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Thoughts on Earthsea, books and films

I wonder why Earthsea seems so hard to adapt into a movie.

I can see Ursula being severely burnt and never allowing another director to touch her books ever again - which is a real pity because Earthsea would be such a lovely series to adapt /faithfully/.

Is it so hard to follow the damn book? Who cares if it's predictable, movies don't have to be unpredictable: fuck's sake, how would you like it if someone said Passion of Christ was too predictable?

If you name a movie after a book, people will go see it because they like the original and don't want to see anything new. And people who haven't read the book, well, they won't know any different, will they?

Some books are no good to be filmed. Books with alot of internal commentry, politics or heavy backstory - because of this, I think Fitz and Nighteyes will never be a film.

But Earthsea is so simple and so beautiful in its simplicity... why can't anyone get the blasted story /right/?

Some beautiful scenes that don't need any artifice - Ged summoning Elfarran, following the little boy down the hill in a dark and dusty land, the falcon that flees to Ogion's cottage.. why can't anyone just do the book any justice? It's not fucking rocket science.

Probably Brokeback Mountain is the best book to film translation I have ever seen to date. I could quote every sentence in my first seeing of that film because it was damn near identical to the short story. Who cares about what the fucking director thinks, it's not his fucking story. Somehow people think that because it's a different media, they're allowed to mangle a story that's not theirs.
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Have you seen the Ghibli one? (I forget who I have conversations with about this film...). I think Ursula's comment on it after seeing it for the first time was "It is a good film, but it is not my book", which pretty much sums up a lot of adaptations.

"Fucking up someone else's shit" seems to be a universal past time enjoyed by every media out there. Some directors just don't have an eye or a feeling for what they're doing, or they are shoehorned by public expectation and 'market influences' (ala Golden Compass/Northern Lights, which had its anti-Church theme pulled out at the spine because it would never have made for an accepted mainstream film. But that falls into the "books that don't work for films because of politics"...). People always put their own 'spin' on things, however small. Some director's just don't 'get' their source material as well as others.

You'd think it wasn't rocket science, but the number of good adaptations VS Oh-God-what-have-you-done is sadly unbalanced.

World needs moar good directors D:


ALSO HI. Happy New Year for ten days ago. Good luck in 2008~
It was after watching the Ghibli Earthsea and reading the source material that made me write this.

I find directors keep wanting to present the story as they see it, such as Jackson's vision of LotR. Frankly, I don't see why they need to present anything. The book describes the scene, the event, the words, just do what it says, fucktards. I don't know why Jackson, or any director for that matter, thinks he can alter Frodo's character just so he can appeal to fangirls.

I feel books which are morally ambiguous, potentially scandalous probably should not be made into film. If it's not acceptable to be faithful to the original, then write your own fucking story and leave the names out of it.

I know they only reuse the names because it gets more publicity that way, but it's really quite disgusting how they'd mutilate a perfectly good novel just to rake in the cash.


But then again, I call myself biased. I know I am looking forward to Prince Caspian (and I actually enjoyed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe alot when I saw it, even though when I reread it I could see many deviates). The director of Narnia certainly dramatized the story alot more and gave it plenty of flair, but you can see it he did it out of love for the novel and not out of love for himself.

My feeling from watching and reading Narnia was that the director thought Narnia was freaking kickarse awesome... but the writing style a little dated to be thoroughly enjoyed by children who have grown up watching things like CGI elves battling one another. But he still wanted to make them see that Narnia really was kickarse awesome.

If I could be bothered finding the trailer for Prince Caspian, you'd understand what I mean by being biased. Caspian in the novel is something like a 15 year old boy, and the BBC production of him is some nerdy little brat.

But shit, Disney's Caspian is a hot Spanish lad of 21 or so, smoldering good looks and a delicious accent. He opens the trailer with "I am Prince Caspian," and bam! Instant fangirlism.