Inspiration for the Film "Utopia Parkway"

The screenplay, “Utopia Parkway" draws on the extraordinary art of Joseph Cornell—the boxes, the short films, the collages—as well as his life: his family, his journals, the music he loved, and his house in Queens. The circumstances of his constrained family life stood in stark contrast to his rich inner world. His imagination came alive most strikingly in the boxes, in which humble objects and images were combined and transformed into something timeless and iconic.

In writing about Cornell, I was excited by the challenge of translating the magic and mystery of his complex work to the screen. At the same time, Cornell, his family and friends, were a group of idiosyncratic characters just waiting to be brought to cinematic life. The story of Cornell's involvement with the young waitress, Joyce Hunter, set in the early 1960's, becomes an exploration of his creative mind, and the drive for perfection in his art as he toiled in the basement workshop on Utopia Parkway.

For more information, follow the links on the left to the essay and article.