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View Poll Results: Read the book, see the film or do both?
Have read book - unlikely or unsure about seeing film 1 8.33%
Will publicity for film interest you just to read book? 1 8.33%
Are you likely to to both read book and see film? 3 25.00%
Unlikely to read book or pay to see film or video? 7 58.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-May-2001, 08:28
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Default Poll Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Book v Film

Didn't quite see the mechanics here

Maybe an "insert your question here" before the small box would have helped me attach the poll to the original post.

Couldn't seem to return to the poll option in editing the posted main thread.

Do better next time...I hope.

Last edited by Worldlife; 07-May-2001 at 08:43.
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  #2  
Old 07-May-2001, 09:54
ShelaghG
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I've read the book - it's one of my favourites - but am not sure about seeing the film. For a start I believe they've changed the ending, which I think is a real shame. The ending in the book is so poignant. I don't know if I can bear to sit through the whole film listening to Nicholas Cage's terrible Italian accent either, if the clip I saw is anything to go on.

If anyone who's read the book goes to see the film I'd be interested to hear your opinion before I finally make up my mind whether or not to go. If anyone out there hasn't read the book - GET IT! It's brilliant
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  #3  
Old 07-May-2001, 10:18
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Default AMENDMENT TO QUESTION 1

Thanks Shelagh.....

Response 1 should really reflect your position but needs an edit to do so.

Suggested amendment is:-

Have read book - unlikely or unsure about seeing film

Any passing moderators please note this request

Will also email.
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  #4  
Old 07-May-2001, 10:30
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done
Sil
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  #5  
Old 07-May-2001, 18:49
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Thanks Sil
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  #6  
Old 26-May-2001, 20:52
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Shelagh.... finished!

What an artistic, cultural and at the same time a romantic and action story. Commenced another book by a skilled and very well known author.... it was rather like reading a technical manual... the characters and locations all seemed so lacking in depth.

Without revealing anything to spoil the story to thers I am wondering about the final paragraph. Is it a clever allusion to something classical (e.g The Three Graces) or merely an introduction to another book with new characters with new lives and adventures?

What do other readers think.
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  #7  
Old 26-May-2001, 23:09
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Glad you enjoyed it WL - you going to see the film?? I'd need to look at it again as I can't remember the last paragraph, it's a while since I read it. I've just started bought his other books - I'm currently 1/2 way through "The War of Don Emmanuels's Nether Parts". It's not up to the same standard at Capt Corelli, but then again it was his first novel - he's obviously maturing nicely these days It's still an enjoyable read though, especially if you have a black sense of humour! It will be interesting to see what the other 2 are like.

I think the thing I liked most about capt Corelli is that it is a book you can savour - the characters are very well drawn and you don't get the feeling that the author has "skimped" on his characters! There isn't this same depth in his first novel, there's a much more lightweight feel about it.

Maybe we should start a book review thread?? Who's reading what and what do they think of it??
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  #8  
Old 27-May-2001, 05:54
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Agree Shelagh with your idea of having a book thread but I'm not sure how many participants we would have right now.

Maybe I'll address the difficulties in a new thread called "Sports Pages"

I'm just realising however what this book has achieved. IMHO the author has documented major war crimes that have been previously overlooked.

By creating characters that we learn to love we are made to realise that these war crimes affect individuals.

The historical accuracy and artistic achievement may well mean this book will be a living part of our culture long after the documentaries and textbooks fade into ancient history.

Do you think that this perspective was influenced by the recent documentary about "The Real Captain Correlli?"
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  #9  
Old 27-May-2001, 12:43
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WL - I knew that Greece had been occupied by the Germans but not that it had ever been occupied by the Italians. I don't know how much influence the book will have once the film comes out or how accurate he film is - I suspect it's been sanitised. Most films tend to take poetic licence with history

I really enjoyed the film Gladiator, but was disappointed to find, when I looked him (the emperor Commodus) up, that the film wasn't based on fact, except in the loosest way in that he was apparently a complete waster. He was eventually assasinated by his mistress (if I remember rightly she arranged for him to be drowned in his bath by a wrestler )

