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Old 11-28-2014   #1
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Books and Movies

Do you have any interest in the intersection between books and movies?

When I see a movie I enjoy, I will often try to find the source material. If it is based on a novel or short story, I'll probably read it. I don't think that a film needs to be faithful to its origins to be artistically successful in its own right. A case in point is the recent film adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel Under the Skin by Michel Faber. I liked the novel and the movie, but they are very different. I suspected as much when they announced the movie because certain aspects of the novel, I felt, wouldn't translate well to film.

My main interest is in original novels that are later turned into film. A couple of my favorites are:

The Tenant by Roland Topor/film by Roman Polanski
Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg/ film Angel Heart by Alan Parker


I rarely purchase scripts, but I know I have at least two: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene and Jacob's Ladder by Bruce Joel Rubin.





I even have some of the dreaded novelizations. They are not all bad. Dennis Etchison wrote a few under the pen name Jack Martin: Videodrome, Halloween II and III, and John Carpenter's The Fog. He wrote the last one under his own name. Ramsey Campbell did some of the Universal Monster novelizations under the name Carl Dreadstone.




I also have a few books on the making of certain movies. I like the oversized format of Future Noir The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M. Sammon. It is full of stills, story boards, background info on the production, etc. An interesting and entertaining read.





I know Ligotti was involved in the Centipede Press book on The Exorcist but I don't own it, so I don't know if it was an essay or an introduction.


Here is a new book project related to a horror movie that looks like a nice collectible.

http://thebabadook.com/


What are some of your favorites? Is there any novel you would like to see adapted to film?
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Old 11-28-2014   #2
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Re: Books and Movies

Ghost World (with Steve Buscemi and Thora Hird) is one of my favourite films, and I haven't yet read the graphic novel on which it's based. I've been meaning to. I am really interested to see whether I'll prefer the film or the graphic novel. It's just possible this might be one exception to the rule that the book is always better than the film. I shall, I suppose, find out.

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Old 11-28-2014   #3
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Re: Books and Movies

One of more recent examples would be Blue Is the Warmest Color which is adaptation of French graphic novel of the same name, I really enjoyed that one, probably best film of 2013.
Also, what Cronenberg did with Naked Lunch or Crash is incredible - He recently said that you have to brake the spine of the novel to make something out of it, I totally agree with that statement.
Filmography of Akira Kurosawa is full of masterful examples of good adaptations - especially Throne of Blood... and let's not forget Kubrick... What Miike did with Murakami in Audition is great to, I would like to see more novels by him adapted.
Salo by Pasolini is another great example of that transformation done well...

I want someone to finally make Neuromancer, it could be great as Blade Runner, that's an amazing sci-fi novel... and The Future Eve would be nice.

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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Old 11-28-2014   #4
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Re: Books and Movies

Quote Originally Posted by bendk View Post
I even have some of the dreaded novelizations. They are not all bad. Dennis Etchison wrote a few under the pen name Jack Martin: Videodrome, Halloween II and III, and John Carpenter's The Fog. He wrote the last one under his own name.
Etchison's novelization of The Fog literally terrorized me one summer during my early adolescence while I was staying with some in-laws. I was feeling a bit on edge anyway because of the unfamiliar surroundings and social environment, and I read the book in brief bursts before going to bed over a span of several nights. Not a good idea. I have vivid memories of lying awake in that dark, unfamiliar bedroom and feeling positively sick with dread. It was unpleasant at the time, but all these years later it has become a memory that I rather cherish.

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Old 11-28-2014   #5
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Re: Books and Movies

I forgot Hubert Selby Jr... Requiem for a Dream... great novel, great adaptation, maybe best film, so far, in this century...
I like that one so much. 25th Hour...New York masterpiece, plenty of them !

I knew that someday I was gonna die / And I knew before I died Two things would happen to me / That number one I would regret my entire life / And number two I would want to live my life over again.
Hubert Selby Jr.
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Old 11-28-2014   #6
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Re: Books and Movies

extant favorites include...
  • American Psycho. the movie made me chuckle. the book made me cackle inappropriately in public.
  • Hellraiser. We have such sights to show you, including a surprisingly long running movie franchise.
  • Fight Club. "you do not talk about fight club" is probably the cleverest marketing gimmick ever to be used in a book about the dangers of consumerism and its extreme opposite (which looks a lot like terrorism).
  • Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. no interest in seeing the BBC adaptation, I love the american one with Sam Rockwell and Mos Def.
  • Dune. i know the Lynch movie bears only a passing resemblance to the books, but that's the movie that got me curious about the books to begin with.

