30 December, 2008

"Adapted screenplays confront dreaded voice-over"

Hollywood Reporter:

" "When it comes to adapting literary works for the big screen, British playwright David Hare says, one must be promiscuous to be faithful.

"You can't simply step your way through a book with perfect fidelity. If you do, the whole thing is completely dead," Hare argues. His principle was employed to varying degrees by all of this year's leading contenders for the adapted screenplay Oscar -- including Hare himself, who translated Bernhard Schlink's Holocaust-themed novel "The Reader" into script form.

Hare says the primary challenge with "The Reader" was the same one presented by most novels: the unspoken interior monologue in which characters freely express their thoughts.

"In cinema, there really isn't any equivalent to that, unless you use voice-over," observes Hare, who earned an Oscar nomination for his 2002 adaptation of the Michael Cunningham novel "The Hours." "Personally, I hate voice-over. I hate an actor droning at me, telling me all sorts of things that the screenwriter is too lazy to make obvious by writing scenes." "

Article in full


OutOfContext said...

This is funny to hear from Hare. I just watched "My Zinc Bed" which I really enjoyed, yet found it odd at the end when the main character explains what happens over the next years in a voice over. I'm not saying it was bad to do, just find it odd that Hare would be so vehement against the practice.

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