Apr 7 2014
Willie Osterweil: Great Book/Great Movie
Movie poster for Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961).
What does it mean for a movie adaptation to be "true to the book"? Many movies based on novels unimaginatively transcribe plot and dialogue, as if the difference between literature and cinema were linguistic, and adaptation a simple matter of translation from one language to another. Filmmakers who succeed in turning great fiction into great cinema do so by a process of deep reading, perhaps even of criticism, teasing something essential out of the novel and communicating it cinematically. This list is hardly exhaustive, but below are some examples of excellent novels that spawned films that are works of art in their own right.
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