Limitless Cinema in Broken English

May 26, 2009

POLL 57: LOOSE ADAPTATIONS

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:14 pm

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

 

My poll 57 is inspired by WIMALA, QUEEN OF CROCODILE (2009, Wannasak Sirilar, play, A+/A), which is adapted from the legend of Graithong, a famous crocodile killer. I had never been interested in this Thai folklore before, until I saw Wannasak’s play. Wannasak gave a solo performance as Wimala, which is just a supporting character in the original legend. I’m quite impressed at Wannasak’s choice of angle to tell this well-known story. I may have heard this story for a hundred times already, but when this story is told from a different angle, from the viewpoint of the supporting character, the story suddenly becomes very interesting.

WIMALA, QUEEN OF CROCODILE reminds me of some films/plays which use the same kind of technique—changing the viewpoints to tell some well-known stories. Examples include MARY REILLY, which tells the story of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE in a new way; WANTHONG, which tells the legend of KOON CHANG KOON PAN from the feminist viewpoint; and BE…LOVED (2006, Wannasak Sirilar, A+++++), which tells the story of Don Quixote from the point of view of Dulcinea/Aldonza. I much prefer BE…LOVED to MAN OF LA MANCHA (2008, Euthana Mukdasanit, A+), which tells the same story in a conventional way.

I LIKE THESE FILMS/PLAYS WHICH ARE LOOSELY ADAPTED FROM OR INSPIRED BY THEIR ORIGINAL SOURCES. WHICH FILMS/PLAYS DO YOU LIKE?

1.LA BELLE NOISEUSE (1991, Jacques Rivette, from Honore de Balzac)

2.BIRDSONG (2008, Albert Serra, from legend)

3.CAT AND MOUSE (1966, Hans-Juergen Pohland, from Guenter Grass)

4.FREAK ORLANDO (1981, Ulrike Ottinger, from Virginia Woolf)

5.HEAVENS OF GLASS (1987, Nina Grosse, from Julio Cortazar)

6.INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA (1985, Brothers Quay, from Robert Walser)
http://esotika.blogspot.com/2008/11/institute-benjamenta-stephen-timothy.html

7.KING LEAR (1987, Jean-Luc Godard, from Shakespeare)
I’m not sure I really like this film or not, but I think it’s one of the most exciting “adaptations” I have ever seen. It means I would like to read a 100-page article detailing how Godard adapted Shakespeare’s play into this unfathomable film. Kenneth Branagh’s films may give me instant pleasure, but Godard’s film gives me many things to wonder about.

8.LANCELOT DU LAC (1974, Robert Bresson, from legend)

9.MAE NAK (1997, Pimpaka Towira, from legend)

10.MANUS CHANYONG’S ONE NIGHT AT TALAENGGAENG ROAD (2008, Paisit Panpruegsachart, from Manus Chanyong)

11.MARY REILLY (1996, Stephen Frears, from Valerie Martin and Robert Louis Stevenson)

12.MOSES AND AARON (1975, Jean-Marie Straub + Daniele Huillet, from Arnold Schoenberg and legend)
http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/jc12-13folder/moses.walsh.html

13.MUANG NAI MORK (1978, Permpol Choei-aroon, from Albert Camus)

14.NUAN (Tossapol Boonsinsukh, from Bunjong Gosalwat’s screenplay of NUALCHAWEE)
A CRIMINAL STORY OF NUANCHAWEE (1985, Bunjong Gosalwat) is a serious film about a horrible crime, but Tossapol was inspired by the script of this famous film and made a semi-musical out of it.

15.PROSPERO’S BOOKS (1991, Peter Greenaway, from Shakespeare)

16.SWORDSMAN II (1991, Ching Siu-tung, from Jin Yong or Louis Cha)
I think this is one of my most favorite examples of literary adaptations. The story in SWORDSMAN II is very far from the original novel. But that’s the right thing. The original novel tells a very long story, but SWORDSMAN II just uses some characters from the original source, imagines new relationships between them, and creates new exciting events which last only a few days, instead of a few years like in the original novel. When the filmmaker doesn’t feel too attached with the original story, he can create a wonder of his own, like SWORDSMAN II, or ASHES OF TIME (1994, Wong Kar-wai, from Louis Cha).

17.TAROT (1985, Rudolf Thome, from Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

18.WANTHONG (2006, Manop Meejamrat, play, from legend)

19.WHEN I SLEPT OVER THE NIGHT OF THE REVOLUTION (2007, Ninart Boonpothong, play, from Shakespeare)
This is adapted from HAMLET.

20.WIMALA, QUEEN OF CROCODILE (2009,Wannasak Sirilar, play, from legend)

You can cast multiple votes.

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2 Comments »

  1. My own votes include CAT AND MOUSE, FREAK ORLANDO, HEAVENS OF GLASS, MAE NAK, MOSES AND AARON, MUANG NAI MORK, NUAN, SWORDSMAN II, TAROT, and WHEN I SLEPT OVER THE NIGHT OF THE REVOLUTION.

    Comment by celinejulie — May 26, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

  2. I second that vote!

    Comment by r00tman — May 27, 2009 @ 5:43 am


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