Posts from the “Long Reads” Category

Audiences: money, mass-markets & film adaptation

Posted on July 29, 2019

Ever wondered if readers and film audiences are really so different? Does the film industry’s profit motive mean pandering to mass audiences? And does the need to make big bucks affect the type of film adaptations that are made? Or even influence their content? In the first instalment of a two part feature I look at the demographics of readers and film audiences and explore how the mass-market influences the type of adaptations in production. PART ONE: THE PROFIT MOTIVE In the early 1970s George Bluestone’s seminal book Novels Into Film effectively kicked off film adaptation theory. ‘Big business has always treated the film as a commodity,’ he declared, ‘While a novel can sell 20,000 volumes and make substantial profit, the film must reach…

Alejandro G. Iñárritu: Understanding Amores Perros

Posted on June 18, 2019

What does Amores Perros mean? And how does writer-director Alejandro González Iñárritu use this debut to establish his filmmaking style and themes? There are few filmmakers whose work I revere more that of Alejandro González Iñárritu. It was his second film, 21 Grams that first opened my eyes to cinema as an art. Prior to Oscars sensations Birdman and The Revenant, Iñárritu dealt unflinchingly with some of the most distressing aspects of humanity. From Mexican dog fighters to victims of human trafficking, his characters come from some of the most deprived communities. Sometimes battling terminal illnesses (which  Iñárritu viscerally depicts) they experience the cruelty and violence of life and death. Each of his first four films – Amores Perros (2001), 21 Grams (2004), Babel…

Home Comforts & Guilty Consciences in The Sisters Brothers & The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

Posted on April 25, 2019

Companion Pieces is a new series of 10-15 minute reads exploring cinematic and literary parallels. In this first instalment, I explore the links between Patrick deWitt’s novel The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard’s recent film adaptation of the same name and the Coen brothers’ The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs. Taken together, these three journeys through the American west reveal how greed, grief and a guilty conscience can be soothed by the simple comforts of family, friendship and home. But the question of what lies beyond their collection of ironic deaths can only be answered by the Coens. Patrick deWitt’s 2011 Booker shortlisted novel The Sisters Brothers is both a western adventure and a crime caper. Two accomplished killers, the Sisters brothers, travel from Oregon to…

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