Re: RARA-AVIS: Books different than movies

Date: 27 Aug 2003

In a message dated 8/26/03 12:39:27 PM, writes:

<< A filmmaker
(playwright, comic book writer, etc.) has an obligation to be faithful, within the limits of the medium in which he's working, to at least the spirit of the source material he's adapting. If he has no respect for the source material, he shouldn't be doing the adaptation. >>

    Jim, If the filmmaker believes that the source material is dishonest or dehumanizing or misogynistic or racist or, or, or, then he/she has every ethical right, and maybe some kind of moral duty, to turn the material on its head and expose its flaws. I don't know if Altman and Aldrich thought that was what they were doing, but I can't buy the notion that filmmakers have only two choices when adapting novels, either follow "the spirit" of the source material or stay away from the work.
    When Altman adapted MASH, he turned an elitist, sophomoric, sex romp into a funny, macho, antiestablishment, antiwar, film. That's why the author of that incredibly mediocre novel hated the movie. Altman had violated "the spirit" of his work.
    However, I'm having a tougher time each day figuring out whether this discussion really has anything to do with hard-boiled and noir fiction.

                                    Jim Blue

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