Friday, October 19, 2007

Books to movies, Soviet Eastern Sci-Fi versions

Since I had to read a Leo Tolstoi play earlier this week, I got to thinking about his nephew, who was also a writer, and the one work of his that I read, Aelita Queen of Mars, written by Alexei, who had the awesome nickname, the Red Count and then I thought about the movie version of it, and how ironic that in at least this case, not even the Soviet movie could escape the movie director's mass editing of the story.

The novel is a pretty interesting one in which details two early Soviets flying to Mars and finding a civlization that is just begging for a revolution and the majority of the faction is on Mars. The silent movie version that came out is sort of famous for its costumes of the Martians, but its a story that adds alot more of Earth to it then the Martian part. Now this wouldn't be a problem if it was interesting, however the like forty minutes spent on Earth is more of a diatribe against the policies of NEP then advancing a story about love and Mars.

Solaris, doesn't have that great of change from book to movie (we're talkin about the Russian masterpiece that is approximatly a million hours long, not the American remake which was not bad, but still was an inefior remake) and there the director once again added more Earth scenes at the begining and the end, and IIRC added ambiguty to the ending where there wasn't any. Here the scenes were well done and made the movie better, but it still changed it.

But what the director didn't change was one of the greatest lines of science fiction, and something that I as an aspiring writer of science fiction, have taken to heart when I sit down and attempt to write something about space and aliens and their interaction with humanity.

"To science? It's a fraud! No one will ever resolve this problem, neither genius, nor idiot! We have no ambition to conquer any cosmos. We just want to extend Earth up to the Cosmos's borders. We don't want any more worlds. Only a mirror to see our own in. We try so hard to make contact, but we're doomed to failure. We look ridiculous pursuing a goal we fear and that we really don't need. Man needs man!"

The book version is slighty different, but I left my book at home. And with that I end this post.

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