Do you think Leo Tolstoy has any influence on film?
As great Russian writers of the 19th century goes probably not as much as Dostoyevsky, Gogol or Puskin but maybe as much as Turgenev. Why do you ask?
they reference him in Town and Country (2000) does that count
Aleksandr Osipovich Drankov, the man who opened up the first Russia’s first cinemataographic studio in 1907, filmed Tolstoy extensively during the final few years of Tolstoy’s life.
Some of that footage can be seen here.
Also, his writing has been the subject of film adaptation since 1909.
So, I’d say, yes, Tolstoy had some influence on film.
I’d like to see the film version of The Kreutzer Sonata.
That’s a really odd novella.
I’ve only read it once so perhaps I’m mistaken, but Tolstoy seems to almost justify murder, as if it’s a perfectly reasonable response to infidelity.
The story seems kind of psychotic so I wonder if the film version does it justice, if it’s equally demented and how the main character’s rage and anguish are conveyed.
Oh and don’t forget Robert Bresson’s final film, L’argent (VERY loosely based on The Forged Cupon, another novella).
-Tolstoy seems to almost justify murder-
It isn’t really trying to “justify” murder. It’s an argument for a sort of asceticism that rejects carnal love and the jealousy and anger that are caused by it.
I’d like to see Bernard Rose’s recent adaptation:
Does anyone know if it’s available anywhere?
Bresson also adapted two Dostoyevsky stories (not to even mention Pickpocket being loosely inspired by Crime and Punishment). That’s why I said that I thought Dostoyevsky was a far bigger influence in film. I mean, you can talk about Tolstoy adaptation (the 1968 film version of War and Peace which I still think has the distinction of being the most expensive film ever made when adjusted to inflation) or films about Tolstoy’s life (not that I saw The Last Station) but can you identify a particular sensibility in film that could be called Tolstoyan? I’m not so sure. Certainly not like Dostoyevsky.
Tarkovsky was also hugely influenced by Tolstoy’s writings as well as his moral concerns, and frequently cited him in his diary. “The Sacrifice” is likely his film that owes most to Tolstoy.