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BEST FILM ADAPTATIONS OF FICTION: CONTINUED (part 1)

Best film adaptations of fiction: continued

A good adaptation of the book – not so rare guest at the table of kinoguitan. This is a definite plus. But a bad film adaptation is even less rare. With the crisis of ideas that engulfed the minds of Directors and gave birth to a plentiful stream of sequels, the craving for transferring literature to the screen did not slow down, and it is not so important – what and how. Modern Hollywood (and it is accepted for some reason to look up to it) produces an enormous number of film adaptations, with the literary original of which, believe me, few people would want to get acquainted. It used to be a translation of the text on film was considered a kind of sign of quality, but now it is not: all rights have long been sold out, so the more noise the book attracts (scandalous popularity in the foreground), the more likely it is to watch a movie in a year or two on a crooked craft for this book: with some former Hollywood star, a dozen years ago successfully released in circulation.

What’s all this about? In the stream of film adaptations now only have time to Dodge, but also, as they say, do not click your beak, otherwise the noble fish can escape. I will continue to talk about this fish in the second part of the selection of good literary adaptations. The first article was surprisingly popular (probably because of Audrey Hepburn in the picture), so the sequel follows only a year later. For this year, there were several pleasant adaptations (they are not included in the new list yet), several high-budget “zilch” (they, of course, too) and the third season of “Sherlock”, the story about which in the Askbook of literature completed last year’s selection. About the latter, just a few words: it is very bad, boring, tedious and disgusting directed; all the epithets that apply to the first two seasons (or six films), in any case, do not apply to the third season. The best thing I could advise is not to watch it at all, not to spoil the impression. Such continuations, dear citizens of the BBC, we do not need!

And now to the new selection, which this time included only four films: two domestic and two foreign. First of them…

“My little brother»
My younger brother

Alexander Zarkhi’s film of 1962, the Golden period of Russian cinema, gave the audience a whole scattering of intellectual atypical paintings wrapped in a canvas of carelessness and imbued with the leitmotivs of freedom and fresh perception. The film is based on the book by Vasily Aksenov “Star ticket”, a cult in its time and brought Aksenov all-Soviet fame among young people. The film adaptation only strengthened it.

Export film cover

The first thing that catches your eye when you get acquainted with the film is the cast, it is indecently good. Let’s just list: Alexander Zbruev, Andrey Mironov, Oleg Dal, Oleg Efremov, they are supplemented by the less famous Lyudmila Marchenko. What’s it like? “Star ticket” – then, it turns out, not only the main character sees, but also the viewer. What else surprises the film is the age of the actors: Zbruev is twenty-three years old here, Marchenko is twenty-one, and Mironov and Dahl are only twenty; “My younger brother” is only the second film in the career of the wonderful Andrey Mironov, as for Zbruev and Dahl – this is their debut in the cinema. And what! Oleg Efremov is older than the others (he was thirty-four years old on the set), but this is due to his role as an older brother, and he has much less screen time.

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The music in the film is excellent and appropriate. These are instrumental lyrical melodies authored by Mikael Tariverdiev, most viewers remember him as the composer of the notorious “Irony of fate”, and in General, in Tariverdiev’s film career, more than sixty films and at least a dozen or two of them deserve an honorable place on the shelf of a film lover.

Main characters of the film

Book. The plot of “Star ticket” (especially its beginning) is not very compatible with Soviet values. The fact is that the main character after leaving school is not eager to build communism, go to College or go to the Northern construction sites. No, they and their friends want to breathe in freedom and independence from adults. And where to look for it in the Union, if not in Estonia, the most European part of the country in all respects?.. The guys (three boys and a girl), as many of their peers only dreamed of, decide to simply ignore the standards of society and go to the sea, where they try to arrange life according to their priorities. No sooner said than done: train tickets, simple belongings on the road ahead…

The film adaptation appeared only a year after the book was published.

Can I replace reading with watching a movie? Yes. “My little brother” follows the composition of “Star ticket” very accurately, sometimes complementing it nicely. Something in the movie was not included, but such episodes are few and they do not carry any global aspects. The ending of the film, as for me, is more interestingly put than in the literary original. The main thing in which the film bypasses the book is the magnificent acting of the actors. However, “Star ticket” is a short story, it will not take much time in any case, and the cult status among young people during the Soviet era, you will agree, is not the worst recommendation for a book by Vasily Aksenov.

“No change on the Western front»
No change on the Western front

This is a 1979 film by American Director Delbert Mann. This movie was made specifically for television and should not have been released, but it did end up in some places, in particular in the Soviet Union, where the attitude to the work of Remarque (the author of the book prototype) was always very reverent and enthusiastic. I will tell you a secret, “On the Western front without changes” can be viewed on a large movie screen in our time: it is, for example, periodically shown in the Moscow cinema “Illusion”. And since the cinema itself has long been one of the most interesting sights of the capital, Mann’s film in its repertoire is a great opportunity to combine the pleasant with the pleasant.

Spanish movie poster

What is the good of this film? About the same thing that the literary original was good for the sophisticated reader. Emotions of confusion, hopelessness, loneliness and uselessness, deranged with a harsh denunciation of the vices of military politicians, soulless executioners who think only of their own benefit and turn the society of their own countries into the same soulless statistical figures that do not mean anything significant for history and reality. Minus a few hundred units-people from the total huge number in the Newspapers is marked only with the headline “on the Western front without changes”.

The main character of the film

The film does not have any popular actors, which only plays into the hands of the construction of the picture. In the book, the main character is also not an outstanding person, he is not much different from other such young boys called up to serve in the German army, Remarque after all, and intended. Personally, I remember only two characters in particular: Himmelstoss, a military tyrant who simultaneously combines the brutality and comicality of the army, and Katchinsky, a kind of Sergeant-major, more than twice the age of his comrades, a wise, experienced soldier. These bright book characters almost without loss migrated to the film adaptation: Dilbert Mann showed them about the same as I imagined them when reading.

Himmelstoss

Book. “On the Western front without change” is one of Remarque’s best works. An absolute masterpiece of anti-war prose and prose in General. Very light and pleasant syllable, and on the contrary-heavy discouraging content that does not leave you indifferent. Everyone should read this book at least once.

The film adaptation appeared exactly half a century after the book was published.

Can I replace reading with watching a movie? You can, but I don’t recommend it. The film does not run only along the tops and bases of the plot, transmitting not only a complete picture of the narrative, but also a full-fledged emotional and moral message. However… The book contains more details, high-quality descriptions, dialogues, and other literary pleasantries. In other words, if a movie is a delicious cake, then a book is three exactly the same cakes.

“You didn’t dream of it…»
You didn’t dream of it…

There is much in nature, friend Horatio,
That are dreamt of in your philosophy.
(Shakespeare’s hamlet in per.)

Directed By Ilya Fraz. The year of release is not so far back as 1980. And before us is the best domestic film about first love. In addition, it is also an adaptation of the novel by Galina Shcherbakova “Roman and Yulka”, deafeningly popular at the turn of 1979-1980s. Here is only the film, released less than a year after the publication of the story in the magazine “Youth”, eclipsed the literary basis completely. Now you can not buy a book called “Roman and Yulka” Shcherbakova, the name was changed at the first publication to the title of the upcoming film, in which there is no Yulka at all: the main character was renamed Katya, so that the allusions to the play of Shakespeare, the adaptation of which we reviewed last time, were less obvious.

 

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