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step 1. book step 2. adapt step 3. profit

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
(this thread contains minor spoilers about a canadian film most of you will probably never see called Falling Angels)

so last night i saw Falling Angels, the film adaptation of Barbara Gowdy's novel. i really enjoyed the film, and then there was a Q&A with the director immediately after the film.
the first question posed was something to the affect of "i didnt read the book so i dont know how it ends, but is the film ending the same as the ending in the book?"
and the director went on to say that no, in fact, it was quite a different ending than in the book. he explained that he feels that his world-view is a different one than Gowdy's was at the time that she wrote the book, and that his world-view is what informed his decision to change the ending to one with more hope.
now, this really rubbed me the wrong way. i understand that adapting a novel is a tricky bit of business, but i still feel quite strongly that if a director's (or screenwriter or who ever is responsible for the adaptation) frame of reference is SO different than the original author, he might consider picking...oh, say, another book to adapt?!?!
an author ends a novel with a specific intention (i should hope) and this leaves the reader with a certain tone in which to reflect on the book.
i find it fairly disrespectful to the original work for someone to alter it so dramatically.

what do you think?
have you seen movies which have been properly adapted to screen? (i find Nick Hornby books are extremely well adapted for the screen)
do you think that a director has the right to release a movie with the same name and same characters of a book and then alter the narrative in such a way as to change the outcome of the story?
 

Hal-9000

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Booty Bits

do you think that a director has the right to release a movie with the same name and same characters of a book and then alter the narrative in such a way as to change the outcome of the story?

It's no secret that the way most screen rights deals are structured leave little protection for the integrity of the source material, so it's not like the writers get blindsided. If an author signs off, then fair play.


Look what happened to Susan Orlean's book!
 

OhNo!

TRIBE Member
i was thinking about hitting this,but alas no time I also wanted to go to the q=a for 'my life without me'-that movie was great especially the scene in the supermarket-sarah polley=greatest canadian actor evar!
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
yeah, i know what you're saying ry.
i'm not suggesting that an author has any right to get indignant when they see the final cut. they obviously had dollar signs in their eyes when signing the deal, or else they would have retained creative control.
i guess its more as a reader and a viewer that i'm thinking of it.
like, what gives you the right to change someone else's ending?
obviously someone who reads a book must fall in love with it in order to birth it into a movie. its a labour of love!
so if you love that story so much, why do you fuck with it?
 
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Adam

TRIBE Member
I'm all for seeing a unique interpretation of a work, but I lean much further towards staying true to the original work. Especially in a book to movie translation. If I was an author, I'd look at the movie as being a method of bringing my work to a larger audience. As opposed to someone doing a personal interpretation of my work. Then again, I'm not a writer.

Plus, the genius is in the original work, right? I prefer people stay true to that.
 

OhNo!

TRIBE Member
look at probably the greatest crime writer of the past 20 years-Elmore Leonard-his books get ripped to shreds even by mega-fan and renound anti-slasher Tarantino...
 

kat

TRIBE Member
but doesn't the adaptation of anything mean its supposed to be changed? - to improve or mesh properly with its new format.

is there a difference between saying your movie is based on a book or adapted from a book?
for some reason i'd think the adapted movie would include more changes
(but then again whenever i see "based on a true story" etc., its never all that "true" anyway)

uhm. so rambling here..

i think it depends on the book/story itself.
there are some stories that i only like parts of..or some sections seem almost out of place. and i wish they could have been different.
its all in the opinion of the directors/writers - how strongly they feel about changing the story. its a huge part of their lives and themselves that they are putting out there. using someone else's story or not; the film is still a representation of THEIR work. if i was putting that much effort into something i'd want to like the ending.

like for example: gone with the wind.
stupid retarded piece of crap ending..i read that mega book for nothing. NOTHING.
if i was victor fleming (or george cukor) i would have ended it differently. (an added bonus being that awful made for tv alternative ending/sequel would have never even developed into an idea)

byebye
kait
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
you make some good points kat..i know where you're coming from.

had peter jackson not altered the original i think i'd still be sitting through the end of Return Of The King.
 

Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
Books and movies are so completely different as art forms I don't know why people even claim they can adapt books to films. It would be better just to give credit to the book as inspiration then to claim that the movie is based on the book.

The problem is the lawyers and 'intellectual property rights'. If you make a claim that a book inspired you to write a screenplay then you're basically setting yourself up for a huge ass lawsuit. Authors and their legal council will claim that you 'stole' their idea (like no one has ever thought of writing a book about a boy coming of age before). It's better to just buy the rights and rape the material like a drunken frosh girl. Plus there is a built in audience of people who read the book with the same title and names of characters and will probably just go to see the movie out of curiosity.
 
