entertainment, entertainment, Carmilla, film

J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 short story Carmilla is a classic vampire story that predates the most famous Dracula by a quarter of a century. It’s worth reading – dreamy, sultry, spellbinding – and easily found online. Note the keyword: vampire. For the most recent film version of Carmilla, writer-director Emily Harris retained some elements of the original story – repression, sexual arousal, lesbianism – but didn’t say whether Carmilla was, in fact, a vampire. It’s an interesting choice, made because Harris was interested in highlighting other aspects of the story: In an interview with Sophia Stewart, Harris said she stepped away from the supernatural to highlight the psychological and “ delve deeper into the motivations and behaviors that transform love. and openness to hatred and destruction. “Filmmakers often modify, condense or omit major elements of their source material. Sometimes it’s out of narrative necessity: long novels, for example, need nets to function effectively as on-screen stories (unless you’re Peter Jackson and want to fatten up a relatively short tale like JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit with unnecessary additions that do nothing but make up for uptime). Shakespeare’s plays are also often subject to abbreviations: for example, Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, among other changes, removed two notable supporting characters entirely, leading one wag to nickname him Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Missing (wink to Tom Stoppard). While less important now, at one time changes were sometimes made for censorship reasons: the old Hollywood Production Code prohibited murderers from getting away with their crime, so a death in Rebecca (1940), based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel, had to have gone from murder to an accident that could have been murder. It wasn’t a trivial change, but it seemed to work well. John Huston’s 1941 adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s detective story The Maltese Falcon follows the story of the novel fairly closely, but there are a few tweaks. For example, the movie alludes to some characters’ homosexuality but doesn’t make it explicit (another dance with the production code) and, interestingly, Huston omits Hammett’s ending, which makes Detective Sam Spade a lot less likable, although the meaning. moral ambiguity remains. Emily Bronte’s film adaptations of Wuthering Heights tend to focus on the first half – the love story of Catherine and Heathcliff – which makes sense since the story is quite long and the material from “Next Generation” “is not so striking (and if it included a long film). The tone is often a little more refined than the novel, which tends towards melodramas that may seem excessive on screen. When screenwriter William Goldman adapted Stephen King’s novel Misery – in which novelist Paul is held captive by crazed fan Annie Wilkes – he was adamant about the film needed to keep the horror of the “lame” scene alive of the book. Many male stars have screened the film: the idea of ​​having their feet cut off was too emasculating. Eventually, it was decided that Annie would smash Paul’s feet with a hammer, which was indeed brutal and crippling without being as gory or final as the original. The Walt Disney film Mary Poppins not only gave the episodic book more structure and line – getting a father to reconnect emotionally with his family – but changed the tone of PL Travers’ story, despite maintaining many elements of character and history. The irritable Poppins of the book was softened for the film, and the mysterious qualities of the story downplayed in favor of the brightness and the Disney song. The film was a success in itself but very different from the creation of Travers. Other times, however, the changes, as in Carmilla, dramatically alter the meaning or orientation of the source. My sister’s keeper swapped the fate of two main characters. Stanley Kubrick’s film version of A Clockwork Orange was based on the novel by Anthony Burgess but used the American edition of the book, which omitted the final redemptive chapter and thus ended on a much different, darker note. Burgess seemed to enjoy Kubrick’s movie as a whole, but Stephen King was less positive about Kubrick’s adaptation of his book The Shining in which many changes were made. There was a personal element in the book that was lost – the main character, Jack, like King at the time he wrote it, was struggling with alcoholism. King also didn’t like Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack, which drove the character crazy from the start rather than someone who gradually grew unbalanced. He felt that Kubrick’s cold, detached style was inappropriate for the material and preferred a later TV adaptation. When Adaptation screenwriter Charlie Kaufmann struggled to script a film based on Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief, he incorporated his struggles into the film, turning much of it into a surreal look in the creative process. Orlean – played by Meryl Streep in the movie – wasn’t happy at first, but came back saying it was true to the book’s themes of life and obsession. The old advice to writers who sell their works in theaters – “Take the money and run” – still applies.


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