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du Garbandier

Literary Adaptation Wishlist

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Here are a few literary works I think have the potential to make good cinema (in the right hands).

  • The novellas of Adalbert Stifter. I think Stifter (whom Thomas Mann called "one of the most extraordinary, the most enigmatic, the most secretly daring and the most strangely gripping narrators in world literature") would translate well to the screen because of his emphasis on nature as both beautiful and forbidding, as well as his quiet, absorbing rhythms. He also has a strong sense of simple human dignity. In particular I would choose Rock Crystal, the dazzling Christmas story of two children lost in the Alps, and Limestone, about an unusual and quietly heroic village priest.
  • Any number of stories (not plays) by Anton Chekhov. I think that "A Boring Story" could be a real tour-de-force onscreen. Or what about "Gooseberries" or "Difficult People" or.... [After looking at IMDB I see that some of his stories have been adapted. But I have never even heard of most of these projects...]
  • Just about any novel by Peter De Vries. So very, very funny and literate. The Mackerel Plaza could be a great movie. (Apropos of this thread, he also has a collection of stories called No, But I Saw the Movie.)
  • The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell. Johnson was such a splendid conversationalist I am convinced that the right actor could create quite a memorable presence on film. Also Johnson's dramatic struggles with physical suffering and despairing melancholy, emphasized in recently scholarly biographies, might make for a fascinating story, far more exciting than you might think.
  • The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien.
  • Anything by J. F. Powers. Wheat that Springeth Green, Morte d'Urban, his stories. Powers is pure storytelling gold.
  • The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay. Very funny novel; lots of good stuff about Christianity from Macaulay, a lapsed Anglican herself who retained a strong affectionate sympathy for the church.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Soldier_%C5%A0vejk' target="_blank">The Good Soldier
Edited by du Garbandier

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"a few" huh?

1 - someone eventually needs to make some of John Buchan's books into films again, the series beginning with The 39 Steps, Greenmantle, and Mr. Standfast could all be tremendous

2 - it's time Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe series was turned into a film franchise again, Humphrey Bogart did one, Robert Mitchum did a few ... the problem is finding an actual "tough guy" who could play Marlowe among the usually more effeminate younger Hollywood crowd of male actors - maybe someone like Michael Madsen, but even he's starting to get older

3 - More Dennis Lehane books need to be turned into movies! I guess I should be happy with 3 so far - Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and now Shutter Island all making it to the screen. The Given Day will probably be next. And Casey Affleck needs to reprise his Patrick Kenzie character again.

4 - Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany need to bring Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series back again

5 - the comedies written by Christopher Moore - this a gold-mine of hilarious potential movies, that, if done with the right scripts, directors and casts, could turn out to be a huge money maker - someone please pass a couple Christopher Moore stories over to Tim Burton - A Dirty Job might be a good start

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"a few" huh?

Let's just say my particular flavor of eclectic--eccentric?--taste in reading does not seem to have much representation among filmmakers, Hollywood or otherwise. Alas.

The Good Soldier [however you want to spell his last name] has been filmed several times, actually - check here. (You didn't scroll down far enough, DB! ;) )

Thanks. Actually I did not even scroll at all. I suppose I ought to read what I link to--but that hasn't stopped me before.

Unfortunately my access to Czechoslovakian puppetoons is not what it should be. I wonder if any of those productions listed are even remotely available in the US and in English--or worth being made available in the first place.

Edited by du Garbandier

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There were 2 Czech film versions, with human actors... ;)

Yes, I saw that and duly noted it. I merely seized on the chance to use the phrase Czechoslovakian puppetoons, which, as is well-known, I will seize on the chance to use whenever and wherever it arises, and even in some instances where it does not arise.

Besides, who wants humans when you can have puppetoons? Czechoslovakian puppetoons, huzzah!

(I have also been known to huzzah on general principle.)

Edited by du Garbandier

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I wish someone would do a really good adaptation of A Distant Trumpet. It's one of the best western stories ever written.

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I'd love to see an adaptation of Ron Hansen's Atticus on the big-screen.

On the more pulp sci-fi side, I think any of Jack McDevitt's Alex Benedict novels (as well as the Priscilla Hutchins series) would make great entertainment and good sci-fi.

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I'd love to see an adaptation of Ron Hansen's Atticus on the big-screen.

Did you see the cable version?

I didn't even know it was out there! Is it any good? Worth chasing down?

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I'd love to see an adaptation of Ron Hansen's Atticus on the big-screen.

Did you see the cable version?

I didn't even know it was out there! Is it any good? Worth chasing down?

My memory of the film is very vague, but I recall feeling disappointed by it, FWIW. I'd track it down, however, if you're a fan of the book.

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