Movies of NYRBs?

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Movies of NYRBs?

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Modifié : Juil 6, 2008, 10:04pm

I recently finished The Big Clock, and the introduction mentioned that it had been adapted twice into a movie. I remember seeing the 1987 version a long time ago and thought it was eh, though the central concept of a man hunting down himself - taken directly from the book - was interesting. Has anyone seen the older version?

On a more general note, what other NYRBs have been made into films? I'm usually wary of screen adaptations, but are there any worth recommending (either if you have or haven't read the corresponding book)? I know that many books by Alberto Moravia have been made into movies and would be interested in hearing the opinion of anyone who has seen them. I think Sara mentioned in her blog that A Month in the Country has also been filmed.

If you haven't seen any adaptations of NYRBs, which ones might make good films?

Juil 7, 2008, 12:43am

I thought the first version with Ray Milland was quite good, but I'm a sucker for noir. There is a screamingly funny extra on the DVD that I believe is part of the trailer with Milland, seemingly still in character, describing his part in the movie. Man, I love those old trailers- like the Big Sleep where Bogart goes to the bookstore featured in the film to buy the novel- I guess to do his acting homework.

I haven't seen the Institute Benjamenta but it's based on Walser's Jakob von Gunten. It's a Quay Brothers film so I wouldn't expect a direct adaptation.

Juil 8, 2008, 11:56am

I'm a fan of the film adaptation of The Go-Between—the screenplay was by Harold Pinter and Julie Christie is one of the main characters. It captures the feel of the book, and is true to its plot. Come to think of it, the mood of both book and film is that oppressive heat, slightly bored, lazy late summer atmosphere. Just what we're approaching at the moment!

Juil 8, 2008, 3:46pm

Contempt by Alberto Moravia is an NYRB Classics movie double - not only was it adapted into a movie by Jean-Luc Godard, but the latter part of the movie is filmed at Curzio Malaparte's striking Capri home. The film itself is classic Godard, but I can't compare it to the book as I haven't read it yet.

Juil 8, 2008, 10:28pm

Oh that is funny sarajill, I have been reading The Go-Between and my first thought was that it would make an excellent film. I would like to see what Pinter did with it.

Juil 8, 2008, 10:51pm

Marensr, I really really liked the movie, when I saw it, many years ago.
Also, how can a movie go wrong with a cast including Julie Christie and Alan Bates?

Juil 8, 2008, 11:04pm

I've seen Institute Benjamenta and recommend it heartily. I don't know what it would mean to make a direct adaptation of a book like J v G (one of my top five books, ever! In the whole world!), all it is is... psychic atmosphere. To me at least the Quays managed to convey some of the fantastic taste of the novel. I don't know how someone who hasn't read the book would interpret the movie, though. In general, I think cinema is inferior compared to books, one is always forced to follow some narrower narrative path, to pin down ideas.

Juil 9, 2008, 12:47am

#7 - I'm not crazy about adaptations of books but I was in no hurry to see it. But I do like the Quay brothers so I'd probably just as happy if the relationship to the book is almost nil. "Pianotuner of Earthquakes" was certainly interesting. It's good to hear you enjoyed it since I haven't heard any kind of opinion on it at all. I'll check it out.

Juil 9, 2008, 9:01am

The movie of A Month in the Country was also very good, with Colin Firth, Natasha Richardson, and Kenneth Branagh, among others. It doesn't appear to be out on DVD, though.

Juil 9, 2008, 6:42pm

#7 and #8—I can't claim that Jakob von Gunten is my all-time fave book, but the Bros. Quay movie really does do it justice. Interestingly, it didn't do that thing of erasing and replacing my own mental image of the story derived from the book.

Juil 10, 2008, 5:23pm

The Cedric Kahn adaptation of Alberto Moravia's Boredom - L'Ennui (1998) is interesting, racy and worth seeing. Of course, the best adaptation of a Moravia work is Bertolucci's The Conformist.

Another great film is Bresson's adaptation of Bernanos's Mouchette which NYRB published. I still have to read the Bernanos novel, however.

Also, there is an Elio Petri adaptation of Leonardo Sciascia's To Each His Own, but I haven't seen it.

I'd be interested in seeing a film of An African In Greenland for the scenes of blubber eating and wife swaps.

Juil 10, 2008, 10:12pm

Bresson's Mouchette is very true to the book. I'd highly recommend both.

I had forgotten about the Cedric Kahn adaptation of Boredom! He also adapted Simenon's Red Lights. The film is a great thriller. I haven't read the book yet, so I don't know how true it is to the original, but I gather that the action has been moved from New York State to France.

Not quite a movie, but the BBC adapted Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky a couple of years ago. I enjoyed the serial, but again, the book is still on my TBR list.

Juil 31, 2008, 3:17pm

Indirectly, there's the fantastic Last Year In Marienbad, inspired by The Invention Of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Modifié : Oct 13, 2008, 1:36pm

I just posted some clips of a forthcoming animated feature film of My Dog Tulip. Christopher Plummer voices J.R. Ackerley and Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini are also in the cast.

Déc 30, 2008, 9:32am

We Think the World of You has been made into a movie with Alan Bates and Gary Oldman. Haven't seen it, but loved the book. The Horse's Mouth had Alec Guiness in it and Don't Look Now was another with Julie Christie. I remember Rogue Male from my childhood and preferred the movie of High Wind in Jamaica to the book - but I was 15 when I saw it. Enchanted April was a great film and let's not forget Pinocchio!

Sep 16, 2010, 3:51am

Here's a review of the animated movie of My Dog Tulip.

I'd like to see it, but I don't think it's in wide release yet. Should probably read the book first.

Avr 13, 2011, 4:47pm

The Dud Avocado might make a great film, especially with the positive acclaim of shows like Mad Men

Avr 19, 2011, 10:25am

Of course, the review of Mad Men in the NYRB wasn't so positive...

Avr 24, 2011, 10:47am

You're probably right, I'm only making a historical parallel. The time period seems more akin to the Audrey Hepburn film Funny Face, along with the location and "the vivacious gal on the make."

Avr 25, 2011, 12:20pm

From what I understand, The Dud Avocado has been under option since it was published in the 50s. I believe that Fox has a perpetual option on the thing. There was also an effort in the early 2000s to adapt it. So far, nothing. But you never know.

I wonder what Elaine Dundy would've made of Mad Men. She always maintained that the 50s have been woefully underestimated in the popular imagination.