New year, new project. This one inspired by a tweet –
Which led to –
Which after a while became:
And a pile of excellent recommendations came in … so I figure, I may as well document my findings here and should anyone want to join in at any point they can.
Here’s how it’s going to go:
1. Watch the film first. Yes, film first.
Your own imagination is amazing and wondrous, and the process of filmmaking will never be able to match it. Silence of the Lambs? Book is better, saw the film after reading the book, hugely disappointed and didn’t get all the critical acclaim. A Clockwork Orange? Really grateful that I saw the film first, I really love the film but the book is amazing. Fight Club? V For Vendetta? Ok both books and films are great and completely different beasts to each other that they seem distantly related and yet excellent in their own right. Still, I used to read Shakespeare plays before going to see the production and would ruin the experience of the performance for myself by prejudging everything – would this Richard or Hamlet live up to my Richard or Hamlet (seriously, how arrogant is that? Like I know everything!)
2. Read the book
I’m a pretty slow reader as I only tend read before bed and (if I’m working in the city) on the train home, so it can take me a good 6 weeks to get through a book some times.
3. Rewatch the film.
See what’s missing, what’s changed, what works, what doesn’t, and understand the reasons why. I’ve worked on adaptations before and they are tricky beasts. Sometimes you are totally in synch with the original author and sometimes you find that you are not (or in one instance I found, really, really not). And then, you know, the business of filmmaking occasionally gets in the way too.
This is the line up so far:
Books/Films to come:
Solaris (tricky part is which film to watch first – Soderbergh and then Tarkovsky?)
The Ice Storm
Everything Is Illuminated
Breakfast At Tiffany’s
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Pride and Prejudice (with the Joe Wright film)
Heart of Darkness
[Updated to include:]
L.A. Confidential (Beloved tells me that I should also read the preceding book: The Big Nowhere)
Gospel of Matthew (with Pasolini’s critically acclaimed adaptation – thanks again @fastercamels)
Feel free to suggest favourite adaptations (just so you know: no I won’t be reading any Harry Potter – I just don’t like the books. Also, I probably won’t cover stuff I’ve read and watched before including The Godfather, Fight Club etc.).
I’ll kick off with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – watching this week (01 Jan), start reading next week (06 Jan).