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Films adapted from. . .

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Mastadge, Jul 18, 2002.

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  1. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Obviously, a whole lot of films are adapted from books, comics, video games, etc.

    My question is, what should be the goal when doing these adaptations?

    With any book, there's always the group that doesn't want any interpretation, and wants a direct translation from pages to screen.

    However, they're two different mediums.

    I think that a director needs to do what's best for the movie, even if it means changing some elements from the inspiration.
  2. halibut

    halibut Ex-Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 27, 2000
    An interesting question. The 2 biggies recently have been Harry Potter and LotR. If the latter had veered too much away, then there would have been a massive uproar, but this probably wouldn't have stopped some other directors doing the same.

    With Harry Potter, a lot was cut out for time reasons, but not much was changed at all, with one big exception I can recall. For some reason, the word 'bloody' was added several times. Why? It didn't do anything to change the film, story, characters or anything. J K Rowling didn't use those words, and I'm sure she had a very good reason, so why was it added, except to get a titter from the kids. If they weren'e put it, I douby anyone would have left the cinema thinking "Oh that would have been better if Ron had said 'bloody' in the film"
  3. ParanoidAni-droid

    ParanoidAni-droid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 27, 2001

    With any book, there's always the group that doesn't want any interpretation, and wants a direct translation from pages to screen.

    Yes, we call that group of people "idiots." 8-} Honestly, they are two completely different languages. You would use diffrent rythms and techniques to convey passion in a film than you would in a book.

    Literature has a natural pace imbeddid in its structure through the use of chapter breaks, paragraphs, diction, etc. The story of literature is often digested over a longer period of time, perhaps days where as a film is almost always within the realm of 2 1/2 hours or so.

    Think of all of the successful book to film adaptations, Apocalypse Now, High Fiedelity, The Godfather, The Shining, Raging Bull; they've succeeded because they metamophisized to fit the medium.


  4. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 6, 2001
    I think Ordinary People is a superb example of a strong book being brought to the screen. The book and the film complement each other well, and the film did win Best Picture in 1981 (for 1980).

    ILLUMINATUS_JEDI Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 29, 2001
    It depends what you are adapting from. Flims and Comics are relativy easy but Video Games are harder becuse most games have a cheesy, crappy plot. But luckily that's changing (And for final when they bring the Deus Ex movieout :) )

  6. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    Adaptations are a tricky thing, but generally I think a film can be great either way. The Maltese Falcon for instance is almost scene for scene the book and it's a great film.

    Dr. Strangelove on the other hand is based on a totally serious thriller named Red Alert.

    It just depends on the material if you're better off trashing it or sticking close to it.
  7. halibut

    halibut Ex-Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 27, 2000
    During all the pre-hype to LotR, I made a lot of people unhappy with my predictions that people would be disappointed, because they thought it would be a great film because the book is great (their opinion not mine! I don't like the book or the film). Now I may have been wrong, but I think my point stands. very very few film adaptations of books stick closely to the original. The example I gave then of a good adaptation was Silence of the Lambs. The film was pretty much exactly what I imagined when I read the book. The only noticeable difference was that in the book, Starling worked out what Gumb's plan was by herself, and it took a long time. In the film, Lecter tells her straight out.

    A bad example of an adaptation is Jurassic Park. Again, in the book, it took them ages to work out how the dinosaurs were breeding, but in the film, Grant susses it out straightaway. Also in the book there were dinosaur birds, which didn't make the film, and in the book, Hammond dies, which he doesn't in the film
  8. weezer

    weezer Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 16, 2001
    Thats very true about JP. Have you noticed though how the entire JP series almost covers everything that was in the first book.

    I think that it really depends on the material. Two of Philp K. Dick's stories that were turned into movies differ greatly from their respecitve books. (Do Androids Dream and Minority Report). Partly because the material needed to be updated.

    Personaly I enjoy when the movie and what it was adapted from differ slightly. I can read the book and 9 times out of 10 what I dream up looks better than what ends up on the big screen. Part of watching an adapted movie is looking at someone else interpertation of the material.
  9. AdmiralZaarin

    AdmiralZaarin Jedi Knight star 5

    Jul 8, 2001
    I'm not sure if the movie Foxfire (or was it Firefox?) with Clint Eastwood was adapted from Peter Caves' book Foxbat, but if it was, whoa, that was one bad adaption. They completely changed the story line. Even if it wasn't based off the book and based off the actual event (the defection of a pilot and his MiG-25 to Japan) it was still a very, very bad adaption. And yes, why did they add 'bloody' into Harry Potter?
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