If “Dandelion Wine” were made into a full-fledged theatrical film, what existing film would you want it to be like? I know what my preference is but don’t want to lead anyone, so I’ll keep it to myself for now. I respect all of your opinions very much and would really like to know what your preferences are.
This is a tough one. One part of me says it should be like the Hitchcock film "Shadow of a Doubt" - that Thornton Wilder small town is very similar to what I imagine Green Town to be. But that's an old movie, and I'd like DW to be much more modern.
Another part of me says that the town in the film version of Something Wicked This Way Comes was quite a good depiction, although the season would need to be changed (SWTWC is autumnal, but DW is summer through and through).
The one thing I am sure of is that it would have to be directed by somebody with a strong sense of place, period, and atmosphere. Tim Burton, Spielberg maybe. Frank Darabont, but with a strong script editor to kpeep the length down. Ridley Scott would be fantastic (don't know how many Americans would know this, but he used to direct TV commercials, and did the most wonderfully nostalgic Hovis ads).
But please, not Peter Hyams, nor (if he's still around) Michael Anderson. And, though I love some of his work, not Ron Howard.
Not too terribly long ago, and on the other site, there was posted a link to a small student film based on DW. The stills from this movie were jarring to me: the colors too modern, too bright, the characters in their costumes not authentic but, instead, they seemed to be what they were, people playing dress up for a bygone era. Sure, budget restrictions were the cause of this, but it struck me then what a movie of DW would need. Something like The Godfather, with its subtle use of sepia, or Saving Private Ryan and its saturated colors, or even Raging Bull or Schindler’s List with their dynamic use of B&W. (No, I wouldn’t go for a B&W version of DW; in my mind, the world of DW green and gold.) So I’d say the overall look of the film, the costumes, even the actors, would have to be chosen carefully to better bring out a sense of nostalgia without sentimentality.
Directors? Hoo, boy, there are really so many talented ones out there. I disagree with philnic in that I think Ron Howard would be quite a good choice. I also disagree with him about Tim Burton, who I think is quite good, but who has a too singular and distinct vision to make DW succeed. (His Big Fish notwithstanding.) Ridley Scott is an interesting choice; yes, I knew he did commercials and he certainly has a strong enough visual sense that he would pay close attention to the look of the movie, but he seems to be doing “big” pictures, isn’t he? But Matchstick Men is a good example of a fairly straightforward movie he could do. Darabont was supposed to be working on F-451, wasn’t he? That seems like his kinda thing. I dunno. Someone who can do this simple and straightforward, while keeping in mind the points I made above.
But having said all of this, I really would rather not see DW turned into a movie. It’s such a personal work for me, I just don’t think it would do anything for me to see it onscreen.
Even many VERY big budget periond films and made-for-TV period movies look and SOUND like moderns playing dress-up.
Generally, they did a much better job with this in the old days. Maybe a more connected generation of folks involved?
The first movie I thought of was Rob Reiner's "Stand By Me." Directors, though? First thought, Ron Howard--always thought he had a gift for capturing nuance. Phil's comment kind of surprised me. Spielberg, yes. But, and this may be a surprise, I think Clint Eastwood could really capture DW on film. If you've seen a couple of Eastwood's films, think about it. He has a keen sense of the visual.
Ultimately, though, I think I agree with Pete; DW may be best viewed through the mind's eye.
Perhaps I should risk clarifying my Ron Howard comments. Bear in mind that I speak from a British perspective.
Bradbury's work (particularly Dandelion Wine) is often perceived over here as sickly sweet American smalltown nostalgia. (A view that I understand, but don't really agree with.) It's a British aversion to sentiment, I think. "We" can take Mark Twain, because he is ironic, sarcastic, cynical; but Bradbury doesn't have much bite.
And Ron Howard is viewed in a similar way. Much of the charm of Frank Capra, but no so much of the bite.
I just fear that pairing Bradbury with Howard would result in a sticky, candy floss mess. I believe a director needs to have a vision that is slightly out of parallel with the source material, enough for him/her to be a critical judge of the material.
Before I get flamed, I must point out that I love Bradbury, and I love a lot of Howard's films. Apollo 13 is one of my favourite films, and Cocoon is a gem.
In a way, the pairing of Bradbury and Jack Clayton on Something Wicked This Way Comes should have been perfect, as their two visions were not totally parallel. (In reality, it didn't work too well because of the contempt Clayton showed for Ray's screenplay.)
Maybe Gary Ross, writer/director of Pleasantville would be a good choice. I agree that Tim Burton probably has too strong a personal vision.
Oh yeah, and I should add that I agree that Dandelion Wine works beautifully on the page - who needs a movie?
For all who aren't up on British English, in Phil's comment above, "candy floss" is what Americans call "cotton candy".
There are several sites, by the way which have British and American English, e.g.
I'm so helpful, I know.
I know this is off topic but, well, so what? I had a roommate in college who grew up in England. Once he asked if he could borrow my "rubber" since he'd made a mistake. I told him it was a bit late for that and, besides, that's just something you don't "borrow." He had to explain to me that a "rubber" was a "rubber eraser." Oh.
Back to our discussion about DW as a movie. . .
“…a British aversion to sentiment”? What would Tennyson have said about the recent London difficulty when everyone went about their normal lives regardless?
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldy they lived and well,
Into the mouth of hell
Treacly, hu? You brave, dear, sweet lot. You shouldn’t deny your heart.
Yes, we walk on the pavement, keep our engines under our bonnets and our spare wheels in our boots. And we have rubbers on the ends of our pencils. Braling II, that list of translations is pretty good, but (as you know) most Brits know the American terms because of our extensive exposure to US movies and TV shows. (Or should I say films and telly programmes?) Which links us nicely back into the topicwe're supposed to be discussing!
... I can't think of a reply!
If anyone decides to make this film they would be well advised to ask all of you the question that I did, and learn!
The best example of a "fix-up" being successfully made into a film, which I can think of, is “I Remember Mama” with Irene Dunn. It started out as “Mama’s Bank Account”, a collection of short stories (anecdotes) that was later made into a successful stage play named “I Remember Mama”, and thereafter translated into the film of the same name. I think that the "fix-up" beginning is one of the biggest stumbling blocks of a screenwriter. What stays and what goes? How to work out successful bridges between the threads? Can the threads construct a cohesive yarn on film? Some argue it can’t. I believe that with the right spark of talent, that loves and respects the source material, it can.
Having said all of that, my choice of the existing film that I feel “Dandelion Wine” should be made as well as—but it has to be in color—is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. It should be made to the same high standards of quality and integrity and be as haunting.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chapter 31,
My own two cents worth is that one of my favorite literature to film adaptations--a style I think would suit Dandelion Wine--was Cannery Row, starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger. The narration and dialog were, in some cases, straight from the text. I think Nolte and Winger captured the characters. The narration was stunningly moving and was a major element of the film without intruding on the story--allowing Steinbeck's original words to be further incorporated into the movie. In this case, the screenplay combined Steinbecks' "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday". I think the kind of work done in this movie would be a good style for a Dandelion Wine movie to be done in.
Also, when I read Dandelion Wine, I "see" it in color. B&W is a cool style--but in my mind, not suitable to Dandelion Wine. This novel was written in color.
Braling & Philnic,
Do you know of any sites that "translate" Irish English into American English?
Sorry, The Lake, I don't know of any. I've Googled around and come up with nothing. There's some interesting stuff on Irish slang on the BBC's h2g2 site, though:
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