Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005352, Wed, 12 Jul 2000 06:42:30 -0700

Re: films based on novels (fwd)
From: Juan Martinez <jmm80625@mail.ucf.edu>

It seems to me that "Bend Sinister", "Invitation to a Beheading", or "Look
at the Harlequins!" would be more up David Lynch's alley, as they all deal
with trick realities, and they all have some sort of surreality built in.

Not "Lolita", which is disturbing but not in a very Lynchian way (no
severed body parts, and Quilty, as a double, is very far away in tone from
"Twin Peaks"'s Man from Another Place, or the terrific (and terrifying
(and funny)) Mystery Man from "Lost Highway").

Though of course Lynch is very good with the threat of violence, with
_menace_, so he might do well -- and that last one he did, "The Straight
Story", shows that he could be fantastic with something more
gentle: "Pale Fire"? "Pnin"?

The only person I could imagine doing service to "Lolita" is Alexander
Payne, whose movie "Election" was funny and sharp and literate, and which
handled mixed signals very well -- sympathy for a teacher who is out to
destroy an overachieving student who, unlikeable as she might be, is
nonetheless pretty innocent throughout. It's a terrific movie, and so was
the last one he did, "Citizen Ruth", the only succesful comedy ever made
about the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

>>> galya@u.washington.edu 07/11/00 09:24PM >>>
From: Thomas E.Braun <cawriter@usa.net>

David Lynch -- you mean, have Humbert treat Charlotte and/or Lolita the way
the Dennis Hopper character treats Isabbel Rosselini in "Blue Velvet"? Yes,
interesting -- though not very relavant to Nabokov. I'll tell you who would
have been fascinating to film "Lolita": Hitchcock. He always used the theme
of the man who is being followed and persecuted by sinister forces. It would
have worked wonderfully for Humbert's paranoia, fears of the police and the
real pursuit by Quilty. Hitch has a great sense of humor, too, of which the
novel is full. Also, imagine Hitckcock's legendary visual imagery on, say,
the seduction scene at the Enchanted Hunters and Humbert's approach to Pavor
Manor. Of course, Hitchcock would have wanted to use some "ice blonde" for
Lolita. But he still could have cast Melanie Griffith, the daughter of his
one-time obsession Tippi Hedren, in the film. After Hitchcock's death, a good
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 Hitchcock's
ideas. On a completely different note, what about someone like Stephen
Frears, who directed "Dangerous Liaisons"?

Tom Braun

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 of
> great piece of art is that it can never effectively move from one medium to
> another. That doesn't preclude film adaptations, which in many cases manage
> to be both a completely different and completely effective kettle of fish.
> If anything, the Adrian Lyne Lolita failed because it was *too* reverent to
> its subject matter. Personally, I wish the other director who had been
> the rights had got them - David Lynch. It would have had nothing to do with
> 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 mean
> > > >always,
> > > >screw it up!

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