wataru wrote:It's not about being true to novel, it's about being true to the subject matter.
It's subject matter is
the novel. The novel won a Pulitzer for Fiction
, as in even the book wasn't completely based off of true events. So when you make a movie based off a novel that was mostly fiction, of course you're going to get a movie that isn't entirely true to the Civil War. So the way I see it, that's really not fair to say if it's true to the "subject matter".
As I stated before, the Civil War was not a swashbuckling bright technicolor romance, nor was Wizard of Oz a gay bright cheerful family musical. These films took subject matter and perverted it into a style that was not true to spirit of the story or times of the story.
And as I've stated before, so what? A movie deserves to stand on its own merits, without being compared to other works. Gone With The Wind
and Wizard Of Oz
still obviously did something right, otherwise they wouldn't be talked about today. It doesn't matter if they strictly follow their original source material, because films can do that. There's no rule out there that says, if a film is based off a novel/short story/whatever, that it has to follow the source material to a tee.
Compare the original True Grit with Open Range. Both are westerns. Which is the BEST western? True Grit is a classic, but it's dated, and even in it's year it wasnt accurate at ALL to the true American west. It is the classic MOVIE western. It is not a true western story. Open Range is worlds better on the subject matter AND acting. Which is the best MOVIE? Open Range. It has nothing to do with it being 'newer' and True Grit being 'older', it has to do with the story telling, acting and all the techs of the film (set design, costumes, sound, etc etc).
That comparison doesn't really work, since I've never even heard of Open Range
, and I bet you anything I'm not the only one. True Grit
is considered a classic American western, not because it accurately depicts the west, but because of the story and characters, and how enjoyable they are. I've yet to hear anybody talk about if a western accurately depicts the west, that it suddenly is a good western.
Most great Westerns I can think of aren't great at accurately depicting the west, such as The Searchers
, Red River
, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
, etc., but you know what? I could care less about that kind of stuff. That's not what film is about. It's about telling an interesting story and enjoyable and memorable characters.
I know I'm going to regret this, but I'm going to bring it up anyway, because it works here: Battle Royale
. I couldn't care less if the movie accurately depicts what happens in the manga. What I care about is if the movie is entertaining and enjoyable to watch. And it is. Hell, even my favorite movie of all time, Apocalypse Now
, is based off a novel, "The Heart Of Darkness". Is it faithful to the novel? From what I can gather, no. But I don't care. It's still one of the best films I've ever seen. Same goes for Battle Royale
And this is the case for any and all movies based off another source. I never bother to ask the question: How faithful is it to the source material? Because that's a stupid question. My question is: Is it entertaining to watch in its own right?
People watch classics and watch them with a mind-set of it being old and dated and to take it with a grain of salt.
And I laugh at the people who do that.
Cinema is timeless. A film made in 1897 can be just as enjoyable as a film from 1997. It doesn't matter how old a film is, because one can easily enjoy an old film as much as a new film. This is why we still talk about films from the '30s, '40s and '50s. If people did what you say they do, nobody would talk about silent films or black-and-white films anymore.
You're watching it with film snob goggles. In terms of STORY - Blade Runner and Open Range stomp Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind into the ground.
I haven't seen Open Range
, so I can't talk about its story. But I can talk about Blade Runner
's story...and it sucks. The story is almost nonexistent in Blade Runner
. The film would rather show of its world and effects instead of telling an interesting or captivating story. Really, the film chooses style over substance.
I have this condition, where if I watch a film that chooses to focus the bulk of its attention on the world of the film or effects or whatnot, I don't give a damn about the film. I've watched Blade Runner
three times now, and I've fallen asleep twice during the film. If the film actually focused on the story, then that wouldn't have happened.
So I'll say that Wizard Of Oz
and Gone With The Wind
have better stories than Blade Runner