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View Diary: Write On! Where do you start? (81 comments)

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  •  "Adaptation" (5+ / 0-)

    The film of that name was brilliant, as was it's title.  It was about both evolutionary adaptation, and the adaptation of a film from a book.

    Heck, it inspired a pretty good review for IMDB, that I will take the occasion to put right here.

    I just viewed this film at our library, where there was a discussion afterward. A couple of my friends found the movie tepid, pointless and boring. They saw it as just talk, no action, no plot....

    I, on the other hand, was immediately gripped by Charlie Kaufman's conflict, how he was struggling to make a book with no action, as he told McKee "simply like life" into a screenplay. Giving Charles a brother who represented another part of him was a brilliant device, with Donald completing his personality. Nicholas Cage managed to differentiate the two persons by just the tone of his voice, avoiding the excesses that would have made this into an parody.

    If I had to describe the purpose, the message, of this film, it is an exposition of what the American audience will accept in a high budget feature film. It actually was two films, with the break being when McKee told Charlie, "never never use a Deus ex Machina, a device that does not follow the integrity of character and plot" That's when the film that had focused on Charlie Kaufman, a real human being, became a film "by" Charlie Kaufman with chases, the spying, the sniffing dope, the secret love affairs......all the elements available to the 21st century film industry. The second part of the film was the work of Donald Kaufman.

    The second part of the film was written for my friends who were bored to tears by the first part....all the talking, the angst, the subtle adaptation between the orchid and its pollinator, driven by a lust that like Donald's, transcended a need for reciprocation.

    Was the ending a sellout? No, I don't see it that way. Charlie Kaufman didn't have an ending. His characters, because they were real, and fixed in their own world, never did have an affair with each other; they never turned the ghost orchid into a psychedelic drug and they never tried to kill anyone.

    Charlie Kaufman brought us into his world, one where his goal is not to create art for the few, but entertainment for the masses. But, for my money, he pulled off the impossible, and did both.

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