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Author Topic: The Great Gatsby  (Read 18966 times)
academic_cog
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2012, 1:50:04 PM »

Like others, though, I'm already irritated with the casting: another blonde, pixie-haired Daisy; another pretty blonde Gatsby. It does seem to be an adaptation of the Redford film, not just of the novel.

Isn't this how it is in the book? *confused*


There are some books you just can't make a movie of:  Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury (or really any Faulkner), The Awakening, all pop to mind.  There are probably others.  Anyway, they just don't work on film--quit trying.

Has someone done The Awakening? I would love to see that. I have fantasies that Jane Campion or Peter Weir would do a lovely dreamlike version, a la Picnic at Hanging Rock.
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amlithist
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2012, 1:58:43 PM »

Like others, though, I'm already irritated with the casting: another blonde, pixie-haired Daisy; another pretty blonde Gatsby. It does seem to be an adaptation of the Redford film, not just of the novel.

Isn't this how it is in the book? *confused*


There are some books you just can't make a movie of:  Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury (or really any Faulkner), The Awakening, all pop to mind.  There are probably others.  Anyway, they just don't work on film--quit trying.

Has someone done The Awakening? I would love to see that. I have fantasies that Jane Campion or Peter Weir would do a lovely dreamlike version, a la Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Kelly McGillis (yeah...) did a version in 1990/91 titled "Grand Isle."  Madame Ratignolle has easily the worst French accent on film, and KM as Edna delivers mangled lines from the novel, gazing off into the distance with every one, and often sort of smugly looking down/stepping back after them, shaking her head a bit, like she's confused.  There's so much concrete in Chopin's book that the "dreamlike" stuff drove me nuts, even if it had been done well, which it wasn't in this version.

Again, some books need to be left to run as the movies in my head, instead of on-screen. Just....no.

ETA:  Twain doesn't work on film, either.  Nor does Hawthorne, or most of the American Renaissance--fabulous works of lit, much of it, but not on film.  The Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick might be the one real exception to that rule.  The Demi Moore-Daniel Day Lewis Scarlet Letter, though?  Um, I've worked that text to death, and I'm really sure there was no bodice rippping.  And even earlier--much as I generally adore Johnny Depp so long as Tim Burton's not around--Sleepy Hollow is pretty fun when I'm in the mood for it, but it ain't the Washington Irving story, or anything close to it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 2:02:29 PM by amlithist » Logged
academic_cog
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2012, 2:04:01 PM »

Like others, though, I'm already irritated with the casting: another blonde, pixie-haired Daisy; another pretty blonde Gatsby. It does seem to be an adaptation of the Redford film, not just of the novel.

Isn't this how it is in the book? *confused*


There are some books you just can't make a movie of:  Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury (or really any Faulkner), The Awakening, all pop to mind.  There are probably others.  Anyway, they just don't work on film--quit trying.

Has someone done The Awakening? I would love to see that. I have fantasies that Jane Campion or Peter Weir would do a lovely dreamlike version, a la Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Kelly McGillis (yeah...) did a version in 1990/91 titled "Grand Isle."  Madame Ratignolle has easily the worst French accent on film, and KM as Edna delivers mangled lines from the novel, gazing off into the distance with every one, and often sort of smugly looking down/stepping back after them, shaking her head a bit, like she's confused.  There's so much concrete in Chopin's book that the "dreamlike" stuff drove me nuts, even if it had been done well, which it wasn't in this version.

Again, some books need to be left to run as the movies in my head, instead of on-screen. Just....no.

Wow, I see on IMDB that McGillis has a lot of experience doing music videos and ... horror films. Not really what I was thinking of when I think of The Awakening. A recent title of one of hers is Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. The mind boggles.
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amlithist
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2012, 2:12:56 PM »

McGillis was sort of the poor-girl's icon in my post-college years:  she was quite good in Witness, was the only watchable thing for me in Top Gun (Gah!  That damned Kenny Loggins song!), and was also good in The Accused (where she was excellent as Jody Foster's lawyer).  I saw Grand Isle as it was playing during the Xmas party at my grad department chair's house as I was getting ready to enter the program in Jan.; I watched because I thought, "Oh, she's a good actress."  Um, no, not in that movie.   

