It is currently Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:09 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:47 pm 
Offline
hooked

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:15 am
Posts: 4864
no, I'm saying PJ tried to do too much.

the term "purist" is used in so many different ways I don't even know what it is any more.

_________________
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:52 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33790
Quote:
If I may be so bold as to bring up PJ again... part of his problem was trying to do too much that wasn't in his own vision for the films. They would have been much "better" if he had just taken the parts he liked and made the movie he wanted to.


To some extent, I agree with this. For instance, he probably should have left the Paths of the Dead out altogether. But, frankly, I think that for the most part he did take the parts he liked and made the movie that he wanted to. Which I think helps explain why they were so wildly successful.

Quote:
However, the adaptation can't contradict the themes and messages of the book and still be a good adaptation. It can have DIFFERENT ones... but shouldn't alter the original intentions of the book.


I also agree with this, to some extent. But as has already been discussed, this is a very subjective issue. As to PJ and LOTR, really the only place that I can think of where the movie contradicts the themes and messages of the book is the horrible line that Aragorn says about showing no mercy. There are other areas where the movies diverge from the book's themes (sometimes quite significantly), but no others that I can think of right now that actually contradict the themes. You, of course, have a different perspective. There really is no way to say which one of us is more "right" then the other.

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:54 pm 
Offline
hooked

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:15 am
Posts: 4864
Yes, I do indeed have quite the different perspective :P

_________________
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:07 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Intent is not where I would focus, because anyone except the author is only guessing at the author's intent. Authors themselves get to make educated guesses about their own intent, at least. ;)

Focus on effect, because it's the only thing you know for sure about the source material: what it did for and to you. It may be that the effect you felt was really nothing at all that the author could have guessed at. It may be that no one else on earth felt that way about it. But it's the only absolutely authentic thing you have to build on.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:08 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33790
I would say rather that you have been the most vocal and effective representative of a significant minority with a similar perspective. :D

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:10 pm 
Offline
hooked

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:15 am
Posts: 4864
well, I don't know about effective... but I've certainly been vocal ;)

_________________
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:50 pm 
Offline
Just Keep Singin'
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:35 am
Posts: 4649
Location: Boston, MA
I haven't seen any of the BBC films mentioned here...nor "Anne of Green Gables" or "Pride and Prejudice" (never even read that) or a bunch of others.

However, I do appreciate a good adaptation, although when all is said and done, I usually find the book a superior experience. In other words, most of the time, I feel that the book is a better book than the movie is a movie. (If that makes sense!)

However, there are a very few notable exceptions where I felt that the movie surpassed the book...that the movie became what the book was trying to be.

"Shawshank Redemption" is at the top of the list. A barely-realized novella by Stephen King, the movie was nigh unto perfectly done.
"Field of Dreams." Based on a book by Roy Kinsella called "Shoeless Joe." The movie gave a story a heart that the book lacked.
"Stand By Me." Another novella by Stephen King, orginally titled "The Body." Someone else mentioned it previously in the thread. Well-done coming-of-age flick, without the extra "stuff" that bogged down the book.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is a rare thing - I feel that the film and the book are equally brilliant.

One thing that all these films have in common is a voice-over narration at some point in the story...or at several points. I don't know if that commonality means anything.

Oh, and I loved PJ's LOTR. Loved. Are they the books? Of course not. Are they "as good" as the books? Nope again. But they opened up something huge, they introduced (and re-introduced) many people to Middle-Earth and to each other. We have this messageboard and we all know dozens of new people because of PJs movies. That's not something that I take lightly.

_________________
"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:13 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
Thinking about Stand by Me and the effect of narration...and in that case framing the story as memoir with a narrator who physically appears.

Just thought of another great one, A River Runs through It. The source material is challenging, as the story is told not chronologically but episode by episode as if the narrator were actually recalling it from decades past, one memory sparking another. Brilliant writing, but it would have been devilishly hard to do that in a film and not lose most of the audience, unless you actually used the narrator as a character a la Stand by Me...but you couldn't just do it as a quick framing device, you would have to have them there at every transition. Could go cheesy fast.

Instead, Redford just put the chief episodes together in chronological order, which loses the effect of recollection, but without losing the wistfulness that infuses the story. The voice of the narrator is present, but not seen, and the language and plot (and performances by Tom Skerrit and a very young Brad Pitt) carry the burden.

If you had asked me, having not seen the film, if you could keep the "essential" nature of the book there without the author's narrative device, I would have said no way. And I would have been wrong.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:31 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33790
I split off S'Wiz's response to my comment about the Paths of the Dead into the Shibboleth forum so that I could respond there, and keep this thread from osgilliating in that direction.

