From Word To Image


I'm sure you've heard the saying 'The book was so much better than the movie' or better yet 'They should have never made it into a movie'. Very common happening, mostly beccause it speaks the truth. Almost every Novel that gets translated into a film is mediocre in comparison to its Litterate counterpart. Why? Well maybe it's because a book has much more time to develop its story & its characters that you get to know them a little better. Watching The Time Traveller's Wife this past weekend I was struck at how uninvolving it was and how mediocre its character development tended to be- and I had heard great things about the novel. Ask any fan of the novel and they will tell you they loved to read it but despised watching it. It's not just character development it's also the fact that some stories are just not meant to be made into film- case in point is Brian DePalma's disastrous Bonfire Of The Vanities or Roger Avary's unwatchable The Rules Of Attraction. Both novels were written in ways that celluloid could not describe, both were stylistically groundreaking and both were fit for the medium of word and not image



It's very simple, no Direcor can recreate what was already great because what the director does is essentially interpret someone else's art- looking at it that way, you can understand why there are so many dissapointing translations on screen these days. Looking back, I cannot for the life of me think of 10 movies that were better than their Novelistic counterparts- Jonathan Demme did it in 1991, turning Thomas Harris' Trashy novel into the classy Silence Of The Lambs, Stanley Kubrick turned Stephen King's straight laced The Shining into his own nightmarish dream, Francis Ford Coppola took Mario Puzo's The Godfather and created the best movie I have ever seen. Kubrick pissed Stephen King off so much with his 'interpretation' of The Shining that a decade later King decided to make his own version vying to remake 'everything differently'. Writers are just so damn hard to please.
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