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: Are Film Adaptations Positive?
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May 1st 2008
Er, Moore famously distributes the money for adaptations among the other artists.
May 1st 2008
If one looks at the adaptation in conjunction with the source material, it can be enriching. After all, it's not like one cancels out the other. Both still exist in the world.
I always use the example of
A Clockwork Orange
where Stanley Kubrick's film, in its omission of the original ending, comments on the book. Burgess thinks a person can change, forced psychological conditioning notwithstanding. Kubrick apparently does not, considering how he ends the film on the image of Alex DeLarge and his sinister grin. Or even take
, where Paul Verhoeven turns Heinlein's gung-ho military adventure into a satire of militarism and fascism.
, I feel like people dwell far too much on what's going to be left out in the adaptation. A movie is different from a comic book, and a movie made in 2008 is going to be different from a comic book from the mid-1980s. Let's not also forget that
, besides being an achievement in graphic storytelling (or whatever you'd like to call it), is a compelling story, which means it should work on screen if done right. As for length, under the hands of the right person (whether or not Snyder is it is still uncertain to me), two hours (though it will probably longer than that) might be enough to convey the major themes of the book and tell a good story. But I'm rambling and lost my point somewhere in there.
Then you have adaptations like
or the first couple Harry Potter flicks where they're nearly the exact same thing as the source material. I find it hard to get much out of those. Can anyone make a case for them?
May 3rd 2008
With A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick was basing his adaptation on the US publication of the novel, which omitted the last chapter. He only realised this when it was too late to add it into the film, so I don't think it was him making an intentionally different statement to Burgess.
Speaking of literal adaptations, as people have been, I was wondering if others felt the same as I did about Sin City, interesting to see that at least some people do. I really think it was stupid of Frank Miller to assume that the films
to be frame-for-frame based on his comics. I think it shows a lack of understanding about the two mediums, or at least of film. But another case was a film I watched yesterday called Tony Takitani, which was based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. It was an ok film, but I couldn't get away from the fact that they had basically word-for-word put the story up on screen. They added something at the end (I'm not sure why though) but apart from that, it was really just a voice-over reading the original story over some images. Occasionally a character would say something, but it seemed only because if they didn't then it would seem too distancing. I found myself thinking 'why would anyone need to watch this rather than just read the original story'. It would even be quicker to read the original as it's about 30 pages while the film was about 70 minutes. It may be an interesting film for someone who hasn't read it though, and perhaps it would get someone who wouldn't otherwise to read some of the author's books.
May 3rd 2008
With regard to comics adaptations, I always hope that we'll one day get to the stage that fanboys and spandex-nuts (is there a difference?) will feel ubiquitous resentment for the adaptations of their favourite characters, books and tropes, all despite any actual quality of the product: which, I might reason, can mean only good things for the wider health of the industry once we get past that limiting factor, via sheer numbers of adaptations/blatantly derivative superhero creations, to the point where those very same groups come to realise that the false sense of ownership they feel over the superhero, particularly as a comic-only-genre, is greatly diminished and subsequently extinguished.
Recent developments in comics and other media -- the sci-fi/virgin deal springs quickly to mind -- tend to suggest that television and film are actively pursuing their own intellectual properties. It's perhaps only logical that they'll begin to show deference to those properties over Marvel, DC or Creator-owned works.
Following the above rule of thinking, sequential art's involvement could be in Graphic Novels and singles prologuing and interweaving with the films or TV shows, rather than strictly adapting them, which may be preferable to some -- Fox tried this with the ill-advised Jumper through Oni, I think. Unfortunately these books would likely be given more mainstream coverage and much-needed shelf-space in popular bookshops: the incredibly beauty of the faced forwards HEROES hardcover (an Alex Ross painted dust-jacket), never failed to aggravate whenever I stepped into my local Waterstones 'till some lovely cretin bought it, nevermind the MAUS, of course, showing only it's fairly unimpressive Pulitzer-winning spine; or the Watchmen; or The Dark Knight Returns; or The Nightly “best trade of last year” News. I shudder, sometimes, at the bible-thick Judge Dredd volumes (no matter how much affection the character might deserve from the inner teen), but feel even worse about the faceless Star Wars sequels ever-eating at space that could be going to the very first Sandman, Preacher, Transmet, Y:TLM, Scalped or Casanova trades, for fucking starters.
This all said, it shouldn't be a shocking development to anybody claiming a brain if the studio bosses continue to rely on established fanbases for the increased revenue boosting, in which case we can look forward to forthcoming comic-book adaptations of The latest Hulk, The Dark Knight, and who knows what else is coming, alongside the inevitable Hancock and Indiana Jones adaptations/spin-offs. In any case, it's business as usual.
Also, this my first post – yay!
May 4th 2008
Damn! I really hoped Kubrick just went along with the US edition.
Well, regardless of intent, the omission makes the film and the book different enough to be in some sort of dialogue. Especially if you just cut out the authors and let the two pieces duke it out.
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