Fuse #8

Friday, March 09, 2007

When Your Book Becomes a Movie

For every happy Rowling there's a couple dozen unhappy LeGuins. Such is the world of book-to-film adaptations. In Wizard Oil: When Your Book Becomes a Movie: pitfalls, rewards, and Volkswagen Beetles Ms. Carol Pinchefsky gives a quick glance to fantasy novels turned cinematical expressions. It's not strictly kidlit-related, but poor Ursula LeGuin's cries of pain (bad news: The second adaption of Earthsea entitled Gedo Senki isn't any good either, apparently) are worth a looksee.

Thanks to Finding Wonderland for the link.

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At 10:53 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

The LeGuin adaptations have been particularly painful, since much of what she does in her work is completely lost if you try to streamline it into a more 'conventional' framework.

NB on Gedo Senki: I'm not sure if "not any good" is the most appropriate description. LeGuin's reaction to it (http://www.ursulakleguin.com/GedoSenkiResponse.html) was far less negative than her pain over the Sci-Fi version, and Studio Ghibli has an excellent record for amazing childrens' films. I can imagine her disappointment, however, when finding that Hayao Miyazaki was retiring, and that it would be his son directing.

The overall point that movie versions can drastically change author's visions, often for the worse, is obviously still true.

At 12:30 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

For me, it all comes down to race. Le Guin wrote multi-ethnic books with people of all different skin types. If you tell me that "Gedo Senki" takes this into account then I'm cool with it. Does it?

At 2:23 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, sure. I have not seen it, so I'm not the best person to ask. LeGuin seemed to think that the anime stylings tended to make everyone look white.

I'm not sure if I would boil down her innovations to being mainly about the multi-ethnic factor, either, not that I deny that it's one of the big ones.

At 3:08 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

No no. But I've this chip on my shoulder regarding people of different ethnicities in fantasy. Mainly, that there aren't any. Andre Norton is the only one who comes readily to mind (alongside "The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm," by Nancy Farmer). Seems odd.


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