Date: 21 Aug 2003


Re your question below:

> Do you feel the same way about, say, Kurosawa's
> versions of
> Shakespeare, or about Polanski's film version of
> Macbeth?

Haven't seen either THRONE OF BLOOD or Polanski's MACBETH. That said, Kurosawa, strictly speaking, wasn't adapting Shakespeare's play. He was taking the same historical events, transposing them to Japan, and then telling the story his own way.

Moreover, the fact that the dialog and setting were so radically different was sufficient "notice" that this wasn't going to be a Shakespearean film. Just as the musical theater genre, and the "mean streets of Manhattan" setting was sufficient notice that WEST SIDE STORY wasn't going to be Shaekespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET. It's worth noting that, in both of those cases, MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET, Shakespeare wasn't using an original plot, but retelling well-known stories in his own style.

I'm not familiar enough even with the Polanski film's reputation to comment.

Altman, by contrast, calls his film THE LONG GOODBYE, says it is "based" on the novel by Raymond Chandler, sets it in Los Angeles, and uses a PI protagonist named Philip Marlowe. All of that suggests that his public intention is to do a faithful adaptation of the novel. He didn't. Instead he used it as a vehicle for displaying his contempt for the novel, the character, the author, and the genre.


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