Edward Cullen #6

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby una » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:30 pm

I'm loving this discussion...

My two cents: when considering the books, we are IN the head of the main character. In most books we are in the head of most characters. Unless you have a voice over giving you the insight into the character's mind, a movie CANNOT capture the book. It will ALWAYS be slightly different. Can it be a good? Yes. I love the adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, but do they compare to the book - no. But I enjoy watching them and allowing me to feel the essence of the book. A good adaptation conveys the primal essence of the novel, but cannot convey the complete work. With Edward's character, I thought Rob improved in each movie in his portrayal of Edward. Edward is a VERY complex character and similar to the old adage about a "duck on a pond", it is very difficult to convey that in a movie. Can the essence of it come across in the movie, yes it can, but it will never be as powerful (in my humble opinion) nor as gripping as reading it.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:01 pm

I completely agree, Una. For me, I always come back to the adaptation itself. If the person adapting the original novel gets a good feel for and understanding of the characters, then they often to a passable job of putting at least a majority of the traits that make that character who he or she is on the screen. But, if you have an adaptation from a person who has issues with the characters themselves, it often happens that they feel the need to "tweak" the character in some way. This then immediately limits what an actor can do with the character, no matter how well they might understand him or her. And we KNOW, from both her own words and the words of others, that the person doing the adapting in this case has felt both a great need and freedom to tweak away. In my humble opinion, NONE of her "tweaks" have been for the better. :banghead:
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:26 pm

YAY! it's the head banging-smiley!!!

And I sooooo agree with you all here. I've only been to see Twilight (daughter dragged me) -- and only once -- but it was enough to come to exactly the thoughts that you've all been expressing.

RP's interpretation of Edward was very intelligent, but...wrong. Too agonized. As Esme Echo nicely put it "the glorious, thoroughly good Edward who is loved by Carlisle, Esme and Bella has been obscured by moody, depressed Rob." Grace under pressure -- that's what we're meant to see in Edward. Of course there is the dark side of the story running beneath it like an ominous groundbass, but Edward makes it all look so easy. If he didn't, Bella would never be fooled for so long about what becoming a vampire really means. And none of us would have fallen in love with him. There wasn't enough space in RP's performance for the mischievous charm and the unexpected moments of vulnerability, which to me are such an essential part of Edward's enchantment. Yes, we should see him looking tortured -- but only in flashes.

Trouble is, the film has to condense so much there's not really room to spread out and give us the backdrop of banter and lightheartedness against which Edward and Bella's romance first blossoms -- so that we can then be bowled over by those those sudden chilling moments when the ground opens up and we glimpse the abyss. This version is pretty much wall to wall emo, and (to my mind) so much less effective for it.

As you rightly say, Jazzgirl, part of the problem is the medium of film itself: "so that"no matter how completely Rob inhabits Edward and brings him to life, his true story is still essentially untold." Books (as you and Una point out) can give us direct access to characters' feelings and motivations, where films can only hint at them. Of course the intriguing thing is that you might suppose that where Edward is concerned the books have no advantage over the movies, since Twilight is entirely told from Bella's point of view. (Midnight Sun excepted -- but I think that even those who have read and loved MS would agree that it only confirmed the picture of Edward they'd already formed ). All we have to go on is Bella's descriptions of Edward's manner, tone of voice, expressions, gestures: the infinitesimal hesitations, the sudden warmth of a glance, the flashes of anger, the quick twitch of a smile. And yet somehow Stephenie seems to build up a much more complete and vivid sense of Edward's interior life for us than the movie does, from these equally exterior clues. Seems to me there''s more to this than meets the eye....


ETA
("it wouldn't be like drinking your blood, for instance"

No, please, please tell me this is not in the movie script....

Feeling more comfortably settled than ever here in my stubborn little movie-free zone. Even Rob's lovely face isn't worth seeing Stephenie's amazing story tangled up with someone else's strange reinterpretation....
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:16 pm

I think what bugs me the most in the movies is that Edward seems irritated with Bella most of the time. A Twilight Movie example is in the greenhouse scene when he tells her to try to be a little more careful when she trips over something -- in a rather ugly tone. Edward would never have reacted that way over Bella's clumsiness. Even in the big "sparkling in the sun" scene -- which should have been romantic and tender -- Edward wastes the event on self-loathing and blaming Bella for smelling so good. There was no real meadow scene at all.

I guess I've groused enough. Too bad Summit didn't hire someone talented in the fandom to write the script. Do you think it's too early for a remake? Perhaps a talented fan could start a script now . . . just in case!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:20 pm

December wrote:ETA
("it wouldn't be like drinking your blood, for instance"

No, please, please tell me this is not in the movie script....

