Anglo-Filles Episode 29: Why is the rum gone?

Welcome to Episode 29, wherein Les Filles discuss adaptations- book to screen, stage to screen, screen to stage to screen again. Relatedly, Reidan saw Fifty Shades of Grey. There might have been rum involved.

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Spoilers for Fifty Shades, LOTR, Gone Girl, Mockingjay Part 1, Game of Thrones, Kingsman. Discussion of Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, Les Miserables, Into the Woods, Jonathan Norrell and Mr. Strange, Wolf Hall, The Devil Wears Prada, and others.

Fifty Shades review with Amanda on Smart Bitches

More discussion with Sarah on the DBSA podcast.

All sorts of things have happened in the world of the Fifty Shades moves since we recorded- Sam Taylor Johnson might be pulling out, there are rumors that Dornan won’t be returning, and EL James is rumored to be demanding to write the scripts for the next two movies.

Wheel of Time pilot that sorta happened

Casual Vacancy trailer

Jonathan Norell and Mr. Strange clip

Wolf Hall trailer


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16 Responses to Anglo-Filles Episode 29: Why is the rum gone?

  1. I REMEMBER THE ASOUE MOVIE. I still love it, and I think you’re right–they were spot-on with the tone. Last I heard they’re adapting the series for Netflix, and even if they take a completely different approach with it, part of me really, really wants them to keep Jim Carrey as Olaf. He was friggin’ MADE for that role.

    Also, RE: Harry Potter: A friend of my loves to complain about David Yates’ directing decisions from OotP onward, and there’s definitely some credence to his argument, but I actually think OotP has one of the strongest screenplays (which, hey, look at that–it’s the only one not written by Kloves X) ). Michael Goldenberg actually tried to develop THEMES, and he let Ron do cool stuff, and the plot felt like it actually kind of may have moved in a natural way? I also love the care they took with developing Sirius’ relationship with Harry, especially in the scene where Sirius talks to Harry about how “the world isn’t split up into good people and Death Eaters”–Gary Oldman’s acting in that scene in particular has always stuck with me. And I actually had a much better understanding of what was going on with Harry and Voldemort in the final battle at the Ministry when I saw the movie than when I read the book.

    • Ian, here’s something I’d like to know: the first two HP films, for all their faults re: pacing and general blandness, nevertheless told a coherent plot and story, which is priceless for the many viewers who hadn’t read the books. Then it all went downhill in PoA and GoF. OotP was considerably better, but it still had to bear the “legacy” of the mess that is the broken plotline from the previous two movies. (My biggest gripe is basically “how dare you cut so much from a WIP series when you’re writing the screenplays? Who are you to know whether or not Jo Rowling dropped subtle things in previous books that won’t be important until much later?”) And it still had its own weird cuts like trimming down the Snape/Harry/Marauders angle and the missing of the Mirror. *However*, the first two films’ screenplays were also written by Kloves. Does that mean that Chris Columbus, for all the sh*t he’s gotten from many fans, actually fought to keep some of the stuff in?

  2. Redcrow

    Wow, somebody’s cat has a lot of opinions on 50 shades of awful. Or maybe he/she just wants to be a fourth co-host?

    (I wouldn’t mind – and please, consider it not a demand or even a request as much as just wishing out loud – if Alina talked more about Russian/Soviet adaptations of Western books. Just because that’s what I grew up with, and, to be honest, I still prefer some (possibly most) of our versions over Disney’s.

    • I second that suggestion for Alina’s future consideration. I know of at least one example of that kind, with an author named Tolstoy (no relation to Count Lev, I think his first name was either Alexi or Alexander) adapting “Pinnochio” for the Soviet readers and ended up doing a Russian rewrite of it, with the “Stromboli” character’s marionettes ending up revolting from the slave labor and leaving him in the mud.

      • Redcrow

        Buratino, yes. Though that’s not quite what I meant by “adaptations”.

        • I guess I was misreading the introduction section of the Chinese version of the book, then. xD It said something about “the new government wanted the writers to adapt fairy tales from other countries into stuff better suiting the Soviet audience, but Alexi Tolstoy sort of got carried away and basically rewrote Pinocchio into something of his own.” and I thought that still counted as adaptation.

          I do wish to know some examples that you had in mind. I’d love to read them after I finish with the complete short stories by Anton Chekhov. (Which, granted, would take a while)

          (Also, for a techinically Anon-commenter like you, do you also get update alerts in your mailbox?)

          • Redcrow

            I’ve been thinking about *screen* adaptations, sorry for being unclear. Though I wouldn’t say no to the discussion about retellings.

            Nope, no email-updates.

          • Redcrow

            (Erm, no email-updates because I chose to ignore that function, not because anything’s wrong with my email.)

    • Alina

      You want me to blow their minds with The Wizard of Emerald City? I’m not sure they’re ready…

      I definitely prefer the Russian Mowgli over the Jungle Book, even though the last time I watched it was something like 20 years ago. And I did talk about the Snow Queen a few episodes back, I think we even linked to a YouTube upload of it in the show notes.

      The cat is a she – Ichigo was being a bit of the brat. I didn’t realize how loud she was being (or how sensitive my mic is).

