From Novel to Film

In this unit, we will take a media specific approach to adaptation.  What this means is that, rather than looking at literature and cinema as having built-in advantages or disadvantages with respect to fidelity (“the book is better than the movie,” etc.), we will work to recognize various types of interactions across two types of languages–words in the first case, and audiovisuals in the second.  Using the Brian MacFarlane article as your guide, can you think of a recent adaptation of a book that uses the language of the cinema in an interesting way?  Explain.

36 thoughts on “From Novel to Film

  1. While partially being an adaptation of the Broadway musical, the 2012 version of Les Miserables strives to be more accurate to the book. The scene where Jean Valjean spirits Cosette away at night really reflects how the character would feel. The lighting is so low key and the camera jerks around so much that it is easy to forget who you are even looking at, which is probably similar to Valjean’s state of confusion as he runs through the tight streets in a panic. Where Hugo had to describe Valjean’s panic, the movie used no words and simulated the fear and confusion in the audience.

  2. The Great Gatsby dipped into the bucket of cinematic prose to re-tell F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of Jay Gatsby’s obsession over Daisy Buchanan. The scenes of the glamorous parties were glittery and opulent, enveloping the viewer with the feeling of lavishness and class only the mysterious Jay Gatsby could endow. Further, no matter how filthy the surrounding extremities were, the main characters remained immaculate; a visual way to emphasize the “purity” of their class. Overall, the picturesque portrayal of the original prose delivers fidelity and faithfulness to the original text.

  3. In The Hunger Games, the reader gets a sense that everything is extremely fast paced when the characters are in the games. On screen, the unsteady and sickeningly quick camera movements give off that portrayal as well. A few aspects of the film fail to adhere to the novel, but those changes seem necessary. For example, the novel is in first person, where as the movie switches characters to show the audience certain action motives that Katniss and the reader are more ignorant to in the novel. This cinematic change also gives the audience a more personal look at those important, plot building moments.

  4. Most films based on novels differ to some degree from their written counterparts. Such is the case with 1975’s “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, directed by Milos Foreman. The book tends to lean toward the “Chief” being the hero whereas the film places Jack Nicholson’s character of McMurphy as the hero. The imagery that the film provides transports the viewer into a setting that isn’t normally seen by most people, the mental institution. The fluorescent, even antiseptic lighting in the hospital instills a sense of hopelessness and displays the patients almost as animals. Louise Fletcher brings to life the horribly cruel Nurse Rached with a stone cold face that may have been lost to some readers of the novel. The film goes on the change a couple of vital scenes to the storyline as well. Instead of a bus hijack, as in the book, McMurphy takes his fellow patients fishing on a charter boat. These are just a few of the changes that the film makes in the retelling of “Cuckoo’s Nest”, and to be fair, some changes are needed in the transition from book to screen as some aspects just don’t translate well.

  5. We all know that books offer more detail and they often give audiences the chance to view the world from a character or a set of character’s views. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green was made into a film in 2014 and director Josh Boone did a great job leaving most of the details, except minor ones the audience would probably not even notice. The story is in the character Hazel Grace Lancaster’s point of view. In the scene where Hazel goes to help Augustus Waters in the middle of the night because he is sick, vomiting in his car because he left his house to buy a pack of cigarettes while having terminal cancer, we can see how the camera moves fast and a little shaky to show us how Hazel is hurrying out of her house, speeding while driving to get to Augustus, and once she finds him, she’s scared seeing Augustus in that state. This actually reflects how the character is reacting and feeling in that situation. Also, towards the end of the film when Hazel knew about the bad news without her parents even having to tell her, she breaks down crying and cannot breath (even while being connected to her BiPAP) and the camera slows down completely when her parents run to her bed to console her and she’s rocking back and forth hugging a pillow, crying and inconsolable. The motion of the camera can tell us so much about how a character is feeling or seeing things.

  6. The 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerlad uses the language of the cinema in a precise way to translate a story of mystery, love, and opulence. The element of sound that is specific to cinema helps add to the amplification of the deceptions of the lavish and outrageous parties thrown by Gatsby. The blaring rap music with extreme bass allows one the parties to be fully experienced in a way. The use of slightly enhanced saturated color helps translate the idea of entering a whole new world, or the world of the story. I would classify this adaptation as a “commentary”, due to the consistencies of the narrative natures of the novel and the more modern applications to enhance the final product as a modern reproduction (such as trap music).

  7. One book that has a famous film adaptation to go along with it is “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. The film did a great job of incorporating the style of the book because it is written in the form of a notebook, from Noah’s point of view, which is strongly incorporated throughout the film as Noah is narrating the contents of the notebook to his ailing wife, Allie, who is suffering from dementia. An interesting twist to this aspect of the book, however, is that towards the end of the movie, we see that Allie is the one who wrote the notebook for Noah to read to her when she can’t remember their story anymore, but in the book it is Noah who writes and narrates everything. In addition, in the book we see everything solely from Noah’s perspective, whereas in the movie we see it from a third person perspective as Noah is telling the story to Allie. Another strong aspect that is kept throughout the film is the idea that Noah is recapping his love story with Allie many years after it happened, once they are much older and are both living in a retirement community in poor health. We do not find out that this is the case until the end of the book, as well as the end of the movie, when Allie suddenly remembers who she is for a brief period of time and we find out that the old man and old woman in the film are indeed Noah and Allie, and that Noah had been telling her the story of how they met in hopes of sparking some memory from her. All in all, the movie was adapted very well from the book, as it was able to encompass many of the aspects that were so imperative to the storyline of the book.

  8. Books are filled with details that could never fit in a two hour frame on the screen. It is especially hard when it is a complicated and intricate book series such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. The movies do a spectacular job to tell the main plot, which is very intricate in itself, but unfortunately leaves out many smaller plots. The difference between books and movies becomes more noticeable towards the last three of the saga. The mood of the films darkens immensely, focusing mostly on the upcoming war between good and bad. Within the books this war is broken up by moments of comedic-relief, which are not present within the movie version. The movies are still very successful, for they really change as the characters within it and the audience watching grows. There is a massive difference between the first movie, which still has saturated bright colors in it, and the last one, which is mostly populated by greys, blues, and other cold dark colors. The Harry Potter movies show fidelity to the novels, and they also are able to show us the world that J.K. Rowling created with fantastic special effects, and great imagination.

  9. Fried Green Tomatoes (I’m going to count it as recent) would probably qualify as a commentary category of adaptation. The novel itself explored numerous relationships and plotlines over many decades, and thus had to be simplified to create a 2 hour film. As such, the most important themes and characters were teased out (covering racial tension, aging, etc.), while other areas had to be dropped. One aspect of the adaptation that had to be handled particularly delicately is the relationship between Idgie and Ruth. While clearly amorous in the novel, the relationship is left ambiguous in the film. As it was produced in the 90s, this probably allowed the film to reach the widest possible audience during this time, resulting in the depiction of a loving relationship between two women without alienating audience-members.

    In regards to using the language of the cinema in an interesting way, I think Fried Green Tomatoes accomplished this in a few key areas. First, the visual depictions of early 20th century Southern life were stunning. Many close-ups of Southern comfort food were utilized throughout the film to contribute to the atmosphere and time period the filmmakers were striving for. The score was also hauntingly beautiful, with elements of both tension and joy, complimenting the various tones of the movie. Finally, one of the most moving scenes of the movie is Ruth’s death scene. The duration of the shot is quite long, which allows the scene to stand on its own, and contributes to its subtlety and realism. It features Ruth lying in the foreground, while Idgie is across the room by the window, recounting one of Ruth’s favorite tall tales. The scene’s setup allows the viewer to see Ruth’s passing quite subtly. She is present in the scene during the entirety of the story, but if you aren’t looking, you miss her final breath. The director commented that this mimics death in real life, as you either see it or you don’t. As Idgie finishes her story and realizes that Ruth is gone, her reaction is heartbreaking, contributing to one of the most powerful moments in the film.

  10. The 2015 film adaption of Emma Donoghue’s “Room” uses the language of cinema in a way that makes the audience feel a wide spread of emotions; humor, fear, sadness, and a rebirth of awareness. How a story is visually told is as important as its subject matter, especially with a sensitive topic like the Room. This film allowed the audience to see a double perspective unlike in the book. It showed more of “Ma’s” (Brie Larson) emotions and how she is coping, outside of the child perspective of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), through the camera’s different movements and repetitive camera position (overhead). This use of cinematic language helped portray Ma’s feelings of being trapped and helpless, and Jack’s sense of being overwhelmed and scared by the discovery of the outside world beyond “room.” The overall mise-en-scene also was very powerful. The set of the small room gave a perfect image of the living situation that both Ma and Jack had to endure for seven years while also, providing the audience with visual story-telling by creating small elements in the set that help connect other aspects of the story that might not have been included like in the book (Ex: blood on the duvet from when Ma gave birth to Jack in the room). Both the characters costumes, makeup and the use of lighting (low key lighting) helped to also support the movie, by creating a dramatic effect that pushed the narrative and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

  11. The 2014 film adaptation of the book “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn has been praised by critics while also being a commercial success. While there will always be changes from book to film, the film holds onto the essence of the book and in ways makes it even better. In the movie it makes great use of flashbacks similar to the novel. Another film technique used includes diegetic and non-diegetic sound to set the mood. One scene that is very memorable is when Nick Dunn is going to open the door to his sister shed to find it filled with items by his wife. During this scene the music becomes louder and louder and causes the viewer to anticipate what will happen next. The movie also utilizes low-lighting to create a more mysterious atmosphere regarding the story since it is a psychological thriller. “Gone Girl” also uses pale tones to contrast the normalcy of suburban life with the craziness of Amy through the use of vivid red blood in some scenes. Overall, “Gone Girl” loses all of the words and descriptive details of the novel but through the use of stark visualizations is able to capture the essence once more.

  12. In the film adaptation of the graphic novel Persepolis, I felt that they did a great job of translating the book to film, using the same artistic style but making using of things which separate the mediums. Being an animated film, this story primarily sticks to the story of the book, but does take advantage of the medium by adding in more gags which require motion to work and different imagery. Despite the many similarities between both versions of the story, enough differences exist to make watching both worthwhile.

  13. The 2012 film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” appears rather flamboyant when compared to the novel. However, after a second glance, I believe Joe Wright cleverly utilizes the audio-visual medium to communicate major ideas. While Tolstoy recounts the narrative in great detail, Joe Wright translates large, underlying themes visually through the setting. Most of the film takes place on a stage; a metaphor for the Russian upper class. He depicts the elite as mere actors on a stage. In sentimental moments, like Anna and Vronsky’s passionate affair or Karenin spending time with his children, the setting is outdoors. This conveys the idea that emotional integrity sets one free. The article mentions that most audiences prefer the film to remain faithful to the novels. This is true, but also somewhat unfortunate, because many directors’ creative decisions are overlooked as a result.

  14. While it can be difficult to try and put hours worth of dialog and narration into movies, some directors can actually get the job done. Unfortunately, some movies can leave out important plot points of movies that are too much effort, so that has to be worked around. In the Harry Potter movies, the use of the high angle shots made Hogwarts seem like this grandiose place and showing many scenes in the first few films showing Harry at a high angle, to show that he is just a child and is innocent, but will some day have to take down Voldemort, which makes people want to watch how he grows. The use of the happy music helps show that Hogwarts is a fun place, much like the book, but after the first couple films, the music becomes more menacing and loses some of the light-hearted atmosphere, as well as losing the orange-y bright lighting to something more dark and almost green light, not really staying with the continuity that’s throughout the Harry Potter novels.

  15. The adaption of Narnia chronicles: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis did not contain many changes. To my knowledge at least three major role playing characters from the book weren’t featured in the movie; Father Winter, Mrs. Mcready, and Giant Rumblebuffin were all taken out of the movie. That doesn’t however in any way imply the movie wasn’t in any means inadequate. However with the loss of Mrs. Mcready (a shrewd and strict care taker of the children’s new house hold), there was no immediate threat of the children being harmed and then trying to escape to a magical world. This created less of a reason to escape to a magical world. An aspect of the film adaption that needs to be recognized is the path between worlds through the closet. The way in which the director showed this was very unique and powerful on the audience.

  16. “Where The Wild Things Are” was originally a children’s picture book written by Maurice Sendak. In 2009, Spike Jonze directed a full length film adapted from the forty page book. Unlike most book-to-movie adaptions where movies have to leave out details from the book, this movie had to add its own additional details because of the shortness and simpleness of the book. Overall, the story that the movie tells is deep and rather melancholy. The book, though some may say differently if you read into it, gives no obvious indication of the meaning which the movie suggests. The movie is mainly live-action though it also uses CGI and full-body costumes to create the surreal world which Max imagines.

  17. “The book is better!…maybe not?”: Brian McFarlane’s Adaptation Theory, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” (2007), and Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!” (1926)

    P.T. Anderson’s very loose (and therefore, I will argue, cinematically independent) adaptation of Sinclair’s obscure novel about organized labor’s fight against a drilling company in the oil fields of southern California is one of the most satisfying adaptations I have ever seen. McFarlane walks us through some interesting theoretical considerations of the problems fraught (or falsely fraught) with adapting a ‘lucrative property’ to the screen. MacFarlane sees the modernist literary innovations of Flaubert, Henry Joyce, and James Joyce, taking the first steps away from child-like Dickensian story-telling of the nineteenth century and towards a prose and narrative approach that A) gives the equal weight of objects to characters (showing more than telling) and B) (vice versa) allowing cinema to influence literary story telling (Faulkner, Hemingway, “Death of the Salesman” et al.). The question of fidelity, however, is the point where we can compare “There Will Be Blood” and “Oil!.” The critic Morris Bera criticizes the very idea of ‘fidelity’ to one interpretation of a text, he asks “Should it be ‘faithful’? Can it be? To what?” The genius of P.T. Anderson’s artistry is to understand this lesson intuitively: that cinema is an opportunity to go beyond the source material and create a daring new piece of art that is greater than the sum of its parts. In the film, Anderson dropped Sinclair’s focus on the labor struggle (perhaps Anderson feared backlash from the Bush-ite reactionary press) and instead focused on the demonic interrelation between power, money, oil, and fundamentalist religion. Daniel Day-Lewis’s larger than life performance as a Nietzchean ubermensch whose will-to-power accomplishes all his worldly objectives but ultimately destroys his relationships with his only adopted son (his last link to Love) and with humanity as a whole (he murders the corrupt preacher with a bowling pin), leaves Daniel Plainview, whose pitiless will has left him alienated by his self-destructive deeds, alienated from all redemptive forces of life. The haunting concluding words of a breathless Plainview sitting blood-splattered in a bowling lane, “I’m finished,” perhaps in some sense, suggest that more than the preacher is ‘finished,’ but perhaps also Plainview’s damned soul is also, by his own evil will-to-power ‘finished.’ CUE THIRD MOVEMENT OF BRAHMS VIOLIN CONCERTO

  18. The thing about novels becoming movies is that the director can go in any direction as long as it’s at least somewhat based on the story line. It’s more than just taking a story and bringing it to life, but also interpreting the story through the director’s viewpoint. Something really important that I noticed from the reading was that “though they both may have aimed at the same point—a congruence of image and concept—they did so from opposite directions.” This really spoke to me because the author is pointing out that even though the story is the same, interpreting into film versus novel have different directions in order to appeal to a certain audience.
    For example the book, “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel about a boy who is lost at sea with a few supplies and has to live with a tiger on the same little boat. They made this book into a movie recently, which I personally thought was a great film. It accurately interprets the book as bluntly as possible while giving a visual that most people had only been able to imagine. Considering that the story is so vivid and seems like an unlikely tale, the movie does the book justice. In the book, they tell the story about Pi in multiple scenarios of different stages in his life. The director, Ang Lee, uses the book accurately by giving those different perspectives. A main thing that is different in the movie is when Lee adds a love interest for Pi. This is not mentioned in the book and is basically done in order to create more of a painful suspension when Pi is traveling (rather than just focusing on the problems that his father faces about losing the Zoo they own.) There are bound to be differences when making a film and this is because the audience has to be able to follow the story line, assuming that they haven’t read the book.

  19. The Hunger games follows the book very well and is an overall well done adaptation of the book. While reading the book you begin to understand through description Katniss as a character. She’s a very independent, stubborn, and tough character. This is shown well in the movie with the way she interacts with her mother and how she seems to be the mom of the house in the way she takes care of her sister and gets food for her family. The movie also does a very good job at foreshadowing the relationship between katniss and peeta. The best way this is done is by this reappearing flashback throughout the movie of peeta throwing this bread to katniss when she appears in need of it.

  20. In 2003, Cat in the Hat made its way to the big screen. Originally a children’s picture book, there was a lot of room to embellish the story given the small amount of detail of the book, similar to what Elizabeth pointed out with “Where the Wild Things Are”. The scenery in the movie is very whimsical and true to Dr. Seuss’ nature and illustrations in the book, and in a way transports the audience into a different way. The way some of the scenes are filmed, make it seem as if you are going through time and space and create almost alternate realities or locations within a room. However, with Mike Myers being cast as the Cat, the majority of the film is filled with adult humor and sexual innuendo. Although originally meant for children, the director and writers seemed to target an older audience with the jokes used. As with many other children’s movies, there is adult humor that is received well by older viewers and yet still not understood by children.

  21. Baz Lurhmann’s take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is unique. The director decided to stick with the original language and exact lines from the play but in a completely different setting and time period. Instead of taking place in Verona, Italy the film takes place in Verona Beach, Florida. In addition, instead of taking place sometimes during the 1500’s, the film took place in the 1990’s. This adaptation of the play with a modern twist and soundtrack keeps Shakespeare’s overrated story fresh, especially through the combination of fast editing and the eloquently choreographed fight scenes. It provides a new and unique way of experiencing the play, while also transcending the doubts of those who believed the film would flop.

  22. The Princess Bride was written as a novel in 1973 and later adapted into a film in 1987. Of course the both film and novel will have different qualities the main plot and imagery is kept in the film’s adaptation. This partially could be due to the author who wrote the novel, Goldman, did the screenplay for the film. The film did well to retell the story especially with the characters. Although shortening the overall story of the novel and leaving out the character’s backgrounds the viewer still see’s each character as they did while reading the novel. I believe the most well represented aspect from the novel to film is Inigo and Fezzik’s relationship. Through actions and dialogue on screen we see the same friendship as seen in the novel.

  23. The Kite Runner (2007) is the best movie adaptation I have seen, which is saying something because it is one of my favorite books. I was taken aback by the beautiful setting and scenery depicted so vividly and accurately as to how it was described in the novel. The high key lighting and sharp imagery created the perfect aesthetic that brought the novel to life. The use of fade in and fade out transitions indicated a flash back along with the non-diagetic narration enhanced the flashbacks in a different way than simply reading it off a page. Although some key scenes were left out, the film overall captured the didactic message of the novel, to “be good again” and amend past mistakes.

  24. The book Water for Elephants was written in 2006 and was adapted to a movie in 2011. The movie does a good job of balancing between keeping the main plot and having small details in the film that don’t side track from the narrative. They tone down the sexuality from the book in order to keep the rating at a PG-13,but it does a good job at focusing in on the main objectives of the film. They are able to relay Jacob’s journey without making the film to long or get off topic. The main job of the story is to see Jacob and Marlena’s relationship develop which the writers were able to do. The movie has a limited amount of time to tell their story and they are able to convey their struggle and triumphs in the film which was also in the book. The director chose to keep true to the locations, characters, and even era that was developed in the book. This can be a difficult task which Francis Lawrence does well.

  25. One of the most well known adaptations of own generation is the Twilight Saga. Unfortunately, in these on screen adaptations of Stephanie Meyers vampire books, people either love them or hate them, there is no in between. Since I’m self proclaimed “Team Edward”, I cannot get enough of these movies. The Twilight Saga, is a far stretch from Hammer’s Dracula film, and in my opinion, just as well done for its time. People often criticize Kristen Stewart for her acting ability and how she’s “awkward”, but after reading the books, a viewer will realize that Kristen portrayed Bella Swan in the same way she was written in the books, as awkward, clumsy, and generally uncomfortable. Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Edward Cullen was well done, as his dialect represents that he is mature beyond the years of a high school aged student. If viewers read and enjoyed the books prior to the films, its hard not to like Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptations, because she represents Meyers narrative, general descriptions, and settings to a T. The director and the writer use language in these films to represent the unusual relationship between Edward and Bella, in one of the most quoted scenes from the book/movie:

    Edward: So the lion fell in love with the lamb.
    Bella: What a stupid lamb.
    Edward: What a sick, masochistic lion.

    This idea of “weak vs. strong” in Edward and Bella’s relationship is a motif throughout the films and is constantly represented with language.

  26. The 1992 adaption of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, directed by Gary Sinise, was a great example of the adaption of a great novel made into a critically acclaimed film. The shots follow the mind’s eye in the way that the imagery makes you believe the scene looked. The natural lighting, and the fact that it is shot on location, makes you truly visualize the literature and characters. Even the costumes are on point with what is described in the novella. The fact that Sinise chose to revive a piece of literature decades shows, in a way, that he was dedicated to making the film live up to the decades old novella so that it could be appreciated in the current era of film. While Sinise is not a auteur by any means, he created a great film that captures the feel of the novella and brings current generations back to the era of Steinbeck.

  27. For the recent adaption from novel to film, I chose Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers. There was a scene in the movie and book that reveals Alice’s vision to Aro about the outcome of the war he started. In Brian McFarlane’s article “Novel to Film” it reveals the reasons for why present novel -to- movie adaptions aren’t as successful as the books themselves. This is because each director has their own style, so they change familiar features in the book in order to fit their ideas and cinema techniques. It’s also because readers create their own fantasy versions of the book that it makes the audience more close-minded to changes made in the movie. The scene mentioned in the beginning of this post is a good example of the style of the author being transitioned into the director’s style. In the book, we didn’t get a detailed or “foreshadowed” view of the future battle. Everything in this scene can be described as very chaotic and fast-paced; especially when the camera cuts in different directions quickly to show you how fast the battle is happening. As you’re watching, there are more deaths than the book portrayed, but this brings a sense of distress from the readers, only to reveal that it was all a vision from Alice. Because of the white snow, it makes the battlefield appear very bright and making it seem like the battle and blood is tainting and killing the innocent lives involved. Though this is a big change from the book, it was one of the only changes I think fit well with the movie, and it proves that some things are going to change during the transition process, whether it’s bad or good, and depending on the directors style and vision.

  28. One of the best adaptations of literature to film I can think of is the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film.
    While it doesn’t adapt any singular short story from the series, it almost perfectly captures the imagery and feel of Robert E. Howard’s work. Imagery from several different stories is used to great effect, and creates a wholly new work. The fantastic Basil Poledouris soundtrack provides an epic score that vibrantly punctuates each action sequence.
    Conan the Barbarian proves that faithfulness to the source material isn’t always necessary, because it does so well in carrying across the raw emotion and energy of the original stories, without being a straight adaptation.

  29. In middle school we had to read “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. The book did not necessarily describe futuristic times, especially because the book was released in 1993, the movie that was released in 2014 had a very futuristic feel to it. This is mostly in the sense of backgrounds, props, and CGI creations. The book does not focus on computer screens, large televisions, and technology in general, almost at all. The book focuses more on Jonas and his venture through the memories of people, who’s settings are very different from what Jonas knows. The movie stands out from the book, being released in 2014, and had the ability to make the setting and backgrounds more off-putting and out of place by adding large TVs and “futuristic” looking technology. This change in setting was necessary because of the generational differences that twenty years has on people. Film makers know that our generation is so accustomed to technology that a live action movie without some technology would be almost too out of the ordinary. In most other aspects, the film stays true to the plot. However, the main characters are much older than in the books, which is unfortunately a reality of film-making. Directors will use older actors because they are more experienced in acting, while using an actual thirteen year old to play the main part could be more challenging and use more resources.

  30. In 2012, The Hunger Game was the movie to watch at the time and look into what the director will to for the next three. The movie, in my opinion plays a very difficult part with adaptation. The ability to focus on every small detail in a two-hour length it’s challenge on choosing what to put. The book does a better job when it comes to describes Katniss Everdeen the main character. In order to grab the audience attention, the director has to be very careful on what to produce. In this case adaptation focus on the most important scene of the book. A better visual for the audience to capture the action and grab their attention. Leaving the audience with mysteries and excitement of what will happened next on the movie.

  31. The recent Hobbit trilogy based on the book of the same name was a good example of an adaptation. The original novel had great details, as expected of a word based medium. The film, directed by Peter Jackson to sufficiently cover this, split itself into three parts. The Hobbit being a fantasy also had landscapes, monuments, and creatures that needed heavy descriptions in the novel. Once brought to film, these could be shown in an instant, rather than described over page upon page. Of course this also leads to discrepancies between peoples imaginations. No matter how faithful a film adaptation follows a novel it will not be able to match the various different images that different readers had pictured. For that matter, it is unclear how closely an adaptation must follow the original work. Must it be strict in its interpretation like with the Hobbit trilogies, or can it take more liberties. The movie Mask starring Jim Carrey took only the initial concept of the work it was based on. From there it changed the tone and atmosphere of the story completely. Adaptations have existed since film began and it is still unknown what the right method of carrying over the story is, or for that matter, if there is something as a right method.

  32. The Lightning Thief was first written as part of Rick Riordan’s book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and later revamped into two films in 2010 and 2013. Apart from the adaptation of the films’ fidelity to the books, they all correlate through the plot, which remains constant for the most part. One thing the films did well was displaying the epic battle scenes and providing a visual representation of them. However, the five books were crammed into two movies, so some details and characters were lost in translation. The novels, in almost every case, reveal more of what the characters’ were thinking by giving the readers a third person omniscient view while the films only give third person limited.

  33. When considering page to screen adaptations, one film that comes to mind is Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”. This movie is based on a book written by Philip K. Dick titled “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. The adaptation is actually fairly different from the novel, leaving out many key elements from the original plot. However, the parts left out were most likely due to Scott’s desire to make the film more Hollywood. This can be seen in many aspects of the film, including the simple fact that the title was changed from something introspective, to a much more action-packed sounding name. Another example of this is the motives behind the main protagonist, Deckard. In the book, Deckard’s focus is to acquire a live sheep, as having an animal in the post-apocalyptic setting is a status symbol. In the Movie adaptation, Deckard’s focus lies on hunting down androids, which is, traditionally speaking, a more entertaining plot-line. Scott definitely put many unique twists on the film adaptation, creating a sci-fi/ noir hybrid. It could be argued that the book was more of an inspiration for the film, rather than a guideline for what actually happens in the movie.

  34. The most recent adaptation of a film from book I have seen is 50 Shades of Grey. While many would argue whether it was of good quality (as a film or book) or not, the one thing no one would dispute is its popularity and success thus the ability to make money in both mediums. The language of cinema that seems most prevalent in this case is the one most closely associated with the film industry, and for this particular adaptation is that of exploitation. The passage from MacFarlane’s article that ties in with this is “every bestselling novel has to be turned into a film, the assumption being that the book itself whets an appetite for the true fulfillment – the verbal shadow turned into light, the word made flesh.” It was this reason (for better or worse) that much of the controversial themes were brought to life, the illustrated scenarios made visual, and rhetoric kept similar. In addition to this, the amount of dedication the audience has to the source material is also why so many fans were agitated over the actor portrayals. This supports the idea that there is a correlation between the visual image and the concept of the mental image purposed by McFarlane and that there will always be a desire by the audience to see what the book “looks like”.

  35. A book is supposed to let us imagine in our minds what is going in the book. A movie is the visual representation of a book, although the book may be a lot different. Take 50 Shades of Grey for example. In the book, when Ana and Christian have sex, we have to imagine all the positions the two are in. In the movie, from my experience from both reading the book and watching the film, they show more positions of the two when they have sex. Of course, the movie has to be different than the film. Otherwise, you’ll just have a visual retelling of the book, which nobody would enjoy.

  36. The film adaptation of “Fight Club” by Emma Donoghue attempts to accurately illustrate the novel’s language of the cinema in order to portray the story of a man’s unconscious mental disorders through his narration. The lighting and angles in which the filmmaker sets the film allows the viewer to sense the narrator’s struggles of insomnia in his fast-paced tale, while Donoghue’s description of the character’s disorder fails to place the reader in the character’s shoes. There is various transitioning between blurred and sharpened shots as well as low-key lighting to depict the shadiness of the film. The movement of figures is perfectly set to foreshadow the potential schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder in which the narrator or rather Tyler possesses. The conclusion of the novel is not as shocking as the one in the film because the author had to reveal more information in the novel whereas in the film the visual confusion in the characters’ faces as well as the setting and transitioning of scenes allowed the viewer to remain confused as to what the main conflict was, allowing for an exceedingly better climax and discovery.

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