips and clues around the Internet.

OK, as the type of depraved voyeur who'd consider such a thing catnip — anybody else here got a 2 a.m. folding-chair screening of Nekromantik under their belt, hmmm? — I mostly consider the "found footage" clip above a good try: there's no way in hell those well-to-do, articulate folk are gonna convince me they'd know Lucio Fulci from Guy Fieri. But hey, A for effort — including the clip below, which does a clever job of establishing the novel's conceit.

And an A+ to Humanities Tennessee, Nashville Public Library and Parnassus Books, who scored Pessl at the height of the book's acclaim and visibility for tomorrow night's Salon@615 author event at the downtown public library. The reading and signing starts at 6:15 p.m.; we suggest getting there early. Unless, of course, you've watched something you shouldn't have ...

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