"If only" Hollywood would do this...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I like Tarzan...but only when Ryan Stiles imitates him on WLIIA. :D

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea-m-NvWa78[/yt]
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV_lQVgolbQ[/yt]
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOExbd2L1xc[/yt]
     
  2. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    After reading some of the Tarzan books, I had the impression that Tarzan was on the side of the animals, versus the nasty human race, white or black, who were oppressing the animals. Far from being a "traitor to his race," Tarzan was actually a traitor to his species. Except that his species was so bad, he was right to be a traitor.

    Maybe this was my imagination, I was about 14 when I read that stuff. I do remember he had a human friend, some French foreign legion guy, who was okay, but some of the African natives were depicted badly, and Edgar Rice Burroughs seemed to have it in for the Belgians because I remember a lot of anti-Belgian sentiment in those novels. :rommie:
    Yeah, my memories are fuzzy, but I got the distinct impression that the Tarzan novels had a very anti-human bias, and that Tarzan being white didn't make the difference. It's because he hadn't been raised in human civilization, and the civilization of black Africans would have also been corrupting. Maybe not as corrupting as Belgium, but still not as good as being raised by good, pure, noble animals.
     
  3. ColeMercury

    ColeMercury Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps they're funding it because in the true reality as depicted in The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Britain ultimately conquers the world. :lol:

    ETA: One can only hope that some of the book's major themes to do with the I Ching, and the interplay of history, creativity, and truth make it into the screenplay, but I don't envy anyone's attempts to accomplish that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have always considered this a highly over-rated story so I am blase about any filmed versions, myself.
     
  6. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Perhaps it depends on whether you care about issues such as whether things can be false yet at the same time more precious than things that are true, and whether some things must be morally relative yet others appear to be moral absolutes. If you don't, it's hard to connect. I think the subtleties would be lost on TV or film -- as with much of PKD's stuff.
     
  7. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I consider Pavane a better story of parallel worlds in that regards and have read several better takes on "If the Nazis won". You are right about this, though-the subtleties would be lost. The whole I CHing thing would be almost impossible to convey...
     
  8. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sorry, I really have to disagree with you. In the original book, Burroughs depicts Africans in the most unsavory light possible. He describes them as vicious, child-like, cunning and superstitious. He discounts their civilization entirely and has his hero despise them with a gut level revulsion, while he feels a kinship almost immediately upon laying eyes on white people.

    Yes, Burroughs touted Tarzan as a "natural man" - but in Burroughs' mind a natural man was still one with the warped values of 19th century European society. For instance, Tarzan killed for sport, which is a distinctly human thing and something animals don't do. He repeatedly kills lions and other animals for their skins or just to show off his brute strength. Tarzan also deals with the Mbonga Village more or less like a colonialist - he steals from them and frightens them into thinking he is a god. Meanwhile, when white people show up - Jane and her father, he immediately falls in love with Jane and protects her father and the others with them. This despite the fact that he saw many human women before he ever laid eyes on Jane - but they were African women. It would never occur to Burroughs that Tarzan would feel desire or love for a black woman.

    As for the Waziri, who show up in the second book - yeah, they are shown to be more noble and to have some civilization, but I'm not sure it's fair to say that they adopt Tarzan. I mean, back to the Mighty Whitey trope - Tarzan quickly takes over as their chief and then they willingly move with him to his Kenyan estate. By the book Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, they no longer call him King, they call him "Big Bwana" (Big Boss) and he refers to them as his children. They cook and clean and tend Jane's rose garden. It doesn't get much more colonial than that.

    Tarzan's encounters wtih Africans in the book are pretty major character beats in his development - for instance, his first encounter with a man is the African who kills Kala, his ape mother. It'd be hard to do a faithful adaptation and alter or leave that stuff out. I mean, you could go the Disney route and simply remove all Africans from Africa (which is in many ways just as, if not more, racist), but then it'd hardly be a particularly faithful adaptation.

    Look, don't get me wrong, Tarzan is one of my favorite books - it's a hell of a story. So is Gone With the Wind. I'd love to see a more faithful screen adaptation of the latter, but it will never happen because too much of it is deeply tied to racism. You can love something and acknowledge its limitations, especially when it comes from such a different time. I'd love to see a great Tarzan movie, but it would have to be significantly changed to remove the despicable racism that is woven deeply into it.
     
  9. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. Also, immediately after Valentine learns why humans laugh, it becomes a terrible book, so they could just leave that part out entirely.

