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Hunger Or Greed?

Friday 29 November 2013, 14:58

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

Like some other recent franchises the final book in the Hunger Games series will be split into two films. Is this an artistic or a financial imperative?

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    Comment number 1.

    I think it would be interesting to hear from literature fans who are also film fans.

    However, for me, I don't perceive my brain is naturally geared toward the written word. The audio-visual version works far better for me in terms of storytelling. No doubt, there'll be the money grabbing element especially for film adaptations for film such as Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Ultimately, I'd like to enjoy the ride!

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    Comment number 2.

    This is an interesting one and I think that with the likes of Fight Club making a single book into an even better film it is possible to adapt to a 2/3 hour time frame.

    As Mark mentions, Harry Potter got away with it, and I think that is partly due to the fact there were many other Potter films before it, it did not feel like a greed issue.

    The Hobbit is the other way, yes make LOTR into 3 long films to represent the books, but the hobbit as 3 films drags out a story that can be worked into a shorter version.

    I think the art of cinema is changing and it's more about money than a great visual representation. If Inception can be one film and develop a complex theme and narrative then why can't a book version.

    The counter point is books like Tom Clancys Patriot Games. This was a great book with a fantastic court room scene. With no way to condense it into a 2 hour action film it loses a large scale chunk of plot and empathy with many characters. It became a bad film on so many other levels as well, that I am a little upset I loved the book so much.

    Money is a driving factor and it can work for and against you in the cinema.

    I really hated Lord of the Rings and saw 1 & 2 in the cinema. I have never seen the 3rd and have no intention of seeing the Hobbit. Because there are 3 films, they are losing a % of the audience that may have given a 1 film release a go, but who won't invest in 3 episodes.

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    Comment number 3.

    Adaptations do not have to condense or compress: Brokeback Mountain and Eyes Wide Shut, two of my favourite films, arguably lengthen their material substantially to make sense in the cinema.

    On the other end of the scale, length of book doesn't indicate length of material. The Hobbit, in terms of what happens (the bear, the ring, the spiders, the goblins, eagles, men, elves and dragon) is a long story, albeit a short book (and that is before we add the material from the Silmarillion).

    The only bit of Hunger Games that annoyed me was the Mockingjay tune from Romeo and Juliet... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FHpmn-KYec

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    Comment number 4.

    Hated Lord of the Rings but still went to see the 2nd and expected Peter Jackson to just make one Hobbit film instead of 3 to appeal to people like you?! Makes sense...

    I think it's about money AND about story and also audience expectations. Some readers are very precious about seeing their favourite books on the big screen and want and expect every dot, comma and verb to be covered onscreen. Some aren't.

    I don't think Harry Potter totally got away with it - Hallows Part One is okay but other than that short animated segment about the legend of the Deathly Hallows it's pretty average fare whilst Part Two is almost too action-packed. But it made a tonne of money and British critics liked it.

    The Hobbit - it's with a heavy heart that I have to say I didn't agree with the decision to create a trilogy, a two-parter made more sense as anyone who's read the book knows it's pretty light on character development (especially the dwarves) and Jackson had to try and rectify this. Plus Gandalf always disappears and for a modern film audience this just wouldn't do.

    Still, there has only been one film released in the trilogy so far so maybe Jackson will be proven right in the end.

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    Comment number 5.

    who cares Battle Royale slaps it


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