How does a novel get to the movies? | The USA Print

How does a novel get to the movies?

Some of the best movies of all time are literary adaptations. The trilogy of The Godfather (1972, 1974 and 1990), based on the homonymous novel by Mario Puzo, or the inspiration of apocalypse now (1979) in the novel by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darknessboth by Francis Ford Coppola; Blade Runner (1982), Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s play of the same name; as well as the recent They speakwith which director Sarah Polley aspires to two Oscars for bringing to the screen the story of Mirian ToewsThese are just a few international examples. They are joined in Spain, among others, by the successful adaptation of the Baztán trilogy, by Dolores Redondo.

The paths by which a novel reaches the big screen, whether in the form of a feature film or a television series, are many and very diverse, but in recent years a formula has proliferated at European film festivals that serves as a meeting point between literary agents and audiovisual producers: a bridge that shortens the distance between two worlds so far away, works as a literary showcase and expedites a discovery that in many cases occurs by chance.

One of the most famous takes place these days in the Berlin Film Festival. The Books at Berlinale event, which started in 2006 in collaboration with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the most important in the world, took place this Monday at the heart of the event with a total of eleven novels selected from more than 190 titles from 30 countries that applied. Among the authors, Teresa Cardona was the only Spanish representative with his black novel a relative goodthe second published in Spain, also by the Siruela publishing house, after Both sides.

In addition to the Berlinale, other competitions such as the Venice and Cannes festivals, as well as the Rolling Pages event at the Madrid Book Fair, are other forums in which exchanges between the literary and audiovisual worlds grow.

In this forum, in which, in addition to a formal presentation, various meetings between producers and agents take place to strengthen ties and advance in the acquisition of rights, the namesake bestseller by Cristina Campos Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, a novel that in 2021 was adapted to the big screen by filmmaker Benito Zambrano. The director, a veteran in the task of bringing literary works to the cinema, already adapted in 2019 Outdoorby Jesús Carrasco, and in 2011 the sleeping voiceby Dulce Chacon.

Also Read  "Dear friend Hitler..." Gandhi's letters to avoid World War II | The USA Print

Roberto Domínguez, literary agent for the ACER agency and responsible for showing Teresa Cardona’s novel at Books at Berlinale, tells Vozpopuli that in this place of connection between those who hold the copyrights of works of fiction and non-fiction and those who can bring the novel to the screen, “the prize is the selection” and the “opportunity to teach the book”, since the interest in these forums is “growing” and this time it has exceeded expectations.

In addition to the Berlinale, other events such as the Venice and Cannes festivals, as well as the Rolling Pages event at the Madrid Book Fair, are other forums where exchanges between the literary and audiovisual worlds grow.

The scandal of the stolen babies

In the case of Teresa Cardona’s novel, the meetings have already borne some fruit and a relative good It has already aroused the interest of several national and international producers, although, as Domínguez points out, it is a novel that needs “certain Spanish character” since the underlying issue is the “stolen babies scandal” in Spain.

Cardona (Madrid, 1973) tells Vozpopuli that his novel has an advantage over other novels. “Has a unique setting, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which has not changed much over time. We have a town that looks the same as it did in the 80s, because thanks to the monastery not many architectural atrocities have been done in the urban center”, he points out.

a relative good It is set in the 80s, “five years after Franco’s death”, in two very different neighborhoods: Carabanchel and the Salamanca neighborhood. The novel begins with the discovery of the lifeless body of a nun in El Escorial, a death full of unknowns for which Lieutenant Karen Blecker, who has just returned to Spain after passing through Europol in The Hague, is in charge. “It is a sociological study of the position in society from one side and the other at the time,” explains the author.

Also Read  Bizarrap sets a date for Bizarrap Music Sessions #54 with Arcángel | The USA Print

“What alternatives could you have? How did cultural or intellectual baggage affect decision-making?” Cardona wonders about the issues addressed in this novel, who, before debuting in a Spanish publishing house, had already published two novels in France together with Eric Damien under the pseudonym Eric Todenne: A job to finish and terres brûlées.

From the novel to the cinema

Despite the proliferation of these spaces for connection between authors and producers, the discovery of novels capable of becoming good scripts and, ultimately, movies attractive to the publicThat they do not lose the hook they keep on the pages nor their dignity is a difficult task.

A few years ago, David Mitchell, author of The cloud atlasa novel that was made into a movie in 2012 by the Wachowski sisters and Tom Tykwer, on whose script he collaborated, offered in an article in the Wall Street Journal some keys to not fail in the mission once the rights are acquired, as he stated then Cinemania. Avoid excess -and therefore do without some subplots-, being precise in what is told, reducing the number of characters, choosing good music and closing the plots are, as Mitchell pointed out, fundamental requirements to succeed in an adaptation.

In Spain, one of the most celebrated examples was the co-production with Argentina of The Secret in Their Eyes (2009), Juan José Campanella’s adaptation of Eduardo Sacheri’s novel of the same name, produced by the Spanish Gerardo Herrero, also a screenwriter and director, and which won the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

Also Read  China is silent about a possible meeting between Zelensky and Xi Jinping after the visit to Moscow | The USA Print

“Inspiration always comes from somewhere. Or from something that has happened to you or from something you have read,” he points out to Vozpopuli the filmmaker, who adapted the novel The beach of the drownedby the late Domingo Villar, and will present his film at the next edition of the Malaga Festival under therapy, based on a theatrical text, while it will also soon produce Gracia Querejeta’s adaptation of a novel by Rosa Montero. “They will always tell you that the book is better,” she admits.