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  • "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

    That is, that one day MZD will sell the film rights to HoL and, in a best-case scenario, will be intimately involved in the making of the film.

    Most everyone who has wondered aloud on this forum about whether/when the novel will be filmed already knows of MZD's decision not to allow a film version of the novel, but to accept the wishes of the author whose work they profess to admire is something they seem unwilling to do. In the thread "screenplay?" some say, in effect, "Well, what if MZD were directing/writing/behind the camera/allowed to choose the menu for the caterers? Would THAT be enough to change his mind? Huh? Would it?" One post-er, in fact, speculates that MZD is employing this refusal as a means of raising interest in making the film, if not a way of increasing the bids for the purchase of the rights. It's strange, and certainly ironic: these post-ers obviously mean no offense with their nascent screenplays and treatments of the novel; they wish to honor, via another medium, the integrity of the author's creation. But some of those very people assume, if their tone is any indication, that every author has his price, artistic integrity be damned. Or, more darkly, if MZD won't sell out his stated intent for his work, by golly THEY'LL do it for him.

    Or maybe THAT is too cynical on my part. Perhaps the oft-stated desire to see HoL turned into a film has its roots in a human preference for the visual over the textual. While I can understand that, and while I sometimes catch myself thinking, while reading certain novels, "Wow--what a great film this would make!" I still have to ask why these post-ers aren't content with MZD's wish not to see HoL filmed.

    Ponder this quote from the "screenplay?" thread:

    "The story itself has left much to the imagination, which always makes for a more enjoyable movie."

    Why doesn't leaving much to the imagination make for a more enjoyable NOVEL? Why not see THAT as valuable in and of itself, and leave it be? Is a novel merely a kind of textual sneak preview for a Major Motion Picture? The thing about text is that, no matter how specifically detailed it is, there's always space that the thoughtful reader gets to fill in: the look of a room, the sound of a voice, the colors of the landscape, etc. The reader gets to assist in the realizing of the author's work (and, as I have suggested elsewhere, with this novel we get to do even more than we get to do with most other novels: we actually get to help write it). The thing about film, though, is that, no matter how "good" it is, it has already been envisioned for us. What film leaves to the imagination is visually hidden or unnarrated: fade-outs as lovers kiss; the sudden passage of days/weeks/years as indicated by jump cuts; etc. As viewers, we're not allowed imaginative play with the film-as-text. We know what people, interiors, landscapes look like. And even worse: if we should return to the novel version, many if not most viewers will find images from the film intruding into their reading.

    In short, I'm puzzled by the recurrence of this "I-wish-this-were-a-movie" talk. It's as though those who raise it feel that their experience of the novel, if not the novel itself, is somehow deficient, that something besides the answers to questions of parentage and authorship of TNR is missing. I'd argue, though, that a film version would be seem even more deficient, too confined and limiting. It would not allow us to play the game of "always" (or was that "hallways"?).

    [ August 20, 2003: Message edited by: John B. ]

  • #2
    "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

    I most definitely do not want to see HoL made into a movie. There's no need for it, and trying to transfer the book into another medium would both do it an injustice and fail miserably at conveying the same effect. I'm relatively new here, and I'm more than a little surprised that anyone who has read the book would even suggest such a thing.

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    • #3
      "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

      In many ways Hol already is a film. You know, going back to the other worn out questions. Why is in blue? What is with the pacing? The crazy winding footnotes?

      Cinematic literature.

      Comment


      • #4
        "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

        I thought the same thing about Lord of the Rings, until I saw what they did with it. It's true- a film is fundamentally different from a book. A HoL film would undoubtadly not be able to contain exactly the same message, due to the medium. But there are advantages to portraying something on film just as there are advantages to the written word. Directors like Christopher Nolan, Aronofsky, and Lynch have done amazing things with subtlety and symbolism in film. I think Danielewski would be able to transfer much of the book's mystery to the film medium. I respect the integrity of the novel. Most books are infinitely better than the film that was made from them (I can think of a couple exceptions). Still, there are quite a few books I would have never read if I hadn't seen the movie first (The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story, Fight Club, Girl Interrupted). And seeing those films didn't ruin the books themselves. A film would open up HoL, the book, to a wider audience (but no, we want to keep it for ourselves, we found it first!) The fact is that a story like this should be told through as many media as possible (napkins and envelopes? passed around on the internet? captured as an essence on a cd?... told as a campfire scary story, put into a film, etc). Yes, in each form, it takes on a little bit of a different texture. Art always creates something and always destroys something.

        I'm not saying that if it is Danielewski's true intent to never transfer the story to film that I won't be completely happy. I just won't be disappointed if that's not his true intent.

        Comment


        • #5
          "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

          Perhaps such a wish is born from
          the lack of truly twisted horror movies available at the moment. Or maybe it just comes from our insatiable desire to be scared silly, somehow hoping that by seeing MZD's masterpiece realised on the big screen will elevate our experience beyond that of what our puny imaginations can deliver. But instead we will embrace the puny imagination of some overly-ambitious directer. I can't see HoL ever being made into a movie, even 70 years from
          now (or however long it is) for the simple reason that it's strongest appeal is fear of the unknown and these days its mostly blood and gore that wins seats in the cinemas. It would just end up another haunted tale *shudder* [/ramble]

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          • #6
            "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

            I have to agree - it's not something that I would like to see done (made into a film that is) - but you know if it was, you'd watch it and then curse at what had been done to the book.....I think the film is best left where it is - in people's heads.