Feeling more comfortably settled than ever here in my stubborn little movie-free zone. Even Rob's lovely face isn't worth seeing Stephenie's amazing story tangled up with someone else's strange reinterpretation....



Yes, in all it's utter wrongness. Smack dab in the middle of the discussion of veggie-ism. The funniest part is the look on RobWard's face after he says it. I think CougarCat put the pregnant pause in in an attempt to show him actually considering the differences or something equally insane. But you can absolutely tell, the look on his face is one of absolute incredulity, essentially communicating, "Ummm, no, should not, would not, have said that."

December wrote:
As you rightly say, Jazzgirl, part of the problem is the medium of film itself: "so that"no matter how completely Rob inhabits Edward and brings him to life, his true story is still essentially untold." Books (as you and Una point out) can give us direct access to characters' feelings and motivations, where films can only hint at them. Of course the intriguing thing is that you might suppose that where Edward is concerned the books have no advantage over the movies, since Twilight is entirely told from Bella's point of view. (Midnight Sun excepted -- but I think that even those who have read and loved MS would agree that it only confirmed the picture of Edward they'd already formed ). All we have to go on is Bella's descriptions of Edward's manner, tone of voice, expressions, gestures: the infinitesimal hesitations, the sudden warmth of a glance, the flashes of anger, the quick twitch of a smile. And yet somehow Stephenie seems to build up a much more complete and vivid sense of Edward's interior life for us than the movie does, from these equally exterior clues. Seems to me there''s more to this than meets the eye....



I truly believe that that's the reason I can hardly stomach listening to the audio books. One would think that, given that it is the same passages read, the same material without the impediment of someone disapproval of certain characterizations, that I would be perfectly fine with it. But, even in that medium, the interpretation, to me at least, is off. There are lines delivered that I always felt were recorded contrary to the way Edward would have delivered them, inconsistant inflections, or contrary emotions. Normally, I love listening to audiobooks. It's a wonderful experience, particularly if you get a true artist to record the text such as Jim Dale, who reads the HP novels. And, I don't necessarily have anything against the woman who reads the novels. But, there are literally certain passages I have to fast forward through because she just does not do them correctly.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:38 pm

Jazzgirl wrote:But you can absolutely tell, the look on his face is one of absolute incredulity, essentially communicating, "Ummm, no, should not, would not, have said that."

Hahahahaha....I bet you're right.

I truly believe that that's the reason I can hardly stomach listening to the audio books

I hadn't even thought about the issues that audio books raise -- like potential conflicts between what the text is telling us (ie the sense of Edward we pick up from her descriptions) and the way characters' lines are delivered. Which is (I think?) what you experienced?
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:54 pm

Oh, yes. The reader has wonderful diction, but no expression. It's torture to listen to.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:19 am

December wrote:
Jazzgirl wrote:I truly believe that that's the reason I can hardly stomach listening to the audio books

I hadn't even thought about the issues that audio books raise -- like potential conflicts between what the text is telling us (ie the sense of Edward we pick up from her descriptions) and the way characters' lines are delivered. Which is (I think?) what you experienced?


That's exactly the issue. The way she reads almost all of Edward's lines is so wrong. The emotion (or lack there of), the feel of it, is just wrong. There are times, during some of the most wonderful lines, where it's almost as if Edward is sneering through his words, or you hear anger or tension when there should be absolutely none. Bella tends to come off as rather simpering and syncophantic, rather than quietly strong and sure. It's a real sadness for me because I love hearing dialogue, hearing the books. It takes me back to when I was a child and my father would have reading time every day, during which he would read aloud to my brother and I. I love listening to audiobooks in the car on long drives. But, I can't listen to my favorite Saga because I want to mute the reader.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby StellaBlueBella » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:57 am

Hello! I have enjoyed reading the conversation here... Well, almost. Jazz Girl has so convincingly described the torture that is listening to the audio book that I feel as though I have experienced it myself like a second hand smoke! Maybe instead of rewriting the script you could redo the audio book... Or at least direct a new version of it. I am sure you would do an excellent job!

"it wouldn't be like drinking your blood, for instance"

I read the books after watching Twilight and New Moon so the movies, in my memory, have been clouded over by the real thing. Can someone remind me what scene this is from? Thanks!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:26 am

stellabluebella wrote:Maybe instead of rewriting the script you could redo the audio book...

I was going to say exactly the same thing. Pretend you're reading it aloud to a best friend, Jazzgirl -- and just record!

I know, though...can't compare to what it would be like to hear a really gifted actor reading it -- right.
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