Films vs. Books: Memoirs of a Geisha

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bousozoku, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I just saw this for the first time, having recently finished the book.

    The book is rich with detail, even in translation, but the movie is a thin veneer and re-wrote the story until it was only a backdrop for the scenery, in my opinion, of course.

    I would talk about the (lack of) wisdom of Chinese actors as Japanese but even that's not so important right now.

    This reminds me of many movies with special effects. They spend so much money and so much time on the special effects that they have forgotten the story.

    Perhaps, it's just that it's an American film about Japan but anyone who remembers the Shogun mini-series would affirm that it can be done correctly.

    Adaptations are always difficult and I've heard people complain loads about how shallow the Harry Potter films became in contrast to the books.

    Am I alone in thinking that care should be taken long before anything is committed to film?
  2. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    A book is something that someone can spend days reading and still not pick everything up, imagine you're tasked with making it under three hours long.

    I have no idea how the film adaption of the His Dark Materials trilogy will end up, especially as they're removing all references to the church.
  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Wipes it off the list of movies to see... It won't be His Dark Materials without the Church's role...

    I think the point that they have to keep a movie under 3 hours is a big reason for books becoming 'abridged' when they become screenplays. You hope that those doing the casting/locations/sets have read the book and get some of the book's background shown through those elements but sadly that doesn't always seem to be the case. Books often have a lot of 'set-up' while the author sets up the look and feel of the characters and scene. Film, as a visual medium, mainly covers the important plot points since the set-up is assumed from look.

    I'm struggling to think of a book where the movie was just as good. The Harry Potter ones, while abridged, still keep the feel of the books for the most part.
  4. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I would think that having natives in charge of production would help quite a lot.

    Do all countries look as shallow from a distance? Is the Black Forest merely gray and is the Emerald Isle a little pale when viewed through foreigners' eyes?

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