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kerrylee
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎04-15-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books



foxycat wrote:
Strangely, Joyce's "Ulysses" was made into a film in 1967, the same year I had to read it as an English major in college. The book was totally lost on me, so I can't voice an opinion of the movie. I've heard that "Finnegan's Wake is even more cryptic.


Dear Foxycat,
Boy, am I glad that I'm not the only one who found Ulysses incomprehensible! I got it for Chrismas last year (it's sopposed to be #1 om the list of greatest books ever written. At the rate I'm going, it is going to take about 30 years to read it. As for as understanding it, it may just be impossible. I still intend to give it a try, though.

Regarding film adaptions of books. These ws a book that came out about 11 years ago called Beach Music by Pat Conroy (he also wroye Price of Tides ad The Great Santini. This book is enormous in scope, from Russia during WWI, to America during WWII and the Vietnam war.It folows a group a friends from school through college and one of the group sets up the others and the story takes off into their individual life storesfrom that point. The main protagonist is in love with a girl from childhood, they get married and have a child, but this part of the story is tragic.

It's a long book (about 800 pages),and should probably done as a mini-series on HBO so nothing important gets left out. If you ever get a chance to read this book, don't pass up the opportunity. It's one of those book where sleep takes a back step to finishing the book.

I'd love to watch this on the screen (NOT DIRECTED, ACTED IN OR PRODUCED BY BARBARA STREISAND!) For those of you who read The Prince of Tides, She took a great book and turned it into a love store betweer her (the shrink) and Tom Wingo. There's not one mention of Luke Wingo, who is the Prince of Tides in the book.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has read either of these books. I'm curious to see if they struck an emotional chord in them like it did me.

Take Care.
kerkat
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SaviorOnEdge
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎07-04-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books


BillP wrote:
What are your favorite cinematic book adaptations? What are the least-successful? And what books should never be made into movies?

...

And I'll ask one more question. How faithful should adaptations be to the text? Is it more important to include every relevant plot point, or to make a film that works on its own?



The best adaptation I have seen was Piers Anthony's Total Recall. The only deviation I saw from the book was in unreproducible special effects. Someone else has already mentioned "Blade Runner", which is one of my all-time favorite movies--Harrison Ford and SiFi/Fantasy is a mix made in heaven.

In our current political climate, nothing by Heinlein should be adapted. "Puppet Masters" was a travesty that should have the director locked in the deepest, darkest, South American prison we can find. What were they thinking, adapting a book that ends in wide-spread legally-mandated nudity for display to the American/World population of the 90's? Personally, I would love to see Friday made into a movie but only when the public can accept a movie accurate to the book (and I hope my children live long enough to see that day as I doubt I will.)

Faithfulness to the original is a difficult balancing act on a very sharp sword. On the one hand we have the disastrous "Dune" movie which has been forgotten by most people, the one that had Frank Herbert's name taken off of it. On the other we have the HP series. Dune tried to maintain the flavor of Herbert's universe and kept the characters, but ignored or outright changed important plot elements and information for no apparent reason [The guild stearsmen were Orange despite the book clearly stating spice turned them blue]. HP 1&2 seemed to focus on the story and only left out data they couldn't fit in, almost never making things up or changing them. Of course 3&4 were much worse, not even trying to maintain continuity to the first two. :blah: That is another discussion. The point is to keep from being lynched by devoted fans, a movie must attempt to be true to the book. It should never add scenes which end up in conflict with the book. The director should never allow the need to fit in another special effect overwrite the time needed for a pertinent dialog, and if a passage is unexciting but gives vital information it must be left in.

Well, that is enough from me, for now :smileyhappy:
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books



kerrylee wrote:


foxycat wrote:
Strangely, Joyce's "Ulysses" was made into a film in 1967, the same year I had to read it as an English major in college. The book was totally lost on me, so I can't voice an opinion of the movie. I've heard that "Finnegan's Wake is even more cryptic.


