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Friday
Jan122007

The Unfilmable Novels

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100 Years of Solitude
Nice story here from Screenhead The Unfilmables - a list of the hardest novels to film. "With the release and critical success of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, an adaptation of a novel once considered impossible to film, what better time to look into the process of adaptation. Most movies these days are based on literary sources. Which is ironic, considering the increasing lack of interest in books these days as opposed to the spoon-fed thoughts offered by Hollywood.

While many novels can be almost directly translated to screen, especially pre-20th century novels such as Jane Austen’s gossip columns, more recent novels can prove difficult. There have been bad novels turned into good films (pretty much everything Hitchcock made, The Godfather), and plenty of dull adaptations of good books (Dune, The Unbearable Bore of Being in a Cinema to Watch This). There’s also a few oddities, such as Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman’s bizarre self-referential adaptation of The Orchid Thief. But despite the film industry’s frenzy in snapping up adaptation rights, there remains a few novels many fear."

I read a lot of novels and I often think "This would make a great movie...but not in the hands of Hollywood". And then sometimes the bastards do get hold of the film rights and make an absolute stinker of a movie which kinda ruins the book for you. One of my favourites given the Hollywood treatment and it was horrible (well I thought so) was Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano made into a movie by John Huston. It picked up a couple of Oscar nominations but so what, that's no criteria. (Think "Gladiator" with Wussell Crowe. What a steaming pile of shit that was.) Your thoughts?

Another favourite of mine is 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Pleased to see it's on this list of Unfilmable. So far. And it's not because of all that rain either.

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