ByPaul Moore, writer at
Moviegoer | Book Reader | Gamer | Storyteller
Paul Moore

"Nothing's original anymore. Everything's an adaptation."

Chances are that you've heard this more than once in the past few years. It's the exaggeration that we all accept as truth, the scapegoat of the floundering champions of "original stories". You've heard it from that one film snob who pines for the days of Hitchcock, you've read it from some blogger (not unlike myself) who's chosen to take potshots at the low-hanging fruit for clicks, or you've uttered it yourself after showering off the latest Michael Bay Transformers flick.

Well, firstly, it's not true.

Secondly, it doesn't do adaptations any amount of justice.

If you were to ask the film snob what his/her favorite Stanley Kubrick movie is, you wouldn't likely hear Eyes Wide Shut or A.I. Artificial Intelligence. No, you'd probably get The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, or 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If you scrolled one article down on that blogger's feed, you'd probably see him/her praising the new Marvel movie for its bold storytelling and brave sense of fun in a world that craves darkness and solemnity.

Then, it's time for you. Ask yourself: "Do I really hate adaptations, or am I sick of bad adaptations?" That's when you start to open your eyes.

"Bad adaptations?" You might ask. "You mean like Watchmen?" Not really, I mean like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. "But that was the best movie in the series," you may respond.

You know what? That might be true (even if I don't believe it), but was it a good adaptation?

Pulling from more mantras of the snob, we come to "the book was better." While it completely discredits the quality of the film as its own product, the saying brings up a point. Critical reviews of adaptations frequently misses the mark of how to critically review an adaptation. They tend to follow one of two trends, which are as follows:

1. Compare the adaptation to the source on a surface level ("they didn't include this chapter", "they replaced that character with a black guy", "somebody else said that line").

2. Treat the film solely as its own product, ignoring the source completely (often using "the book was better" as an excuse to do so).

Both of these methods disregard the intent of adaptation, which should not be to replace the source material but rather to exist alongside it as another take on it, a new look.

Good adaptations are original. That's what I hope to prove here.

Welcome to Generation Adaptation.

Edit 02/08/2016: Although this is the first post, Generation Adaptation is going to be but one facet of a larger blog, titled Portable Television Studio, which will cover a much larger scope of topics. I'll be giving a proper blog introduction soon.


Latest from our Creators