Dear Foxycat,
Boy, am I glad that I'm not the only one who found Ulysses incomprehensible! I got it for Chrismas last year (it's sopposed to be #1 om the list of greatest books ever written. At the rate I'm going, it is going to take about 30 years to read it. As for as understanding it, it may just be impossible. I still intend to give it a try, though.

Regarding film adaptions of books. These ws a book that came out about 11 years ago called Beach Music by Pat Conroy (he also wroye Price of Tides ad The Great Santini. This book is enormous in scope, from Russia during WWI, to America during WWII and the Vietnam war.It folows a group a friends from school through college and one of the group sets up the others and the story takes off into their individual life storesfrom that point. The main protagonist is in love with a girl from childhood, they get married and have a child, but this part of the story is tragic.

It's a long book (about 800 pages),and should probably done as a mini-series on HBO so nothing important gets left out. If you ever get a chance to read this book, don't pass up the opportunity. It's one of those book where sleep takes a back step to finishing the book.

I'd love to watch this on the screen (NOT DIRECTED, ACTED IN OR PRODUCED BY BARBARA STREISAND!) For those of you who read The Prince of Tides, She took a great book and turned it into a love store betweer her (the shrink) and Tom Wingo. There's not one mention of Luke Wingo, who is the Prince of Tides in the book.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has read either of these books. I'm curious to see if they struck an emotional chord in them like it did me.

Take Care.


Beach Music was a wonderful book and I agree that it would make a great mini-series. I'm currently reading The Water is Wide, also by Pat Conroy. My husband and I toured Daufauskie Island in March. This is the setting for this book (Yamacraw Island as it is called in the book) which he wrote about his year teaching the Gullah children in an all black school segregated school. Jo
Contributor
Kit-Kat
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-09-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books

I think that great adaptations of great books are those that don't just try to recreate the plot and characters, but actually reform the story using the elements of film, which are not available to an author. For example, *Brokeback Mountain* uses the elements of cinematography to make the landscape practically another character, and environment is so crucial to the plot and character of that story. *Remains of the Day* is another gorgeous adaptation. These works are true to the spirit of the original work, but are not slaves to it, because they take advantage of what film has to offer in terms of creating atmosphere, conveying emotion with images and faces rather than words, use of music and sounds, evoking landscape or environment, etc. Think of the great film adaptations of Chandler and Hammett: *The Maltese Falcon,* *The Big Sleep,* etc., and how they take advantage of the filmic language of light and shadows. It's the same when a play is adapted for the screen, such as Mamet's version of the *The Winslow Boy.*

Every medium has its strengths and limitations, and a good translation from one medium to another does not try to be literal, but poetic, just as a good translation from one language to another does. A good adaptation is alive, not mere reproduction.

Another issue is that usually the adaptation is made at a different (later) time than the novel, and so the artist may have different issues, concerns, and context that he or she wants to emphasize. Or, the artist may simply have different goals and want to accomplish something different.
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"And so, from too much reading and too little sleep, his brains dried up and he lost his wits." Cervantes, *Don Quixote*
Contributor
Kit-Kat
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-09-2007
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Reading Ulysses

Oh, and by the way, if you're trying to read Ulysses, buy a guidebook. There are a couple of books that discuss the book, chapter by chapter, and I think such a work is indispensible. Parts of Ulysses are spoofs of other works or styles, or use other cultural or linguistic references that may not be familiar to a reader, and if you don't know what they are, the book will be a huge slog. If you can't read it in a class (UVA offered an entire semester-long course on Ulysses) get some kind of Cliff's Notes to accompany you in your reading.
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"And so, from too much reading and too little sleep, his brains dried up and he lost his wits." Cervantes, *Don Quixote*
Frequent Contributor
kerrylee
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎04-15-2007
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Re: Reading Ulysses



Kit-Kat wrote:
Oh, and by the way, if you're trying to read Ulysses, buy a guidebook. There are a couple of books that discuss the book, chapter by chapter, and I think such a work is indispensible. Parts of Ulysses are spoofs of other works or styles, or use other cultural or linguistic references that may not be familiar to a reader, and if you don't know what they are, the book will be a huge slog. If you can't read it in a class (UVA offered an entire semester-long course on Ulysses) get some kind of Cliff's Notes to accompany you in your reading.