    Regarding speculative fiction adaptations, I think The Years of Rice and Salt might be neat, but that'd difficult to film due to its vignettish nature and the need to change actors every twenty minutes--you can't even pull a Fountain or Sunshine, because the characters change sexes almost as frequently as generations. (On the plus side, leaving out whole sections of the book would seem far more natural than with many other novels, precisely because of that vignettish nature.)
     
  10. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Then you don't need to redo it it. just rewatch them old VHS tapes all over again. Good luck with that
     
  11. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Oh yes, I'm right there with you!
     
  12. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    le poste doublee
     
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Commodore

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    How bout a Beatles bio pic.
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't really think PKD intended The Man in the High Castle to be primarily an alternate history or parallel universe story -- I see that aspect as secondary to all the stuff about the I Ching, wabi-sabi, wu wei, satori, and so on. Pretentious, possibly, but I found it interesting.
     
  15. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I, too, found it interesting. I've just never understood the high regard it often garners. Or, to put it simply, I've read better.
    Now, I'd love to see Jack Finney on film. I think his Time and Again is a better take on historical transposition than Matheson's Somewhere In Time. The authenticity of the settings would cost, though, and I think a narrative would be necessary ala the Tom Cruise vampire movie. But done right, it would be visually stunning.
     
  16. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Impossible now that they are dead, but a 1940's Batman directed by Orson Welles, starring Cary Grant as Batman and Conrad Veidt as the Joker.

    Also, a real commitment to a Dune film series, at least Dune through God-Emperor of Dune, with Siaorse Ronan as Alia.
     
  17. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @Lapis: Animals do indeed kill for reasons other than food. They kill to "defend" themselves, but that includes killing the baby offspring of rival males. Tarzan killing in such a manner isn't all that dissimilar. I'm on the fence about the racism of Tarzan of the Apes, or at least the racism of ERB. In the second Barsoom book he contrasts "Black Barsoomians" with the "beautiful Negro of Earth."

    He was, however, a proponent of Eugenics. I don' like that, as with Eugenics I would be sterilized.
     
  18. JRoss

    JRoss Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ooh, ooh, or a film adaptation of Takashi Matsuoka's Cloud of Sparrows. Not sci-fi or fantasy, unless you count the brief allegorical prophecy daydreams, but still great fun.
     
  19. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    I think The Stars My Destination would be a great movie. But for some reason I can't see The Demolished Man as a major motion picture. When I read it, the adaptation in my head was closer to an old episode of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone. Maybe that's because it's much more of an internal story. The Stars My Destination has just the right amount of epic visuals to be appropriately translatable.

    The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is another book I think would make a great movie. The difficulty with that one would be the almost constant use of low-gravity effects. I think they might be better off trying to realize this one as a photo-realistic CGI film in the vein of Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf.

    My all-time favorite novel would have to be Neil Gaiman's American Gods. (I've read it twice and I never reread fiction.) It's epic, a bit sprawling, but thoroughly filmable, particularly considering it's a fantasy set almost entirely in modern day America. And they must, absolutely MUST cast Brian Cox as Mr. Wednesday. No one else oozes friendly, casual menace the way he can. I'm a bit more flexible with Shadow, although I'm picturing someone in the vein of Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, or Sam Worthington.

    BTW, for further fantasizing about adapting books into movies or mini-series, I recommend the website http://storycasting.com .

    A couple of coming of age fantasies I'd like to see adapted: The Dark Glory War by Michael Stackpole & The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

    It's still not too late for Lucy Lawless & Renee O'Connor to do a big screen Xena movie.

    I'd like to see another CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

    And call me crazy but I'd like to see Ben Affleck & Jon Favreau come back for Daredevil II.

    Oddly enough, the screenplay was itself written by Nicholas Meyer. But then, it wouldn't be the 1st time a novelist missed the mark with his own adaptation. Ayn Rand's screenplay for The Fountainhead seems to totally miss the point of her own book.

    I think its time has passed but I would have been very happy with this back in the 1990s.
     
  20. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd love to see a full-blown remake of Le Voyage Dans La Lune complete with the horrible scientific inaccuracies of the original done, not as a comedy/send-up nor as a straight up drama, but something that is just a non-stop roller-coaster romp (kinda like the tone the Indiana Jones films have).

    Also, I think a successful Mario Bros film can be made if done as a CGI animated feature in the vein of Shrek. Maybe call it Super Mario World to separate itself from the live action feature.