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Entries in Adaptations (222)

Monday
Feb052018

The Furniture: Into the Marshes with Ida Lupino and Elsa Lanchester

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

This week marks 100 years since the birth of pioneering director and actress Ida Lupino. Twitter has been full of tributes to her work, including the eight feature films she directed. We've discussed a few of her films here before as well. For my part, I highly recommend her two episodes of The Twilight Zone.

However, I’m going to look at a movie from before she made the leap to directing, the only one in her filmography to receive a Best Art Direction nomination. 1941’s Ladies in Retirement is both a thriller and a play adaptation, a genre we don’t see too often anymore. But in that era it was fairly common, from comedies like Arsenic and Old Lace to the more explicitly malevolent Night Must Fall and Gaslight.

The setting of Ladies in Retirement, according to Reginald Denham and Edward Percy’s original play, is the “Living Room of an Old House on the Marshes of the Thames Estuary Some Ten Miles to the East of Gravesend, 1885.”

Of course, this being 1941, a location shoot in Kent would have been impossible even if the studio had wanted it. Instead, the marshes were built into a sound stage. The team was so proud of their ersatz swamp that they even set the opening credits in the muddy water!

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Tuesday
Jan162018

US Scripters Nominations (Gloriously) Add to the Adapted Screenplay Confusion

by Nathaniel R

Lost City of Z finally makes a precursor markOne of the funniest developments this awards season is how weirdly empty the Adapted Screenplay became in the wake of so many top contenders being "originals". The balance is way off. Even the 'true' stories, the ones adapted from history or people's lives this year were mostly originals (Some have argued in the past should be considered for the Adapted category since they're not originating the stories and characters... though we've never come to a definitive conclusion as to whether or not we agree).

Today the US Scripters chaired by USC professor and past president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, and a selection committee chose the nominees from a field of 91 film and 28 television adaptations. Because of a three way tie in voting they have SEVEN film nominees this year. Which is hilarious since most people though the category "weak" in terms of Oscar candidates. In spreading their net so wide they've done little to clear up the confusion as to which five films will receive Oscar nominations. More after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec102017

44 days til Oscar nominations. Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there are seemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted -- the math doesn't work. Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards. Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing. That's a lot of hogging of writing honors. They are...

OSCAR'S 20 FAVORITE SCREENWRITERS
(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)
01 Woody Allen (16 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Acting and Directing races. Classics include Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan and more...
02 Billy Wilder (12 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Directing and Producing races. Classics include Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, and more...
03 John Huston (8 nominations and 1 win)
He's also been in the Acting, Directing, and Producing races. Classics include The African Queen, The Asphalt Jungle, Prizzi's Honor and more...
04 Federico Fellini (8 nominations but he never won for writing)
He's also been in the Directing, and Producing races and of course his films have taken multiple Foreign Language Film Oscars. He's the Academy's favorite Italian... yes, even more than Sophia Loren. Classics include La Dolce Vita, I Vitelloni, 8½ and more...

It's perhaps no surprise that all of these writers are also directors and thus were in charge of bringing their own words to visual life. With greater control comes greater consistency in results. Without checking before you hit the jump can you guess which working writers are next in line to join this group?

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Thursday
Nov302017

Blueprints: "Call Me by Your Name"

Wrapping up Call Me by Your Name week at The Film Experience, so Jorge takes a look at its screenplay to talk one of the biggest and most successful changes made from the novel to the screen. It’s peachy.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect about adapting a book into a movie is converting the literary language into something visual; show with images what in the page is being told with words. This is especially hard if the novel takes place within a single character’s mind and perception, like “Call Me by Your Name” does with Elio.

One of the easier solutions (sometimes merited, others not so much) is translating the thoughts that the character has on the book into voice-over. It’s a simple, straight-forward way to effectively convey ideas and feelings.

Call Me by Your Name, the film, has been lauded (among many other things) for avoiding this go-to trope, and instead using action and visual cues to convey Elio’s quiet longing for Oliver, and the intimacy and slow simmer of their romance. However, it wasn’t always like this...

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Wednesday
Nov292017

Call Me With Kindness

by Jason Adams

Call Me By Your Name is turning out to be the sort of success none of us saw coming sixteen months ago when it was first announced that the director of I Am Love was tackling a little gay love story. It just broke the 2017 record for per theater average over the weekend, and its reviews have been unanimously stellar. It won Best Feature at the Gothams Monday night, it topped the Independent Spirit nominations, and it’s expected to stick around racking up such prizes all awards season long.

And yet there’s been one complaint that’s nagged at the movie from a determined bunch of folks (including the film’s own writer, legend James Ivory) since it first screened at Sundance in January – a supposed shyness about nudity and gay sex. Ivory told Variety it’s a “pity” there's no full-frontal nudity in the film, while The Guardian called the movie “coy” and Slate called it out for a “lack of explicit sex.” One shot in particular has rankled these folks the most – a seemingly old-fashioned pan out the window just as the characters finally approach their erotic consummation.

The film’s director Luca Guadagnino, who probably had to look up the word “coy” in the dictionary the first time it was lobbed at him for this, is nonplussed by the reaction – he told Vulture:

“It’s really something I don’t understand. It’s as if you said there are not enough shots of Shanghai. I don’t understand why there has to be Shanghai in this movie.”

I’m inclined to agree with him. Not only because I found the film sexy as hell, erotic in languorous, voyeuristic ways that movies don’t really approach anymore. Its sense of tactility, for sweat and fabric and skin, and its often-prurient stares – up the legs of swimming trunks, for example - are a welcome shock to the system that makes the forbidden seem commonplace, easy...

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Sunday
Nov262017

Stage Door: The Hilarious Cast of "Desperate Measures"

by Nathaniel R

Before we plunge into the deep end of movie awards season, which tends to consume our every waking moment from right now through Oscar night each year, a wee theater break.

Though we love movies with all our hearts, the one thing live-action movies don't really have an equivalent of is the grand theatrical tradition of the musical comedy. I'm talking inspired silliness as goddamn raison d'etre. I recently fell hard for Desperate Measures, a hilarious wild west riff on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. The show has now been extended three times at the York Theatre in Manhattan and will close on New Year's Eve so get to it! (The York specializes in helping develop new musicals and I'm happy to call attention to this noble cause as a bonafide fanatic of the genre.)

I sat down recently to talk to with two of the musical's stars, strapping Peter Saide and rockstar feisty Lauren Molina, who both really "outta be in pictures" as they say though we're happy they're killing it on stage, don't misunderstand! The interviews are after the jump... 

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