      • (Did the Russian Mowgli get raised by wild animals in a Russian environment?)

        “You want me to blow their minds with The Wizard of Emerald City? I’m not sure they’re ready…”

        *Insert Lex Luthor “BRING IT ON!”*
        Les Filles have already blown my mind with their tearing up the whole #GamerGate debacle, plus their forcing me to reconsider the pros and cons of Elementary in their Sherlock Holmes episode. And most of the other episodes concern stuff that I’d never heard of but am eager to learn about, anyway. There’s nothing you can throw at me that I couldn’t handle now, least of all books and movies.

        • Redcrow

          “Russian Mowgli” just means “Russian screen adaptation”, not “everyone in the story is inexplicably Russian now!” So he was raised in the jungle, by the same species of animals his book counterpart was raised up by.

      • Redcrow

        >>>You want me to blow their minds with The Wizard of Emerald City?


  3. Laura

    Bringing up both Chris Columbus and musical-to-film adaptations reminded me of what he did with RENT and how that movie basically ended my fandom for that show. Because that movie is essentially for not pissing off the rabid fans and keeping it so straight in the action. (Which is why nearly everyone from the original cast is in that movie and on reflection, doesn’t work ten years later –except for Jesse L. Martin, because he is perfection as Collins. But the rest of it, no, don’t do that.) I still like that movie, as I think Stephen Chbosky did a good job of paring down the material to make it work on screen, but getting Columbus to direct it was the worst choice because he did nothing interesting with it at all. (I still have feelings about this ten years later.)

    (Also, if you really wanna piss off book fans about Disney adaptations, go ask the Meg Cabot fandom about what they think of the Princess Diaries movies. I am in a very tiny minority of fans who like both the first film and book, and accept that they are two different properties. )

    I think the best adaptations manage to stay true to the book without slavishly recreating every minor detail and knowing what needs to be cut to succeed as a movie. I think that one of the reasons the Hunger Games franchise works so well is that Suzanne Collins did write the first movie and heavily consulted on the other scripts, and she comes from a screenwriting background, so that she’s able to know what needs to be sacrificed in terms of making the film more streamlined. (There is one major character cut that she made, but I think it works in the film because it helps toward the endgame of Katniss’s character development and how she’s been pushed into the Mockingjay role. There are problems with those movies, but I don’t think the script is to blame.)

    There are also adaptations where I do like the book and the movie, but I have to separate them entirely just because of the tone or how much has changed in the adaptation- Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, for instance. I love both versions to death (I actually saw the movie first), but I have to tell people “It’s a similar story, but this is what to expect if you’re watching/reading the other version.” (See also Stardust.)

    (I could go into anime vs. manga adaptations, but that is a whole episode of discussion in itself. I’m currently watching the Sailor Moon reboot and the first arc is not a good representation of “We have to do the manga EXACTLY on screen” for a LOT of reasons. It’s gotten better and I love the show, but I understand a lot of the criticisms thrown at Crystal.)

    Really loved the episode- I had to stop myself from yelling in the middle of doing spreadsheets because oh, hey! I have a grown-up job at an office and I can’t yell things at the podcast anymore.

    • Alina

      Remember how Meg Cabot actually referred to the movies in the books? There’s a Russian series that did that too – if you remember the Night Watch film, it’s completely different from the book on which it’s based and the books eventually mentioned it as an alternate universe, with the characters rolling their eyes at how different their lives are there.

      Anime versus manga is actually a really interesting discussion, because it often faces problems unique to that specifically adaptation stream: where the anime has to start creating original content filler episodes while waiting on the manga to catch up (One Piece and Naruto fans everywhere feel their ears burning). Maybe someday I’ll high-jack the show to talk about it.

  4. Am downloading the episode, might take a while, but re: 50 ****s of **** I say this: subscribe to ScreenJunkies on Youtube, you know that in a few months time when 50 comes out on DVD, their Honest Trailers webshow is gonna tear the living daylights out of this movie.

  5. Dear Ladies, I’m about halfway through this episode, and I’ve got a few things to discuss, I’ll keep it short and perhaps I could write a longer email later, but I do hope you’ll see this:

    re: Fight Club
    My understanding is that Chuck P.’s original ending in his book would make sense in the dream-like narration of the book, but would translate very poorly to screen, which is why I love the film’s ending very much. For the record, Chuck P. has openly stated that he loved David Fincher’s new ending and considered it much better than the one he came up with himself.

    After getting about 40 minutes in, the podcast’s discussion went into narration working well (or not) in film adaptations. So here’s a film that I myself consider was done well with nrration in it: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006). Not only do I consider it to be a good if not great screen adaptation, but the VO narration (by the great John Hurt, no less!) really fit the thing like a glove. The film opened in medias res, and just as the audience was wondering just how bad was this guy that the townsfolk was calling for his blood, we get this smooth transition to “In 18th century France, there lived a man…” and the narration worked well all the way til the end. So, your thoughts on this?

    Speaking of John Hurt, what do you think of the 1984 version of Nineteen Eighty-Four? I think the film could’ve been longer, but it was overall a pretty good adaptation. Orwell would’ve been proud, I think.

    Hope to hear from you on this.

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