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:37 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
I'm just going to keep posting as if no one is discussing LOTR at all. :D

It should also be noted that reports have it that the author of ARRTI didn't co-operate with Redford during the formative portions of the movie project (he died two years before the film was released). Which again goes to show that the author who can deal with the process of adaptation at all is the exception, not the rule.

edit to add: There's actually both a book and a short film about the process of adapting this book to this movie. Evidently Redford gave Maclean some veto power over the first script:

Quote:
What made it happen was trust…I told him I wasn’t sure I could make it work [as a movie]. It’s a very literary work, difficult to translate to another medium. Nonetheless, I had a tremendous passion to make it, so I proposed the following: that we meet three times, letting a few weeks pass between each meeting. During our encounters we would exchange ideas and ask each other questions freely. If at any point during the process he didn’t care to continue, he should say so and we’d go our separate ways, with no hard feelings. But if after the third meeting
he was willing to grant me an option, we would go forward. Moreover, I told him I’d show him the screenplay as it developed and allow him to pull the plug. What I asked in return was, having approved the finished script, he would give me the freedom to make the film and shut up.


A telling quote from Redford all the way around. ;)

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Last edited by axordil on Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:42 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39519
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
To be fair, it must be worrisome or even frightening for an author to sign over control of his work to people who may not understand or care what he intended by it and who can do whatever they please with it, in a format that is likely to be seen and remembered by many more people than ever read the book.

Probably the author who deals best with adaptation is one who honestly doesn't care—the money is good, after all, so take it and run.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:55 pm 
Offline
Cute, cuddly and dangerous to know
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:52 am
Posts: 6011
superwizard wrote:
The Prisoner of Azkaban seems to be a very interesting case because it seems that either people liked it or hated it. Finding out why might help us understand what makes a successful adaptation...


I think it's because of what ax explained here:

Quote:
Focus on effect, because it's the only thing you know for sure about the source material: what it did for and to you. It may be that the effect you felt was really nothing at all that the author could have guessed at. It may be that no one else on earth felt that way about it. But it's the only absolutely authentic thing you have to build on.


I'm wondering if the film is equally loved or hated by people whose favourite HP it is as by those for whom it's just one among many.
For me, the powerful thing about the third book was the development from initially believing in the evil of the black dog to doubting this information to finally discovering the fact that the universally condemned Sirius is the good guy, and in fact the first grown-up to care personally about Harry (of course Hagrid and Dumbledore care, too, in the distant way of teachers, and Mrs Weasley does, too, but it's more the mother-bird's way of caring for all young'uns) - this was what made the book meaningful to me, and this aspect didn't seem to feature in the movie at all.

_________________
Image Artwork by Breogán - thank you, my friend! :foryou:


Eine Blume der Asche meines Herzens


but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:25 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
"Field of Dreams" was written by W. P. Kinsella, as "Shoeless Joe". He lives almost next door to my Mum.

He's a Canadian, and has written many interesting books. Some of his books are told from the viewpoint of a First Nations person, notably "Dance Me Outside". There has been some controversy about these books, but they are good reading.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:45 pm 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1744
Location: The Shire
Faithful adaptations which I really, really like:
BBC radio LOTR
BBC Pride and Prejudice :love:
Hitchcock's Rebecca (just wonderful)

Not-so-faithful adaptations which I really, really like:
PJ's LOTR :P (apart from the ROTK:EE, which drives me round the bend. And the last 10 minutes of TTT. :D)

Adaptations which I just really like, either because I never read the book, or feel indifferent about the book
Master and Commander
Bleak House (BBC, autumn 2005)
Goblet of Fire (far and away the best HP outing so far)
Martin Chuzzlewit (BBC2, 1994, absolutely fantastic)
North and South (with one quibble at the end ... excuse me, but this is 1850 and respectable young Victorian ladies do not snog their young men in public, BBC people!!)

An adaptation which tried really hard but failed
Anthony Minghella's film adaptation of Cold Mountain, a book I loved. Casting Nicole Kidman as Ada was a big no-no from the start: I wanted Julianne Moore to play Ada, she'd have been perfect. As for Rene Zellwegger, she did to poor Ruby what PJ did to Gimli!

Adaptations which I detest
Bakshi's LOTR (perhaps this is not a fair judgement, because I only made it through the first 30 minutes before I could take no more. No more Hobbits as Garden Gnomes. Please. For the sake of my sanity.)

To me the litmus test of a faithful adaptation is CHARACTERISATION, rather than changes to the plot. Sometimes changing the plot is only moving the furniture around, or making shortcuts, or whatever. But characterisation counts for a lot.

Of course, this is a highly subjective POV. For example, some people really hate Robert Stephens's interpretation of Aragorn in the BBC LOTR. Or perhaps they just hate his voice. :D I do think that BBC Aragorn, as written by Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell, is pretty much Tolkien's Aragorn. The inflections that Stephens gave him are rather more controversial. :D

I also think that Alison Steadman's portrayal of Mrs Bennet in the BBC P&P is too much of a caricature. Mrs B is a very stupid, even amoral, woman with no moral substance or depth. But Steadman overdid it a bit.

By the way: if you've never seen the new version of Dr Zhivago broadcast by ITV some years ago, with Keira Knightley as Lara, then ... DON'T.

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:57 am 
Offline
TTBK's cemmie
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Posts: 575
Location: Shooting things...
vison wrote:
Northanger Abbey? Now, why only that one? It's delightful reading. Has it ever been adapted to film?


