NABOKV-L post 0005374, Thu, 13 Jul 2000 09:20:59 -0700

Re: A Pale Fire Movie Scenario? (fwd)
From: Mark Bennett <>

It appears the consensus is the idea of filming "Pale Fire" is an amusing
fantasy, but the thing couldn't be done, at least not successfully.
However, I think some very good cinematic possibilities exist in many of
VN's shorter works: Transparent Things, Laughter in the Dark (I've not seen
the 60's film, but I've heard it's quite bad), "Ultima Thule," "That in
Aleppo Once . . .," "An Affair of Honor", many others.

-----Original Message-----
From: Galya Diment []
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 10:03 PM
Subject: Re: A Pale Fire Movie Scenario? (fwd)

From: Jennifer Parsons <>

"And this is precisely the reason I love it and it would be a sin to whore
out to any other medium ;)"

Ha! What a great sentence! Wish I'd said that.

I was scrunching up face trying to think of a way to film Pale Fire, but Ms.
Scaysbrook speaks the truth, I think: you can't "transfer to film" Pale
Fire, as
it's a book about words and more words, allusions and riffs off allusions to
words: how, for example, would you bring in the Pope poetry, the
Elliot allusions, or even the Timon of Athens source for poem, etc? How
Gradus be portrayed - Frankenstein type dead-creature? The shifts in time,
dimension, ? Various types of Ghosts influence? The real vs the imaginary.
(Especially considering Boyd and others have figured out much of it, but are
still debating and finding more!) It couldn't be done - or if it was done,
would be something else entirely.)

However I do have some ideas for the filming of Kurt Johnson's and Steve
"Nabokov's Blues.." .... (with Nab as character in black and white in museum
40's and Kurt in 80's up to present, discovering blues in that tropical
and then back to museum and Nab's ghost and report on tropical blue
butterflies: two parallel stories ... an academic adventure/detective
story of
sorts ... meeting in an exultant fluttering of Karner Blues - who to film?
Beats me.)

Galya Diment wrote:

> From: Camille Scaysbrook <>
> I wouldn't. The greatest thing about `Pale Fire' is that it is an innately
> literary book. You couldn't stage it, you couldn't film it ... you
> even do a radio play of it, and a radio play is about the closest form to
> prose that I have come across. And this is precisely the reason I love it
> and it would be a sin to whore it out to any other medium ;)
> Camille Scaysbrook
> > From:
> >
> > Since we are discussing books into movies and who else could have done
> > "Lolita" -- I'd opt for Hitch-- can someone jump in and give us a one
> > scenario for "Pale Fire"? What you would present a producer with in
> twenty
> > dramatic minutes while you yelled and screamed and insisted why and how
> this
> > book should be turned into a movie. It can be done, but how?
> >
> > Phil Iannarelli
> > Cleveland, OHIO
> >