10 Films You May Not Know Were Based on a Book – Part I

The Prestige Book CoverI. The Prestige (2006)    

Secrets to magicians’ tricks are often mundane – it is the way those tricks are performed which makes all the difference. Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is a complex, clever film about two magicians competing against each other in the 19th century, but the film is actually based on a Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel of the same name. The novel starts in the present time, but, as in the film, we are being fooled and do not realise that we have had all the clues to the puzzle in front of us at the beginning. Whatever you thought was clever in Nolan’s film – the chances are that it is also in the novel.   

Drive Book CoverII. Drive (2011)

Nicolas Winding Refn may have directed this stunning film and Hossein Amini (“Two Faces of January” (2014)) penned the script, but “Drive” is based on James Sallis’s 2005 novel of the same name. In fact, allegedly, the “Drive” producers first encountered the story by chance in Publishers Weekly. In the book, as in the film, it is the intriguing character study which becomes the focus. The merit should go to Refn for visionary creative choices, but the film was fledged out of the already existing story, which also feels strangely nostalgic for the decades long past. Continue reading “10 Films You May Not Know Were Based on a Book – Part I”

Alan Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016)

British actor Alan Rickman
21 Feb 1992 — British actor Alan Rickman — Image by © Didier OlivrÈ/Corbis

“If you want to know who I am, it is all in the work.”

“I don’t play villains, I play very interesting people.”

“When I’m 80 years old, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, “After all this time?” And I will say, “Always”. (Alan Rickman)

British actor Alan Rickman sadly passed away on 14 January 2016. My first introduction to him was through “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991), which I watched at a young age on a VHS. Rickman was the perfect villain there, impersonating Sheriff George of Nottingham with such passion, zeal and enthusiasm, he becomes a truly feared man there, and I do not think that impersonation would ever leave me, so powerful it was. Then, of course, we also have Rickman’s “great villains” in “Die Hard” (1988) and “Quigley Down Under” (1990). I have always admired people playing villains. Unlike action-heroes or “goodies”, villains in films are people whom no one likes, but they are very important because without them, there will not be any praises for glorious heroes. It also takes real acting skill to play a villain, and Alan Rickman could do so not just superbly and convincingly, but with that originality in his presentation that would be simply enviable.

Continue reading “Alan Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016)”