I think that films, even more than books sometimes, can have great power and feel strongly that when portraying historical events they should be accurate. A good example is Schindler's List - I'd read quite a bit about the Holocaust and seen many of those old clip of the camps being liberated. That film though breathed life into the whole subject and made it truly horrifying. I can remember watching it, thinking that some of the violence had been too graphically portrayed - then it occured to me that those images were some people's memories - they had to watch those things for real and couldn't tell themselves it was only special effects. A truly great and awful film that I've never been able to bring myself to watch again. It feels like to watch it once was to learn something, but to watch it twice would be voyeuristic.

By creating characters that we learn to love we are made to realise that these war crimes affect individuals.
That's the power of books and films isn't it? To take what we know intellectually and make us understand it on an emotional level. I watched that drama about the Nuremberg Trials last week and one of the characters was a psychlogist who talked to the prisoners whilst awaiting trial - at then end he concluded that what made those particular men evil was their "inability to empathise" and I suppose there will always be men and women like that and there will always need to be books like Capt Corelli's Mandolin to make those of us who can empathise aware of what peple can do. What's that saying? Something like that for evil to flourish it only requires that good people do nothing.
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  #10  
Old 27-May-2001, 14:15
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Saw the film, haven't read the book, probably will, at some point.
I found the film good in the way that there was no American paraphernalia about (except the fake accents). Beautiful landscapes. Quite realistic in the treatment of the characters re German invasion, and therefore quite informative for youngsters. I agree fully with you, WP and Sheelagh with this quote:
quote:
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By creating characters that we learn to love we are made to realise that these war crimes affect individuals.
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Have you ever seen the old film Sophie's Choice with Merryl Streep? Well, that's the kind of film that DOES bring home a few true horrors about the war.

WP i saw that documentary too, and i thought the author did do a good research and portrayed things well, if we are to believe the docu.

I thought the romance and portrayal of ccharacters was a bit OTT, with real stereotypes. But overall, i liked the film, it was very enjoyable.

When it comes to film adapatations of books, in my experience, 9 times out of 10 the film is less good, simply because most times, directors and actors can't express alll that's in a book in 90-120 mn and have to be selective. I'm dreading to see the Harry Potter film, or even the Lord of the Rings adaptation. Although the latter seems to be a promising mega-production.

Last edited by fabienne; 27-May-2001 at 14:17.
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  #11  
Old 27-May-2001, 17:30
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Shelagh...

In comparison with "Captain Correlli" would you agree that "Schindler's List" is a biography brought to life on the screen as distinct from a novel with an accurate historical setting?

For me "Schindler's List" didn't really probe enough the "collaborator" element and to what extent he was a business man maintaining person integrity. That integrity included protection of his employee workbase. Do you think an "artistic" film rather than an accurate documentary style might have helped understand this a little more...or perhaps I was dumb and missing clues.

The question was only answered at the end of the film with the fact that his factories never produced functional arms and also the decision of the Jewish state to honour him. The most moving part of the film for me were the survivors (and descendents) filing past his grave.

I too will not view the film again but I felt a little guilty recording something else over the tape.

The problem about "good people doing nothing" is how to determine who are the "good people".

If Germany had triumphed the history books would have portrayed their soldiers as heros dealing with Italian traitors and of course the artillery barrage on the German troops that were landing portrayed as a war crime deserving of the punishment that was indeed given.
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  #12  
Old 27-May-2001, 18:11
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Fabienne...

For me the fake accents would immediately suspend my belief in the characters.

What do you feel about the alternative of using native actors and sub-titles? Sometimes I have understand more from sub-titled foreign films than English spoken by our transatlantic friends who often lack ability in the elocution and voice projection departments

Sometimes though a film is able to introduce us to a book we would not otherwise read.

