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Entries in Adaptations (236)

Thursday
Mar082018

Review: A Wrinkle in Time

by Chris Feil

With an authentic sense of wonder for the human spirit in its blood stream, A Wrinkle in Time adapts Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved classic with the air of intense responsibility. Directed by Ava DuVernay, this interdimensional tale of adolescent self-affirmation casts its holistic intentions on a massive canvas that remains deeply personal. It’s a CGI space hug resolute in empowering the viewers that find themselves diminished by their environment and maybe even Wrinkle’s cinematic contemporaries.

Newcomer Storm Reid plays Meg, a solemn preteen mourning the disappearance of her astrophysicist father (played by Chris Pine) and coping with the cruelty of pretty-girl bullies. Her despair and the naivete of her younger brother Charles Wallace (an adorable and teensy Deric McCabe) summons three otherworldly mystic Mrs.: Reese Witherspoon as the shady and effervescent Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling as the quote-happy Mrs. Who, and Oprah Winfrey as the all-knowing Mrs. Which. With her brother and a newfound friend, Meg portals across the universe under the guidances of the Mrs. to rescue her father from the evil forces of the invading It that trap him.

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Tuesday
Feb272018

Interview: James Ivory on "Call Me By Your Name" and the Merchant Ivory Legacy

by Nathaniel R

Highlight of 2017: Meeting one of my true gay heroes, James Ivory.

They say you should never meet your heroes. But "they" haven't met James Ivory. The legendary director, currently nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars for Call Me By Your Name (2017) is 89 years old but you wouldn't know it. He's sharp and talented and thoughtful as ever. It's his fourth nomination in a rich career that extends way back to the late 1950s though he's best know for the popular costume dramas he made in the 1980s and 1990s with his producer and life partner, the late Ismail Merchant (1936-2005).

I had the pleasure of meeting with Ivory at the Middleburg Film Festival earlier this season.  I didn't quite intend to begin gushing but it couldn't be helped. He was deeply formative in my life, one of the first two or three directors that made me fall in love with the medium that became my whole life. I groused about his lack of an Honorary Oscar and I eagerly told him about a couple particularly memorable trips to see his movies with my parents. He shared a few amusing stories he's heard from other fans. Then we settled in for our discussion of his rich career, the restoration of some of his films, and Call me By Your Name. Our interview is after the jump...

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Monday
Feb052018

The Furniture: Into the Marshes with Ida Lupino and Elsa Lanchester

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

This week marks 100 years since the birth of pioneering director and actress Ida Lupino. Twitter has been full of tributes to her work, including the eight feature films she directed. We've discussed a few of her films here before as well. For my part, I highly recommend her two episodes of The Twilight Zone.

However, I’m going to look at a movie from before she made the leap to directing, the only one in her filmography to receive a Best Art Direction nomination. 1941’s Ladies in Retirement is both a thriller and a play adaptation, a genre we don’t see too often anymore. But in that era it was fairly common, from comedies like Arsenic and Old Lace to the more explicitly malevolent Night Must Fall and Gaslight.

The setting of Ladies in Retirement, according to Reginald Denham and Edward Percy’s original play, is the “Living Room of an Old House on the Marshes of the Thames Estuary Some Ten Miles to the East of Gravesend, 1885.”

Of course, this being 1941, a location shoot in Kent would have been impossible even if the studio had wanted it. Instead, the marshes were built into a sound stage. The team was so proud of their ersatz swamp that they even set the opening credits in the muddy water!

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Tuesday
Jan162018

US Scripters Nominations (Gloriously) Add to the Adapted Screenplay Confusion

by Nathaniel R

Lost City of Z finally makes a precursor markOne of the funniest developments this awards season is how weirdly empty the Adapted Screenplay became in the wake of so many top contenders being "originals". The balance is way off. Even the 'true' stories, the ones adapted from history or people's lives this year were mostly originals (Some have argued in the past should be considered for the Adapted category since they're not originating the stories and characters... though we've never come to a definitive conclusion as to whether or not we agree).

Today the US Scripters chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, and a selection committee chose the nominees from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations. Because of a three way tie in voting they have SEVEN film nominees this year. Which is hilarious since most people though the category "weak" in terms of Oscar candidates. In spreading their net so wide they've done little to clear up the confusion as to which five films will receive Oscar nominations. More after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec102017

44 days til Oscar nominations. Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there are seemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted -- the math doesn't work. Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards. Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing. That's a lot of hogging of writing honors. They are...

OSCAR'S 20 FAVORITE SCREENWRITERS
(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)
01 Woody Allen (16 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Acting and Directing races. Classics include Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan and more...
02 Billy Wilder (12 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Directing and Producing races. Classics include Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, and more...
03 John Huston (8 nominations and 1 win)
He's also been in the Acting, Directing, and Producing races. Classics include The African Queen, The Asphalt Jungle, Prizzi's Honor and more...
04 Federico Fellini (8 nominations but he never won for writing)
He's also been in the Directing, and Producing races and of course his films have taken multiple Foreign Language Film Oscars. He's the Academy's favorite Italian... yes, even more than Sophia Loren. Classics include La Dolce Vita, I Vitelloni, 8½ and more...

It's perhaps no surprise that all of these writers are also directors and thus were in charge of bringing their own words to visual life. With greater control comes greater consistency in results. Without checking before you hit the jump can you guess which working writers are next in line to join this group?

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Thursday
Nov302017

Blueprints: "Call Me by Your Name"

Wrapping up Call Me by Your Name week at The Film Experience, so Jorge takes a look at its screenplay to talk one of the biggest and most successful changes made from the novel to the screen. It’s peachy.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect about adapting a book into a movie is converting the literary language into something visual; show with images what in the page is being told with words. This is especially hard if the novel takes place within a single character’s mind and perception, like “Call Me by Your Name” does with Elio.

One of the easier solutions (sometimes merited, others not so much) is translating the thoughts that the character has on the book into voice-over. It’s a simple, straight-forward way to effectively convey ideas and feelings.

Call Me by Your Name, the film, has been lauded (among many other things) for avoiding this go-to trope, and instead using action and visual cues to convey Elio’s quiet longing for Oliver, and the intimacy and slow simmer of their romance. However, it wasn’t always like this...

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