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04 Mar 2015 at 11:45 pm #6644
This is just my input but… I highly doubt Monahan wrote that script. Read The Departd, the sentence structure & formating of the “action” in the script aren’t anywhere near the comprehensive & irrefutable styling of a Monahan script.
He considers his unproduced screenplay the “Best thing I’ve ever written” & this just doesn’t have that “Magnum Opus” quality to it. Whoever wrote it was able to make a decent-lengthed script that is based on a highly-regarded novel we all are on the fence about being adapted to the big or small screen.
HawkeyeQuote04 Mar 2015 at 11:46 pm #664505 Mar 2015 at 7:42 am #664605 Mar 2015 at 9:02 am #6647
That, plus there’s no such thing as an egotistical screenwriter, is there?
Cynicism aside, clearly this screenplay – or whichever one Monahan presented to him – didn’t impress Ridley Scott enough to go ahead and make the film (thank Buddha). Near the end of the project, as a I recall, Scott was interviewed and more or less threw up his hands, admitting he couldn’t figure out how to do it. Surely he had the screenplay in hand by then, and it was a nonstarter for him.
In which case his response and mine were about the same. No.
Rick WallachQuote08 Mar 2015 at 10:55 pm #665108 Mar 2015 at 11:00 pm #6652
Yes, The Departed is a very close remake of Infernal Affairs with added elements from Infernal Affairs 2. My point is that Monahan isn’t exactly a softy when it comes to killing off main characters in his adaptations, and certainly Blood Meridian is just as respected (if not more so) than the Infernal Affairs films. It’s such a wrong-headed choice.
DavidLambertQuote14 Mar 2015 at 10:05 am #6676
I understand the rigors of screenwriting and know that there are just some things you have to whittle down, but this script lacks the punch and mounting dread of McCarthy’s novel. As stated above, it’d make a fair Western on its own, but it ain’t “Blood Meridian,” and it completely de-fangs the judge. That ending sets my stomach to churning when I think of it.
Stephen DavisQuote20 Apr 2015 at 10:32 pm #6952
My name’s Michael and I’m from Perth, Western Australia. I’ve just ordered Blood Meridian, along with the published notes on the novel by John Sepich.
Recently I’ve been teaching myself to write screenplays, and given my love for challenges, I thought I’d give Blood Meridian a try – even if just for the practise.
<Cut to the members of the group throwing custard pies and tomatoes, hissing and booing, telling me to hop on my bike and fuck RIGHT off>
Firstly, I really enjoyed this discussion. You’re all obviously incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the book, and the banter between yourselves is terrific. I felt very humbled to read all this.
Secondly, I think you all have valid points. But it got me thinking: everybody says this just couldn’t be made into an artistically successful or emotionally resonant film. The argument of the novel being too episodic; not having the requisite three-act structure, comes up time and time again – and with good reason, too.
Now, think about this: the film version of No Country For Old Men – IMHO – didn’t really have any structure to it at all. My impression, even upon repeated viewings, is just one prolonged, protracted, endless chase – until Llewellyn dies, of course.
And think about this: another constant complaint is that language of the novel is too difficult to adapt. People get so caught up in all this, they almost seem to tie their own hands behind their back. Sure, the language is complicated, but everybody seems to forget the language still conjures up incredibly vivid images.
I can only speak for myself, but I’ve seen plenty of atrocious films, and the vast majority of those all had three act structures. I’ve also seen some wonderful films, many of which threw the damn framework right out the window.
If one gets the tone right; the atmosphere down pat; the menace of the Judge bang-on; compresses the story without tearing the arse out of it’ and allows moments in between the violence to let the film breathe and show off all those stunningly hypnotic images, I think that – in the words of Mr McCarthy himself – “the payoff could be extraordinary”.
Even the erudite eloquence of the Judge could be included. Which is why I think William Monahan was an idiot for rewriting his dialogue. He obviously had to cut down the length of the Judge’s speeches, but why he still didn’t use the actual words of the Judge is beyond me.
For those of you who have seen The Counsellor, I thought all those philosophical speeches worked really well, and they were some of my favourite thing about the film.
So I think Blood Meridian can be done. It’s impossible – until it isn’t 😉
Hope you all have a fantastic week.
Weasel84Quote21 Apr 2015 at 6:26 am #6953
I think David Milch and the actors of DEADWOOD showed us just
how well and naturally poetic and eloquent language can be used
ToniQuote21 Apr 2015 at 9:16 am #6954
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