DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Fiction into Film by Joy Gould Boyum

DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Fiction into Film

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A classic treatise on the symbiotic relationships of literature and film. The former cinema critic and English teacher leads us through a brief, illuminating montage of literary adaptations from the early 1900's until the present day. And we are not just shown books and celluloid here--we hear and view the fears of author Vachel Lindsay about this ""unnatural"" alliance, and of Virginia Woolf and Hannah Arendt's foreboding of cinema eventually destroying and devouring literature. Boyum confronts film detractors with analysis and insight as to why certain adaptations have never measured up artistically to their literary wellsprings. Gatsby renditions failed because of point of view and the incredibleness and fabulousness of the Gatsby character itself. Coppola's Apocalypse Now had no shock of recognition or moral center. Even the chameleon-like artistry of Meryl Streep could not fully fill out our imaginations as did the prose of Styron's Sophie's Choice. This is a unique look at the brilliance and genius at work in George Roy Hill's Slaughterhouse Five juxtaposed by the ineptness and comic awkwardness of Robert Montgomery's Lady in the Lake. From D.H. Lawrence's overheated prose in Women in Love to ""Bogey"" as ""Bogey"" in Casablanca, there is edification, film scholastacism, anecdotal humor and intelligent criticism here (Peter Lorre's bamboozling a movie mogul with a one-page synopsis of Crime and Punishment. The cinematic beginning of Lord of the Flies--being clearer than the novel--although the film version ultimately fails).""Words rather than images"" do not necessarily ""make for a superior medium,"" writes Boyum, who deftly and lovingly defends the cinematic artform that stills holds the promise of reliving an exciting, moving and absorbing experience first encountered on the written page.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1985
Publisher: New American Library