A Confederacy Of Dunces.
Apparently, Frank Herbert’s Dune, judging from the two attempts so far. I understand that another effort is in the works…. hope springs eternal.
“The Perfume” by Patrick Suskind
“The Man without Qualities” by Robert Musil, though I’m sure someone will eventually try (and I’ll probably take a look at whatever results.)
The Atrocity Exhibition
On Heroes and Tombs
I wish Lunar Caustic would be made into a film.
I don’t think Joseph Strick’s Ulysses is half bad, not sure I’d want to take a crack at Finnegan’s Wake.
It is safe to say that its massive size and intimidatingly literary construction will keep “Gravity’s Rainbow” far from the hands of some pissant auteur. Although, if someone would give Terry Gilliam all the money he would require and allow the project to spread over three films and nine hours, I might be persuaded.
i would have to say a book that i could never see being turned into a picture is William S. Burroughs the Cities of the Red Night. Probably impossible to recreate as a film. But again this is just my opinion.
I actually liked the adaptation of Ulysses.
Sound & The Fury – Faulkner
It’s been attempted once, horrendously and now long OOP… Wish I could see a brilliant version of this before I die
Look Homeward, Angel – Wolfe
No idea if this has ever been attempted on film. There was a play that won some awards, but it would be a fantastic film.
I used to think Wise Blood, but apparently they released the John Huston movie on CC recently. Don’t know if I want to see it now. It’s one of my favorite books and I just don’t want anyone to ruin it for me.
Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, mostly because the concept is too absurd to believe and it may be too depressing to witness onscreen in any way.
As we’ve learned recently, “Watchmen”.
It’s not about Literature it’s about the person filming it, they’re only difficult books and less difficult books, an unfilmable one it’s just one who hasn’t find the appropriate person. (maybe no one dares)
There have been difficult books brought to the screen with dignity, even when that means stepping a little further form the original work.
i’m not saying you don’t have to be careful, causo you do.There is a lot of complex literature out there and yes maybe we should stay away from filming them, but still i don’t think there such a thing as unfilmable, we have already been surprised a few times.
Straub and Haneke’s Kafka’s adaptations come to mind…
Everything else is doable.
You can turn anything into a decent movie, what the real question is is, “What books can’t be made into mainstream commercial movies?”
Stephen King’s Gunslinger series would be very difficult.
And as much as I thought LOTR would be unfilmable and entertaining at the same time, Peter Jackson proved me wrong. I still, however, think the Silmarillian would be not adapt well to film.
The Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
An extremely intricate new kind of fantasy, which for me, is among the very few who is able to pose a challenge against LOTR, however, the locations and characters are more diverse and most of the story is expressed through the emotions of the main characters.
The Silmarilion also would be extremely hard to adapt to film, since it’s mostly pure concept.
King Vidor actually made a good adaptation of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. I think the movie actually improves on Rand’s novel by removing it from her didactic style. And if that film was any indication Rand had didn’t care too much of media moguls like Rupert Murdoch.
I hear that Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio wish to adapt Huxely’s Brave New World. That should be interesting. Blade Runner is another movie that was better then the source material.
I believe there’s a tv version of Brave New World. Haven’t seen it though.
I don’t think anything is unfilmable. Maybe in an exact translation page by page that that fits what every persons imagination has set upon reading the source material.
I would never think Watchmen could make a good film. I like it. Nor did I think that anyone could make a believable Lord of the Rings film. I like those as well.
Dostoevsky novels seem unfilmable in scope and grandeur but given the right Director and Funding and a three film deal I imagine they can be done well.
Anything by Thomas Pynchon.
James Joyce’s Ulysses.
The film version of Wise Blood is excellent and you should not miss out on it. However, I think the Cantos by Ezra Pound is unfilmmable but I dream of someday making it into a ten part anthology film.
I’ve tried several times to imagine Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood as a movie, but it’s really impossible. The characters are too complicated to display on film and i could see so many directors taking it and making a War of the Worlds Steven Spielberg-esque movie out of it.
I going to have to side with Team Ulysses here.
I agree with Matt about ‘House of Leaves’, I just don’t see how it could be translated to film.
C.B., I think Toole’s CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES might work as a film; it might not be totally faithful but a film could be made from the material…Put Philip Seymour Hoffman in as Ignatius, with, I dunno, Dianne Weist as his mother, and it might just work. My pick for book that would not transfer well to film – RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA. It would surely turn into the most cgi-heavy film ever and fail as a result. Book I’d really like to see as a film – A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ.