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[–]FZA 3 points4 points ago

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i havent gotten much reading in this week but to answer your question about movies and book ive always found it curious that people think pynchon is unfilmable since his books feel very cinematic. There is a lot of interesting imagery and while obviously you cant directly translated the style to film the film maker would be able to put their own style to the film. The influence of tv and movies defintely shows in the way he paces the novels and has people talk. The Crying of Lot 49 is the only one that is short enough to be made into a movie without cutting a lot of plot out and the parts that would make it frustrating as a movie as the same things that make it frustrating as a book.

[–]you_may_die[S] 2 points3 points ago

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you can't directly translate the style to film

yeah I think that's the crux of it, like why would you bother adapting the book if you can't adapt the style of the book which is part of what made the book good? But yeah, if there's nothing about the narrative that is fundamentally unfilmable then a good director can still make a good movie with the same characters and plot. I'd rather see a good movie that diverges from the source material than a mediocre movie that adheres closely to the source material, right?

[–]Detective 1 point2 points ago

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This reminds me of a quote about Ray Bradbury too - he asked someone how they could possibly make a film from his book, and they said something to the effect of "we'll just rip out the pages and stuff them into the camera." I don't know if I've ever watched more than one feature-length adaptation of his work but having stories told with lots of imagery like Bradbury seems to translate easily to scene-for-scene adaptations...even if you couldn't capture the essence of the writing, which was something I particularly enjoyed.

[–]you_may_die[S] 2 points3 points ago

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Probably like most people I've seen a lot more adaptations without reading the book than I've read without watching the movie. If I watch the movie I usually won't read the book afterward since a book is much more of a time commitment than a movie and with an infinite number of lifetimes' worth of books out there I have a hard time justifying spending that much time on a story I already know. If I've already read the book and then they make the movie, though, I'll watch the movie. One quasi-exception is Inherent Vice, which I read (audiobooked, because I was recovering from a concussion at the time) before I saw the movie but after the movie had been announced, knowing that I would eventually watch the movie. I'd never read a Pynchon novel before but I had been meaning to read that one and once I saw that it was going to be directed by PTA I felt compelled to check it out. So I did, and liked it a lot, and then a year later when the movie came out I also loved that. I get why Pynchon's writing is considered to be "unfilmable," but what Anderson did was make a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, not film a Pynchon novel. The events and the characters are mostly the same, but the way they were presented in the film was totally different. That's the trick, I guess, to filming an unfilmable novel. I definitely plan on watching that movie and reading that book again (in print) at some point.

Another "unfilmable" work that ended up being filmed that comes to mind is Watchmen. I watched the movie when it came out in theatres, having not read the book, and liked it. When I was a teenager I liked every action movie the first time I saw it, especially superheroes, even Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand. I went back to both of those as an adult and thought they were as terrible as everyone else did, but on repeat viewings I still though Watchmen was a perfectly decent movie. I never got around to reading the comic until quite recently when I found it at the library. Having read it, I can understand why people were so disappointed with the movie, because the graphic novel is damn good. You just can't fit that thematic density into a three-hour movie and you can't put that artwork, that colour palette, on film. Again, maybe the solution would be to take out everything but the plot and leave the rest to the director, but we'll never know.

I'm happy with most of my faves not having a movie adaptation, and I think most books would be served better by TV adaptations than film but I think that The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach could be good in the hands of the right director. The book itself is a love letter to baseball, college and early american lit. I think most of the thought and emotion can be portrayed by actors, the book's loving depiction of a tiny liberal arts campus could be well-served by a camera and I'm a huge sucker for sports stories that focus on the human aspect without building up to an unqualified athletic success like the Friday Night Lights movie. Let real 20-year-olds who aren't household names play the young characters, put someone with a strong comedy background in the older male lead, have Richard Linklater direct it, invest in the soundtrack and I think that we could end up with a really good movie.

[–]captain_cornflakes 2 points3 points ago

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just read two chapters of hammer and hoe: alabama communists during the great depression. i highly recommend reading this book if possible, it's one of the best histories of black radicalism in the south. it details the roles of both race and gender in radicalizing and organizing workers throughout alabama, and organized labor's ebbs and flows before and during the great depression.