Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005346, Tue, 11 Jul 2000 19:41:40 -0700

films based on novels (fwd)
From: Paul Tudor <ptudor@budfin.co.nz>

Knowing de Palma's dubious sexual politics, I would like to UN-nominate him
for "Lolita". I suspect that David Lynch has also disqualified himself, for
the same reasons. There are very few modern directors that I feel could do
the job well, in my humble opinion (I admit that I take much less interest
in film studies than I did fifteen years ago as a postgrad student). This
reminds me of the debate held here recently on "American Beauty". The
Southbank Show interview with Sam Mendes (director of "AB") recently
screened here in New Zealand and while it was a compelling explanation
(almost too laboured in parts) of the way Mendes 'stage managed' the film, I
kept thinking all the way through - 'Another Kubrick control freak, no, he
probably would not direct a fine interpretation of "Lolita".'

Apparently Mendes did not touch a word of dialogue in the "AB" script
(Nabokov would have liked that), at least not without the screenwriter's
permission. But what Mendes did admit to was manipulating the imagery of the
scenes to fit his own vision of the story. Now think of all those quite
brief, yet careful stage directions (or are they more 'instructions'?) in
Nabokov's "Lolita" screenplay. No - I do not think Nabokov would have liked
someone coming in and saying that they were going to use his screenplay,
word for word, and then subverting it anyway. At least Kubrick showed his
hand to Nabokov during the production.

I, too, am confident that Hitch would have made a worthy attempt. At least,
I am sure that he would have made it clear that he was interpreting
"Lolita". All of Hitchcock's best movies (well, at least my favourites) were
'adaptations' of literary works, rather than original scripts.

I would like to suggest one other contender, though he is semi-retired,
Canadian director Nicholas Roeg, who comes across to me as a 'sensitive'
filmmaker, which is what I believe "Lolita" deserves.

-----Original Message-----
From: Galya Diment [mailto:galya@u.washington.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, 12 July 2000 13:58
Subject: films based on novels (fwd)

From: Camille Scaysbrook <verona_beach@hotpop.com>

I was thinking more in terms of Lynch's later fascinations - his favourite
of which he shares with Nabokov, that of the Doppelganger - primarily, the
dark and light side of all people and things, and in particular the seedy
underbelly of pristine American suburbia. This is the true theme of `Blue
Velvet', and later works such as `Twin Peaks'. The character of Laura Palmer
from `Twin Peaks' is in some ways a Lolita-esque one - including the fact
that she too is raped by her father - but also combines the sweet Sandy and
the sadistic Dorothy of `Blue Velvet' into one person.

I'd like to see that Hitchcock version though ... apart from anything, only
he could get away with the sardonic innuendo that was unacceptable in early
60's America - check out that last shot in `North by Northwest'! Like Lynch
and Hitchcock, you'd really need a director who is original enough to make
the story their own, which is in my opinion the major deficiency of the Lyne

Camille Scaysbrook

> From: Thomas E.Braun <cawriter@usa.net>
> David Lynch -- you mean, have Humbert treat Charlotte and/or Lolita the
> the Dennis Hopper character treats Isabbel Rosselini in "Blue Velvet"?
> interesting -- though not very relavant to Nabokov. I'll tell you who
> have been fascinating to film "Lolita": Hitchcock. He always used the
> of the man who is being followed and persecuted by sinister forces. It
> have worked wonderfully for Humbert's paranoia, fears of the police and
> real pursuit by Quilty. Hitch has a great sense of humor, too, of which
> novel is full. Also, imagine Hitckcock's legendary visual imagery on,
> the seduction scene at the Enchanted Hunters and Humbert's approach to
> Manor. Of course, Hitchcock would have wanted to use some "ice blonde"
> Lolita. But he still could have cast Melanie Griffith, the daughter of
> one-time obsession Tippi Hedren, in the film. After Hitchcock's death, a
> try might have been made for a new "Lolita" by Brian de Palma, whose "Body
> Double," "Blow Out" and "Dressed to Kill" showed a good feel for
> ideas. On a completely different note, what about someone like Stephen
> Frears, who directed "Dangerous Liaisons"?
> Tom Braun
> cawriter@hotmail.com
> Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> > From: Camille Scaysbrook <verona_beach@hotpop.com>
> >
> > It depends on your definition of `screw up'. I always consider the test
> a
> > great piece of art is that it can never effectively move from one medium
> > another. That doesn't preclude film adaptations, which in many cases
> > to be both a completely different and completely effective kettle of
> > If anything, the Adrian Lyne Lolita failed because it was *too* reverent
> > its subject matter. Personally, I wish the other director who had been
> after
> > the rights had got them - David Lynch. It would have had nothing to do
> > the book, but boy would I have liked to have seen it!
> >
> > Camille Scaysbrook
> >
> > > > >*** As far as birthdays go, today is also Marcel Proust's, b. 1871.
> > > > >Tomorrow is E.B. White's. GD**
> > > > >
> > > > >From: Scott Hart <ssamuelhart@home.com>
> > > > >
> > > > >Films should not be made from excellent novels. They always, I
> > > > >always,
> > > > >screw it up!
> ____________________________________________________________________
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