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7326Re: Sparkdog, cinema critic

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  • David F. Porteous
    Jan 1, 2003
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      <<David Bratman wrote: All around I really liked the BBC Gormenghast....>>

      The BBC did Gormenghast rather well because they did not approach it as one
      might approach a fantasy novel, they took it as a costume drama and the BBC
      does them better than anyone. Christopher Lee was also in that.

      <<Sparkdog wrote: I've never heard, or read of, someone saying "The book was
      a disappointment after seeing the movie.">>

      Dracula. It dawned on me when I remembered Christopher Lee. As someone who
      likes horror films more than any other genre -- and I don't mean this modern
      rubbish with knives and chainsaws and popcorn, but proper horror films where
      the bad guy leers or laughs archly and the set is used for at least half a
      dozen other films -- I had been watching the Hammer horror films since I was
      five. When I came to buy the book Dracula, when I was about nine, I found
      it the worst kind of impenetrable nonsense. Diaries? Where did the diaries
      come from? After watching what is probably the version which most closely
      conforms to the book (I am told) -- Francis Ford Coppola's version -- I
      tried to read it again and failed in the first few pages. Then in 2001 I
      tried again and faired little better. I have seen countless Dracula films
      but I have never seen page 30 of that book I bought when I was nine. It is
      approximately six feet away from me now and still looks brand new.

      I cannot say whether I would have been able to read the book if I had never
      seen any Dracula films -- if indeed that's actually possible -- but I know
      that my impressions of the story have been so set that I cannot accept the
      written version. I find it both possible and likely that these films will,
      far from encouraging other readers of LotR, actually discourage them. And
      I'm in agreement with David Bratman in that the films will taint the
      interpretation of everyone else. I had seen the LotR cartoon before reading
      the book and even years later I found those images springing to my mind,
      especially during the Nazgul bed-hitting scene.

      I hope the artwork produced independently of the films does come to echo
      them, that would be quite tragic and artistically redundant

      -- David.
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