27 March, 2014

Adaptation — Translation of Form and Effect

Adaptations come in many forms—painting to song, song to poem, poem to picture--but the ones we are most familiar with are adaptations of written literature to film, be it for television or movies. Many still seem to believe that an adaptation should be a simple visual illustration of the text and that any change to character, event, or plot is an affront to the integrity of source material (ASoIaF fans, I'm lookin' at you).

But adaptation is not illustration; it is much more akin to translation—you begin with one language (the novel) and must translate it into another (film). Writing and film are indeed separate languages, with functionalities, tropes, devices, strategies, tricks, and tools, some of which translate well into the new language and others for which no translation is possible.

25 March, 2014

The Necessity of Graphic Sex and Violence in Game of Thrones

Aside from various book readers complaining about barking dogs or intact noses, the most frequent gripes I've read concern the incessantly graphic nature of both sex and violence in HBO's rendition of Game of Thrones. "Why did they have to stab her in the stomach? Over and over and over??" "Is it necessary to show whores playing with each other in the background of this-or-that scene?" "Did they HAVE to show him cut that horse in half?" 

Did they have to? No, of course not. Should they? Abso-freakin-lutely.