Once we all got over our outrage at how Kate's poor book was being trashed--remember, Chopin made her name in Our City, about 4 miles from where we sat at that party--we had a lot of fun trashing the movie instead, mocking various scenes as they played onscreen.
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academic_cog
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2012, 2:26:49 PM »


ETA:  Twain doesn't work on film, either.  Nor does Hawthorne, or most of the American Renaissance--fabulous works of lit, much of it, but not on film.  The Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick might be the one real exception to that rule.  The Demi Moore-Daniel Day Lewis Scarlet Letter, though?  Um, I've worked that text to death, and I'm really sure there was no bodice rippping.  And even earlier--much as I generally adore Johnny Depp so long as Tim Burton's not around--Sleepy Hollow is pretty fun when I'm in the mood for it, but it ain't the Washington Irving story, or anything close to it.

Oddly enough, the Disney cartoon version of "Sleepy Hollow" is pretty spot-on. At least it helps students pick up on the satirical tone.

BTW, have you seen the trailers for Sherlock Holmes with crows the new adaptation of Poe's stories horribly muddled with his life? At least it's not Abraham Lincoln fights vampires.
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rebelgirl
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2012, 4:13:14 PM »

ETA:  Twain doesn't work on film, either.  Nor does Hawthorne, or most of the American Renaissance--fabulous works of lit, much of it, but not on film.  The Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick might be the one real exception to that rule.  The Demi Moore-Daniel Day Lewis Scarlet Letter, though?  Um, I've worked that text to death, and I'm really sure there was no bodice rippping.  And even earlier--much as I generally adore Johnny Depp so long as Tim Burton's not around--Sleepy Hollow is pretty fun when I'm in the mood for it, but it ain't the Washington Irving story, or anything close to it.

It's not that Twain - or others - don't work on film - it's that filmmakers don't trust their audience, or the material, enough to present a visual story that represents what the authors actually wrote.  Look at all the happy-crappy versions of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - a novel that I could imagine filmed the way Terry Gilliam did Brazil - think of the surreal moments in Yankee that could be represented with both the horrific edge of the violence and the bizarre, disturbing comedy that Twain presents simultaneously - as when self-proclaimed industrial/democratic hero Hank lets Morgan Le Fay hang the band for playing poorly.  Imagine what Gilliam - or a similarly gutsy filmmaker - could do with the Battle of the Sand Belt.  In fact, Gilliam got the rights to do Yankee back in the 80s, but then became box office poison after Baron Munchausen.
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yellowtractor
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« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2012, 4:44:41 PM »

Did anyone see the Elevator Repair Service staging, Gatz?  Now that is an adaptation!  It's headed to London right now.  Even if you're not, or not sure you are, a fan of the novel, it's worth seeing.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 4:47:55 PM by yellowtractor » Logged

It is, of course, possible that what I remember as terror was only a love too great to bear.
dr_alcott
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2012, 1:29:30 PM »

Did anyone see the Elevator Repair Service staging, Gatz?  Now that is an adaptation!  It's headed to London right now.  Even if you're not, or not sure you are, a fan of the novel, it's worth seeing.

I read about this. I was intrigued.
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betty_p
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2012, 11:17:33 PM »

I saw The Select, their adaptation of The Sun Also Rises, and it was superb.

Oh, and also, ten or fifteen years ago I saw a stage adaptation of The Sound and the Fury in Providence, and it was also superb. It wasn't Elevator Repair Service, though. Did anyone else see it?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 11:20:12 PM by betty_p » Logged

But I'm not bitter.
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