Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Monday, February 25, 2008

Books into Film at the 2008 Oscars, and Pride and Prejudice






When I was a little girl I always read my Anne of Green Gables and Donna Parker and St. Claires and dreamed them into film. When I was a little older, my tween excitement knew no bounds upon finding the Famous Five and Timmy the dog striding across a field on TV. Of course as I got older and older it no longer sufficed to see a book character in living color a la Disneyland 'loooook there's Winnie the Pooh', rather I hoped the film version would prove as enjoyable as the book if not, in its own way, more satisfactory. Some novels and films turn out to be masterpieces in their own right i.e. no matter how many makes and remakes of Pride and Prejudice are churned out, not one has yet been able to capture the nuances of the novel and yet the lovely 1995 A&E/BBC adaptation with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth holds its own (and Mr. Collin's is played to perfection). And yet without novel, without novelist, there would be no Elizabeth and Darcy, no Mr. Collins and Lydia, no film after film after film adaptation. The 2008 Oscars are in many respects the books to movies Oscars with three* of the five best film nominees based on novels and yet, as David Ulin writes in the LA times, there was no mention of the novelists, as usual.

"...if these kinds of movies have anything to tell us, it's that interiority can sometimes play itself out on screen. Is this an indication that Hollywood has finally become more sympathetic toward writers, that we might move beyond a century of misunderstanding and disdain? Not very likely, the settlement of the WGA strike notwithstanding." read rest here

*Atonement by Ian McEwan
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
There Will be Blood by Upton Sinclair
the other two nominees were Juno and Michael Clayton


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