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Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
yeah Funk, i heard what you're saying. i know i've made a point of watching certain movies cuz i loved the book.
usually this is a really BAD idea! i, as a reader, already have this emotional investment in the characters and story, and then i go and masochistically set myself up to be disappointed.
i remember back in grade nine, i rented The Colour Purple and watched it by myself and i was almost throwing shit at my tv i was so pissed.

i'm a huge John Irving fan, so i've watched The World According to Garp twice. (hey, Robin Williams, Glenn Close, and John Lithgow in drag also make it a worthwhile experience!) but i'm still scared to watch Hotel New Hampshire cuz its one of my favourite novels of all time.

has anyone seen the movie "Bright Lights, Big City"? i read it in high school and found it really interesting but i've heard the movie is a piece of dogshit.
 

Hal-9000

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Dr Funk MD
It would be better just to give credit to the book as inspiration then to claim that the movie is based on the book.

That has actually happened in cases where the film is so different from the source material. I know John Irving's "A Prayer For Owen Meany" got butchered into "A SMall Miracle" and the credits read: suggested by a novel by John Irving.
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
A Prayer For Owen Meany was used as a springboard for a movie called Simon Birch.
is that what you're talking about ryan?
 

kat

TRIBE Member
yaa not to say that people SHOULD take the butcher knife to the story

but thats only because some people have bad taste



i think ive seen "inspired by such and such" in the credits as well
 

Hal-9000

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Booty Bits
A Prayer For Owen Meany was used as a springboard for a movie called Simon Birch.
is that what you're talking about ryan?
That's it. "A Small Miracle" was the working title. Didnt see it.
 
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Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
well, i saw Simon Birch (and read Owen Meany) and in a way, i found it to be a better way of going about a film adaptation. this is not regarding the actual merits of Simon Birch, cuz its a very meh movie.
basically, they say "look, we read the book, think its really neat, but know damn well that we'll never recreate it truthfully, so we'll even change the damn name and clearly state that Owen Meany was the inspiration."
to me, thats more respectful than keeping the same name, saying the story is based on the novel, and then fucking with it.
 

OhNo!

TRIBE Member
Less Than Zero and American Psycho were both horrible adapts of Ellis' novels and if anyone dares to make Glamourama into a feature i will kill someone...but it happens all the time-cest la vie
 

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
Every good adaptation takes great liberties: it must, the medium being hte message and novels thus fundamentally different than films.

My examples of great books and great moves that each stand on their own: Clockwork Orange, Like Water for Chocolate and The Shining.

Speaking as another Irving fan, Garp the movie doesn't even come close to Garp the book for emotional resonance and wit and all. However, as the estimable says, the actors were great, which made it not terrible. Far too many films made of books are absolutely terrible, and as I say, I think it's mostly due to the film makers giving no thought to how films function differently than books, and the liberties they much then take with form.

When these crappy film makers change anything it's to make it more fucking palatable to the goddam Hollywood audience. That's not the kind of change needed.

I love Barbara Gowdy, and I'm staying far away from this film: all the reviews are terrible.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Oddly, Stephen King hates Kubrick's Shining.

I honestly don't understand why. I'd probably rate the Shining as one of the best horror/thrillers ever. Even with the bear suit blow job.

I guess SK doesn't like how Nicholson's character hints at his own mental breakdown from the beginning, whereas in the book is a much more slow and gradual process. I would attribute this more to the limitations of a 2 hour movie versus any particular intention of Kubrick's part though.
 

kat

TRIBE Member
i watched the tv mini series/remake of the shining

king liked it..it stayed very strict to the book

i thought it sucked..seriously dissapointing.
 
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Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
Yes, King didn't like it, but artists can be very peculiar and attached to their work sometime.

Also, given both of their ouevres, I'm gonna trust Kubricks artistic vision over Kings! :)
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
yeah, i was going to point that out too. ;)

I mean, King's a remarkable storyteller with an incredible imagination, but....he also wrote Christine.

funny, usually the blood gets off at the second floor.
 

kat

TRIBE Member
ya the guy from wings just didnt do it for me

plus that stupid nasal congested kid they chose for danny


the whole thing felt completely different - i wasnt creeped out/scared at all.
the hedge animal/carpet thing was kind of cool.

kubrick had to make a lot of changes (ie danny talk to his finger instead of an apparation..hedge maze instead of moving hedge animals - because the special effects werent good enough at the time)

those changes were for the better.
 
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