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            • #7
              "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

              A good example of how (badly) films deal with elements that are uniquely 'literary' is the film version of The French Lieutenant's Woman. In the novel, John Fowles introduces an authorial persona into the diegesis of the narrative, questioning his own motivation as author, and interrupting the story at key points, André Gide-style, to wonder aloud what he should do with his characters. In the film they attempted to parallel this literary trick by making the main narrative a film-within-the-film and following the 'actors' as they came out of character and went about their lives. Nice attempt, but it wasn't a patch on the novel.

              quote:
              Originally posted by John B.:
              The thing about film, though, is that, no matter how "good" it is, it has already been envisioned for us.


              However true this is, it is also true that film can do things literature can't. Film can operate at a surface level in a way that the novel cannot, however transparent and Hemingwayesque the prose may pretend to be. Film shows you things, novels mediate through descriptive language , dialogue, etc. A film like Jacob's Ladder, (for example, because I watched it the other day) would have been nowhere near as effective in written form. How would you narrate the abrupt shifts between different dream-states? Film is just much better at the sjuzet-fabula thing.

              Having said all that, I tend to think that making a film of HoL is an unutterably awful idea.

              [ August 22, 2003: Message edited by: pwhite ]

              Comment


              • #8
                "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                well, i tend to agree that a move would be a bad idea, im less confident in this response than i once was.

                this has nothing to do with MZD or his wishes. im thinking purely in terms of how well, or poorly, it could translate to film. but.

                i can't honestly say that i imagine a HoL movie translating well to cinema, but, to draw on a frequent topic here, if all i knew was the book, i would certainly say the same thing about 'the neverending story', and the general consensus here seems to be that it translated rather well into film.

                of course, that comparison doesn't work on all levels. on one level it works, because both are stopries about a person being drawn into a book. on another level is the film aspect of HoL, which is absent in TNS.

                i don't know. im not thinking at all about MZD up there, but if he doesn't think it would work as a movie, well, he probably knows better than i do, so i'll trust him on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                  The main problem with a movie is exactly how John B. put it
                  quote
                  The thing about text is that, no matter how specifically detailed it is, there's always space that the thoughtful reader gets to fill in: the look of a room, the sound of a voice, the colors of the landscape, etc. The reader gets to assist in the realizing of the author's work (and, as I have suggested elsewhere, with this novel we get to do even more than we get to do with most other novels: we actually get to help write it). The thing about film, though, is that, no matter how "good" it is, it has already been envisioned for us.
                  While a movie may appeal to a larger overall audience, the joy of one's personal dreams or views about how Character's truly look, or act, and how the scene is... is utterly lost. We've all seen it before, one of your favorite characters in the book was played by a good actor in the movie, but your mind's eye view of that character is destroyed. Too much personalization would be lost in turning HoL into a movie.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                    Also, to me, this is one of those books that the way it is told is as important to the presentation as what is told.

                    That can't be done on screen. That was the purpose of the layout I gather.

                    It would have to ba a movie about the characters writing Hol...it would rather than be a movie of what is in Hol, a movie showing them make the book.

                    Hey...hold on...that isn't bad....

                    ::Runs of to write shitty screenplay::

                    [ August 20, 2003: Message edited by: verismo ]

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                    • #11
                      "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                      quote:
                      Originally posted by pwhite:
                      [QB] Film is just much better at the sjuzet-fabula thing.
                      QB]


                      Russian formalism eh? La-de-da, Mr Continental...
                      but i think you're right.

                      Verismo... maybe it could be a film about MZD trying to write about the characters writing HoL and MZD's finding it difficult...
                      And maybe Nicholas Cage could play him...
                      Oh no, wait, that's Adaptation...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                        No, no no.
                        A film won't happen because it won't be scary. Go try and figure out how turn the sheer terror you felt while reading page 26-27. "I didn't look. Of course I looked." No moving can do that type of horror- that is all over-active imagination working on you. I know I looked and if you are staring at the screen, you won't know what you are seeing out of the corner of your eye.
                        And exactly how can a viewer see JT's story and TNR and Pelafina's letters and Z.'s tale? There is too much in HoL- it's literaly bursting. And to pick and choose what goes will take away the connections. I didn't know what the check mark on p. 97 meant until I eventually got to the Whalestoe Letters.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                          If they were to make a of Leaves movie I think they should do it as two seperate films. One would chronicle the events that took place in the Navidson Record and the other movie would chronicle Johnny Truants descent into madness as he pieces together the Navidson Record and remenisces about Pelafina. I actually think a movie wouldnt be all that bad. I dont think it would hurt my enjoyement of the book or make me lose my imagination in any way. As long as they load it with lots of unneccesary sex and goofy sidekicks it will kickass.

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                          • #14
                            "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by ass_shaped_smile:
                            As long as they load it with lots of unneccesary sex and goofy sidekicks it will kickass.


                            ...oh please. [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              "Hopefully one day it'll happen"

                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Themnoria:


                              ...oh please. [img]images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]



                              Seems like you missed out on sarcasm when you were developing a sense of humor.

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