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Tres Impossible?

I found a really interesting blog entry on my quest to update the current blog linkage for PDD.

It was talking about the hardest novels to adapt to film. While I disagree with the author's sentiment that all pre-20th Century novels can be easily translated to film (Samuel Richardson's Pamela, anyone?) the article mainly concentrated on post-20th Century novels.

So. What is your list? Which novels do you consider the hardest to adapt to film? Why? If you could have anyone direct the adaptation, who would you have direct and why?

The other list is a lot more complex than mine, but oh well. Here are five from my list:

-Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" - if only because the high amount of CGI that would have to be used to make a realistic man-cockroach would totally blow away the storyline... if I could have a dream director, I'd have to go with my buddy Jonathan Frakes. Scoff if you must, but I think he has a good feel for the absurd. "ST:Insurrection," anyone?

-"A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeline L'Engle - I know they made "A Wrinkle In Time" for TV but it really sucked. I think that there's just so much of L'Engle's story that just can't translate to film. And I'd shudder to see how they made Gaudior. If I had to see this adapted, I'd want to see it directed by Wolfgang Peterson. I'd expect a lot from the guy who directed "Neverending Story" and "Das Boot."

-"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon - If I had to see this in film, I really think only Mel Gibson could do it justice as a director. And I feel a little queasy writing that. He would get the epicness and the historical accuracy of the story. He would perhaps also be able to get the complexity of the novel onto film. But maybe I'm dreaming...

-"Pamela" by Samuel Richardson - if the length doesn't make the case for hard to adapt to film (over 500 pages), I don't know what else to say. However, if it were to be made into a film, Merchant-Ivory are the only ones to do it justice.

-"Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson - I'd really like to see someone bring Fido to life. Perhaps Iain Softley (of "Hackers" fame) could attempt a filming of this... but I just don't think it will happen.


This is kind of tangential, and will probably incur the wrath of many, but I'd say that the vast majority of B-T-F adaptations really suck. And I include the LOTR films in that category. I liked the HHGTTG film because the whole franchise was very elastic to begin with. I like Blade runner because it was a well made film based loosely on PKD's book. I liked both versions of Solaris, but I'm warped in this regard, even though Lem disliked the version he was alive to see.

Short books are way easier to adapt than longer ones, but that's no guarantee, as the recent Lion Witch Wardrobe flick proved. I've heard decent things about Gaimen's Tideland. Sin City was fun, even though saying it was a Book to Film transfer is pushing it.

But, in general, I think film adaptations are a lazy way of getting a story. Good writers writing specifically for the medium is the best way to go, period.

IMO, with exceptions...every Beat novel from On The Road to Howl, to The Electric Koolaid Acid Test...

It's romantic to think about, perhaps...because it'd appeal to the boomers and hippies who lived through all of that...but the sheer magnitude of trying to translate those books into screenplays would completely diminish the significance of the works themselves, or go against what the authors were trying to accomplish.

The exceptions being the few that've already been produced...One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sometimes A Great Notion (both by Kesey), and perhaps Fear and Loathing and Where the Buffalo Raom (which I wasn't all THAT impressed with...)

Then again, you have to also consider the source of release...Low Budget Indie or High Gloss Hollywierd...I'd expect a quality rendition of On The Road or the Dharma Bums from a "starving" filmmaker rather than relying on a sexed up version from some Big Lot movie house with an unlimited budget...Can anyone really see Jerry Bruckheimer producing Howl?

Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay.

I think Tom Robbins' books would be pretty difficult to transfer to film without losing a lot of what makes them so unique & energetic.

mary...did you see Even Cowgirls Get the Blues? wasn't impressed...I can't imagine someone trying to put together a screenplay for Skinny Legs or Jitterbug Perfume...

Any one of Brautigan's books would be a daunting challenge as well...

I saw it a long time ago, before I'd ever read the book...but I remember not being impressed then. So I bet I'd be even less impressed now.

I wonder if Robbins still lives in LaConnor, WA, just outside Mt. Vernon...used to live really near there in Bow...I know people who tried camping out near or on his property to see if they could meet him.

I think too many movies are made from books as it is. I like to see original screenplays...although I did like Adaptation's idea of writing a fictional screenplay around a non-fiction book. (the orchid thief)

geek love. it can be done. oh yes. it can.

I wouldn't mind seeing a decent film version of Satanic Verses

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