Hi KitKat!

I was wondering if there was some sort of guidebook or celtic translation book that would explain some of the words and expressions in the book. Cliff's notes would work, too; however I'd like something a little more detailed. Do you know the name or authors of any of these kind of books? I've never need to do this before, but by the time I got halfway through the 1st page I knew I'd need alot of help. Would starting with a different Joyce book, such as Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man make a difference. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the subject. Thank you.

Take care.
kerkat
Inspired Correspondent
Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Reading Ulysses



kerrylee wrote:
blockquote>
Hi KitKat!

I was wondering if there was some sort of guidebook or celtic translation book that would explain some of the words and expressions in the book. Cliff's notes would work, too; however I'd like something a little more detailed. Do you know the name or authors of any of these kind of books? I've never need to do this before, but by the time I got halfway through the 1st page I knew I'd need alot of help. Would starting with a different Joyce book, such as Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man make a difference. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the subject. Thank you.

Take care.



Hi KerKat-------You might want to look online also for commmentary on Ulysses by James Joyce. You could try:
http://pinkmonkey.com/booknotes/monkeynotes/pmUlysses02.asp
Librarian
Contributor
dragonfly2007
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎07-14-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books

I know that i'm a little under everyone's league... however I am only 19. Just to let everyone know the new movie blood and chocolate... though a wonderful book... has pretty much nothing to do with it literary counterpart... good movie if you can seperate it from the book... but not very good at staying true to the story.
AmberRose
~Never take life, or yourself too seriously... you'll never get out alive!~
Frequent Contributor
skipster56
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎07-23-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books



Everyman wrote:


BillP wrote:
And what books should never be made into movies?
My curmudgeonly answer is, no books should ever be made into movies. Books are books and movies are movies and they have different principles and roles. If people want to make a movie, they should write it from scratch, of course being welcome to borrow plots or plot elements from books, but not trying film the book. And if people want to know about a book, they should read the book, not try to watch a movie of it which can't ever get in the nuances or richness of the took and so will always fall short.

It's sheer laziness and trying to profit off of somebody else's work that makes movie makers make movies of already written books which presumably have built in audiences rather than writing and filming their own stories and selling them on their own merits.

If scriptwriters and movie makers actually had to write their own stories and scripts, we might actually have more than a handful of decent movies to watch.


I tend to agree with you BillP. "Books are Books and Movies are Movies." As an author, when I write, I write subjectively from my mind and research. Any producer will take that information and write their own scipt to fit it into a budget. When a movie is produced,it takes a shorter time than writing a book, but cost are very much higher. I have read many books in my lifetime and seen movies from many of those titles. I can not think of any movie that replicates a novel. A good example is the latest Harry Potter book and movie. Reading the novel, one can visualize a yound boy as the heroic wizard. But the movie shows a wizard that appears older. Throughout the trilogy of Harry Potter, I, and this is only my opinion, liked the youthful Harry Potter in the movies. J.K. Rowling did a wonderful job of writing and I am sure she will be missed by her fans and the publisher.
View the new web page for Dangerous Love at www.skipstover.com
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hawaiianchique
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
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Re: Film Adaptations of Books

There's nothing more disappointing than loving a great book, getting excited about the film, and then being let down when the film failed to bring the book to life. Imagination is priceless. I prefer to get absorbed in a book and let my imagination run away with the story. Part of the enjoyment of reading a book is your own view and perception. In a movie, you only have the view of the film makers. If you discuss a book with other readers, you will find that each reader had their own interpretation of what they read. It's having all these different points of view that's great. A movie limits what an individual's imagination can do.