‘Goodfellas’, Béla Tarr, long takes and book adaptations

Posted on January 8, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/goodfellas-bela-tarr-long-takes-and-how-different-filmmakers-adapt-books-4292651.html

Before the release of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962), author-turned-screenwriter Vladimir Nabokov said, “I have not yet seen the picture. It may turn out to be a lovely morning mist as perceived through mosquito netting, or it may turn out to be the swerves of a scenic drive as felt by the horizontal passenger of an ambulance.” Stephen King was less ambivalent about Kubrick’s work in The Shining (1980). “[He] thinks too much and feels too little; and that’s why, for all its virtuoso effects, it never gets you by the throat and hangs on the way real horror should.”

But let’s not get into the “which is better – the book or the film?” question, which is framed from the author (or reader’s) point of view. Let’s, instead, look at the Kubrick aspect, the director’s POV, and see how different filmmakers from different cultures adapt books, and how they use the same techniques (say, the long take) in different ways. Take this scene from Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas (1990), where Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) takes Karen (Lorraine Bracco) on a date to the Copacabana club. It’s one of the greatest instances of form servicing content. We see what is happening. It’s equally easy to intuit why it is happening.

Continued at the link above.

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