Okay, this post isn’t about independent film… but it is about film.
I just feel bad about not posting more often, so I hope you’ll forgive this indulgence.
Everyone always says that movies adaptations are never as good as the books on which they’re based, but I can think of two exceptions:
I think both of these adaptations are superior to the books, but for completely opposite reasons;
Mario Puzo’s book is a pretty typical pulp gangster story, but Coppola made a masterpiece of a film by adding mythic elements and powerful themes that weren’t in the original source.
In the case of Moby-Dick, Huston took what is great about Melville’s book; mythic elements and powerful themes, and placed them in an action-packed two-hour movie (Melville was a great writer… but man, he needed an editor…).
In fairness to both authors, neither of these films would have existed if the books hadn’t been written (and the screenwriters, Puzo himself and Ray Bradbury, deserve credit too). But I think it’s wrong to automatically assume that a movie will never be as good as the book. Sometimes a story lends itself better to one medium than another.
Then again, I’m still waiting to see a movie adaptation of an old TV show that’s better than the original.
Maybe The Dukes of Hazzard will take care of that.
Oh, wait… that show sucked.