Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002285, Fri, 15 Aug 1997 12:03:28 -0700

Schiff-Lyne LO scripts for sale (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. Stephen Schiff, author of the script used for the
Lyne LOLITA film, responds below to Bennet Lerner's item about buying an
(illegal) xerox copy of Schiff's script on a NY street corner.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stephen Schiff <schiff@echonyc.com>

Mysterious indeed. I don't doubt that some version of my script can be
purchased on the streets of NYC in much the same way that pirated videos of
various movies can be purchased on those same streets, sometimes even
before the movies show up in theatres. Although this practice is thoroughly
illegal and neither I nor anyone else connected with the film will ever see
a penny from such sales, I must admit that it is mildly gratifying to know
that my labor of love is available to the American public, if only in this
tawdry samizdat form. VN would surely have sympathized.

As far as I know, there is thus far no arrangement for a US video release
of the film. About a month ago, authorities in Oklahoma seized copies of
Volker Schlondorff's Academy-Award-winning film adaptation of Gunter
Grass's "The Tin Drum" in the belief that it violated laws against child
pornography, and just this week a benighted US judge upheld the absurdly
broad Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. Both these events can only
bolster the fears of those American distributors who have already concluded
that, in the current retrograde environment, our "Lolita" is too hot to

We have, however, not given up. The film will be released in Europe this
fall and winter, and its reception there will have a profound effect on the
possibilities of an American distribution. I would urge anyone who supports
the project to do so very loudly--even those whose only experience of the
film is a pirated copy of my screenplay.

Stephen Schiff