Prim wrote:
vison, I believe there's an old BBC adaptation out there on VHS, but I've heard that it's dreadful.


There is a version out. It was filmed in 1986. IMDB link

I have the pleasure of saying that it is one of the most awful movies I own!! :D

It is heavy on bad acting, terrible music and this horrid dream sequence thing they like to do to show what Katherine is imagining.

All in all, I still love watching it from time to time because it amuses me so.

Vison, I would be willing to mail you my dvd just to see if you could make it through the whole thing! :rofl:

I know there are some horrid Austen adaptations out there, but I like watching them anyway... they may not be the way that I felt the book was going, but it certainly is interesting to see what others were inspired to do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:24 pm 
Offline
Cute, cuddly and dangerous to know
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:52 am
Posts: 6011
One much adapted book that hasn't been mentioned yet, and about which I guess most people can say something. :)

Watching Keira Knightley in the new P&P movie a few days ago, I realised she reminded me of Winona Ryder's Jo in "Little Women".
I love that movie, and I also love the older version with Katherine Hepburn. Don't care so much for the 50s version (June Allison? sorry, no time to look it up).
I didn't read the book as a child (it's not such a classic here), but read it (or rather the first volume, I understand there's a sequel) some time after I'd seen the newest movie. I can't say I was much impressed with it, and continue to like the movies better.
I'd like to hear what people who loved/read the book as kids think of the movies. :)

_________________
Image Artwork by Breogán - thank you, my friend! :foryou:


Eine Blume der Asche meines Herzens


but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:40 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39519
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
I had my mother's whole set of Alcott—wartime editions in thin blue bindings—and read them many times before I ever saw a movie version.

I've seen the Hepburn version only once and found it rather "cold." I saw just part of the June Allyson version before I ran out screaming—Jo March was not a sentimental simperer! But I liked the Winona Ryder version so much that I have it on DVD. She is a believable, forthright Jo, and the rest of the casting is also good.

Little Women itself is the only one of the Alcott novels I've read that I still consider a favorite. Little Men and Jo's Boys, the sequels, I enjoyed as a child, but something was missing that I now realize: Jo herself. She's tame, domestic, and packed with good advice, and the novels, which are all about boys at the school she runs with Professor Bhaer, are obviously intended to be morally elevating.

There is no character in Alcott's other novels to match the young Jo, who is flawed and angry and obstreperous and talented and a poor fit for the Civil War–era "young lady" mold. Ryder captures this, though she may be a bit too pretty!

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:30 am 
Offline
TTBK's cemmie
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Posts: 575
Location: Shooting things...
There's a big place in my heart for the latest version of Little Women. Mainly because I adore the sweeping score so much, but also because I think that the casting was very well done.

A few of the actors/actresses are not generally people I enjoy onscreen, but the transformations in the acting made the movie well worth owning.

I grew up as the "Jo" in my family. With 4 girls all born within 8 years we each took on a "role" similar to the characters in the book. Fond memories of us crowding around my mom to listen to the book... and then later watch this movie together.

Not in any way flawless or incredibly faithful to the book, but I think it captures the spirit in a way that all other versions failed to do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:58 pm 
Offline
the Pirate's Daughter

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:57 am
Posts: 604
Another adaptation that I think was an improvement on the source material was The Godfather. The book was a well-written potboiler - a Mafia thriller. The film was something more. It had a moral seriousness, an elegaic tone, that transcended the book. The contrast of old-world values, where you could be a gangster but still in some sense a good man; and new-world values, where you could be one or the other but not both.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:07 pm 
Offline
Cute, cuddly and dangerous to know
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:52 am
Posts: 6011
Sorry to be absent so long, after I'd asked a question! :oops:

Prim and cem, glad to hear you like the Winona Ryder version, too! :D

*pictures cemmie staging plays with her sisters in the attic* :P :D

So, do I get that right, that you love the movie even though it was not particularly faithful to the book, which you love?

(Like I said, I thought the book wasn't very captivating, so it wasn't hard for a movie version to please me more, that's why I was particularly interested what people thought of the movie who loved the book. :) )

Interesting point, Ethel! I didn't know there had been a book before.

A favourite example for me, of a movie that has much more meaning and depth than the book is "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", which I love as a movie. I think here you could also say that the movie has more "moral seriousness". I read the book after the movie, and just wondered how they got this movie out of that book.

And speaking of Lasse Hallström (who directed Gilbert Grape): has anyone read "The Cider House Rules"?
He made that into a movie, which I saw, but I never got round to reading the book.
I just remember people saying 'wow, there's this daring "pro-choice" book, and they made a daring "pro-choice" movie', but on watching the movie I mostly found it an intense plea for life.
So, I'm wondering whether people think the adaptation is true to the book (as far as the "message" is concerned) or whether it changed it somewhat?

_________________
Image Artwork by Breogán - thank you, my friend! :foryou:


Eine Blume der Asche meines Herzens


but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 62 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group