[quote][quote name='Peter T Chattaway' date='08 December 2010 - 10:33 AM' timestamp='1291833210' post='236456']
: It's Children of Men
all over again.
No it isn't, because many of the people who praised that film (including you) were not familiar with the book, at least not during the initial wave of praise.[/quote]
I didn't mean it's the same thing in every possible way
. You might as well point out, "No, it isn't. The stories were written by different authors." All I can say is, "Well, duh
But, insofar as we have contemporary storytellers taking the basic premise of a pre-existing (and widely read) text and putting a new spin on it, it continues the tradition of literary variation that ranges from restaging Shakespeare to A Muppet Christmas Carol
And please don't bother to point out to me how Where The Wild Things Are
isn't A Muppet Christmas Carol
. I see the differences.
[quote]: As far as I'm concerned, filmmakers are free to craft a film that was "inspired by" a book as loosely or as faithfully as they like.
I look forward to your positive reappraisal of Andrew Adamson's Narnia
Come on. I didn't say all interpretations are created equal. Some are stronger than others. Obviously.
That this film has meant so much to so many, including myself, gives me no questions at all about its worth. There could be a completely different interpretation that stick to the book's bare-minimum details, and keeps it in territory suitable for 4-year-olds. But I think it would be difficult to make that into a good 90-plus-minute film. I'm sure somebody could do it. But I greatly admire the Jonze and Co. embellishments as a new thing.
[quote]: Especially if the author is involved and admires what's happening.
I look forward to your positive reappraisal of George Lucas's "special editions" of the Star Wars
Again, I never said all author-approved spinoffs are inspired.
[quote]Surely you know as well as anyone that people change over time, and that a work of art is not its author, especially when the two have been separated by over four decades.
And in this case, the movie isn't even the author's work of art to begin with. Rather, it is a hipster Gen-Xer's appropriation of a work of art that he grew up with, and he has forced it to fit the narrative of a purportedly typical hipster Gen-Xer's life. And so, just as Adamson didn't film the Narnia books but filmed his "memory" of the books, Jonze has filmed not Sendak's book but something else instead. That might very well be good enough for Sendak, but that doesn't mean it has to be for the rest of us.
You say "forced it to fit the narrative of a Gen-Xer's life" and I say "found interesting interpretive resonance between a story from his own childhood and his adult experience of parent/child relations, child psychology, adult psychology, and the tensions inherent in growing up, being rebellious, being obedient, and working through a loss."
[quote]Ryan H. wrote:
: They sure are. But they better make something that's at least as strong as the original work.
Quite so. Although I have sometimes gotten a kick out of films that were weaker than the book but deliberately subverted themes in the book that I thought were questionable to begin with (e.g. I, Robot
Why must they make something as strong as the original work? Maybe somebody sees a present-day reconextualizing of "Richard the III" as worthwhile. In doing they, they may well be *narrowing* the original text for the sake of seeing current events through the story's lens. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.
"The True Story of the Three Little Pigs", a popular illustrated storybook, leans toward adults by inviting us to see things from the wolf's point of view. Very tongue-in-cheek. It isn't timeless like the famous fable of The Three Little Pigs. But was it worth doing? In this case, definitely. It's a fantastic coffee table book of creative graphic design and playful imagination.
Is "Wicked" as great as The Wizard of Oz? Nope. Worth doing, even though it plays to adult sensibilities more than the original did? Absolutely. It's a whole new thing, and because it's well-made, it adds to our stock of worthwhile available imaginative experience.
All of this debate has just convinced me to include Where the Wild Things Are
- the movie - on my list of great, unlikely Christmastime films, in an article and perhaps in an upcoming Kindlings Muse. Consider what happens when a child is declared king, and then consider the distinction of the particular child who is
king, and consider the differing effects of his leadership on those who gather around him. We're inclined to need a king. We're inclined to believe that "a child will lead them." But what kind of child. And what is the relevance of a loving, longsuffering mother to this story?
Edited by Overstreet, 08 December 2010 - 01:53 PM.