Adaptations I'd like to see:
  • The Princess and the Dragon. game of thrones prequel novella. I wanna see House Targaryen at the height of their power, right before they knocked themselves down several pegs.
  • The Orphan Palace. I think Pulver's stream of consciousness bits would translate well to movie-voiceover.
  • Nos4a2. creepy little pack of vampire kids, evil holiday themed amusement park, this could be the 21st century Nightmare Before Christmas. get whoever animated Madoka Magica to do a cartoon version at least.
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Old 11-28-2014   #7
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Re: Books and Movies

I would like to see film adaptations of:
- Cities of the Red Night, William S. Burroughs
- I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Harlan Ellison
- At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

And, why not? My Work Is Not Yet Done, Thomas Ligotti

" Let's just say it-human beings are the most retarded organisms
on planet Earth. So put another movie in the DVD player and
pass the popcorn.'
Thomas Ligotti
(interview by Neddal Ayad)
Born To Fear
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Old 12-01-2014   #8
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Re: Books and Movies

Thanks for the info on the Exorcist essay, Cynothoglys. I was going to wait until a beat up copy showed up on eBay for $10. Now I no longer need to.

You picked some good movies. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Remains of the Day are two of my favorites.

"The Last Feast of Harlequin" is the Ligotti story that I think has the best chance of being adapted to film. It could be excellent given the right creative team.

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Nihilesthete by Richard Kalich. That would be similar in tone to In the Company of Men, and probably worse. Not exactly the feel good movie that people clamor for.
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Old 12-01-2014   #9
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Re: Books and Movies

Oh boy.. film adaptations of books I would like to see? Here we go..
Throat Sprockets - Lucas
The Forest - Barron
The Festival - Lovecraft
The Blind Owl - Hedayat
I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream - Ellison
The Drowning Girl - Kiernan
On The Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks - Landsdale
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Old 12-02-2014   #10
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Re: Books and Movies

Films and books I like:

The Hound of the Baskervilles -- One of the first, if not the first, book/film combos I tried. Although it was actually the TV version from 1982 starring Tom Baker that I viewed first. Turned me into a Holmes fan and I soon caught up with the Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing and Ian Richardson versions of the story. IIRC I didn't see the Jeremy Brett version until much later despite being a huge fan of his version of Holmes.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- I love the '50s and '70s versions although I found the original novel slightly disappointing.

Rebecca -- My fave screen version is probably the '90s TV version with Emilia Fox and Charles Dance. I love the last half hour or so where the more sympathetic than usual portrayal of Favell highlights the fact that in most stories he would be the hero, the amateur sleuth who is trying to get to the bottom of his lover's murder. And it's interesting to read the original novel to see beyond the romantic sheen of the marriage between Maxim and the second Mrs de Winter -- he comes across as colder and more abusive while she is already insanely jealous of Rebecca, even before everyone starts comparing her to Maxim's former wife. It's also strongly implied that the marriage isn't consummated until after the second Mrs de Winter discovers her husband is a murderer. Because that's always a turn on.

The Innocents -- Again, I saw a TV version first; the 1999 one starring Jodhi May. Funnily enough, The Innocents was broadcast on another channel the same night but I chose to watch the TV version as I thought the film was more likely to get repeated. Unfortunately, it never was (as far as I know) and it was only about a year ago that I finally got to see The Innocents when I bought the DVD. The original novella is interesting for the framing device which some critics have used to conjure up completely different interpretations of the story -- as if there wasn't already enough debate over whether the ghosts are real or just hallucinations brought on by the governess' sexual repression.

Film adaptations that disappointed me:

Cold in July -- I've waited nearly 20 years for Joe Lansdale's novel to be turned into a film and when it finally happened the filmmakers stripped out all its pulpy fun and warped sense of humour.

Shooter -- The film of Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact is more political but loses all the characterisation and thrills that make the novel fun.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/

Last edited by Stu; 12-02-2014 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: typo
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