Enjoyed BBC's "Gormanghast" adaptation but don't think I could cope with the book.
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  #13  
Old 27-May-2001, 19:10
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WL - From what I remember of reading the book Schindler's Ark, many years ago now (long before the film came out), I don't think anybody was ever sure what his motives were. I've always had the impression that he was a bit of a chancer, not averse to a scam or two! I think the impression I formed at the time was that he was to some extent amoral but when push came to shove he had enough of a conscience (?sp) not to go along with what the nazis were doing and I don't think it mattered that they were doing it to Jews, just they were people. If that was the case the alternative to what he actually did would have been to speak out, which would have landed him in a camp and he comes across as having too well-developed a sense of self-preservation for that.

If Germany had triumphed the history books would have portrayed their soldiers as heros dealing with Italian traitors and of course the artillery barrage on the German troops that were landing portrayed as a war crime deserving of the punishment that was indeed given.
Isn't this what the USSR did?? Now there's another can of worms that's rarely had the lid lifted!!!
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  #14  
Old 27-May-2001, 19:25
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ha, i just think that the accents faked by American actors in this story were unnecessary. I suppose some of the actors who were indeed natives, such as Irene Papas (Pelaghia's mother in law) would keep a foreign accent when speaking English, so they probably thought that all of the cast should have an accent ... This problem will disappear anyway for European audiences who will see the dubbed film.

Unfortunately, sub-titles have been proved as a definite no-no for British film-goers. So, if a film is to make any money, i suppose it has to be speaking in English to a British (or American) audience. Again, in France, the situation is a bit different, there are quite a few Italian films, German films even Swedish films showed in their sub-titled version as a matter of fact on TV, which means that people are quite used to reading subtitles and will still go to the cinema to see a film in its original version. And i must say that it is indeed as you said in your post, much more understandable at times.

It also raises a question dear to my heart, that is the one of a good translation. Sub-titles are often truer to the original because they have less constraints, such as using words that conform to the shape of the mouth of the actor as he speaks. If you see what i mean... when you see someone on the screen with rounded lips, he's probably uttering an o or u sound, and if it's a foreign actor, translators must find a word in English that has an equivalent sound, often leaving accuracy of translation behind, in favour of a word that would contain the sound pictured by the actor's mouth. Translating is actually a nightmare, no wonder US/GB films hit French screens 3, 4, sometimes 6 months after having been first shown here.
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  #15  
Old 27-May-2001, 20:40
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Sorry - I had to cut it short earlier - feeding time at the zoo!

WL - I think both documentary and dramatic style have their drawbacks - especially when protraying real people. In either case their could be room for misrepresentaion. In a drama we're at the mercy of the author - they be able to explore certain issues more but who knows if they're right? I think the same goes for a more biographical style - there may be diaries but they could have been written on the assumption that they would be read. Biographers also depend heavily on other people's impressions of someone when exploring motives etc. There may be some explanation of which everyone is unaware, eg, maybe Schindler was the victim of a bully at some time?

Fabienne - I have seen Sophie's Choice - a gruelling film to watch. I actually did this one the right way round - saw the film first then bought the book. It is one of the few films that has ever made me cry. I took my mum to see it and initially was feeling very embarassed at the language etc in it (I don't know why, she's pretty broad minded). We both roared buckets at it. I saw it before I had children and don't think I could watch it again, especially now I have kids. I found it very distressing at the time, but appreciate even more now the awfulness of the choice she had to make. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that there really were parents put in that situation. The book is somehow easier - I think because you can put it down and have a break from it when you need to. I wouldn't say it was less powerful as in a way it's more thought provoking than the film in that it isn't dominated by that awful scene - reading the book gives you the space to recover your thoughts after you've had a good howl!

Last edited by ShelaghG; 27-May-2001 at 20:42.
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  #16  
Old 28-May-2001, 00:44
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Back from an evening at the theatre. A team of actors read twelve extracts from plays by professional and semi-professional writers.

We were proud to see our lass as winner and the thrill of members of her theatre group when the prize was announced .....................

On "Schindlers Ark" it seems as if the film was true to the book as described by Shelagh.......a "chancer" seems an apt description.

The problems of dubbing explained by Fabienne have helped me understand why I prefer sub-titles.

Remember a few decades ago sitting through "The Accursed Kings" ("Les Rois Maudit"). For me this was brilliantly sub-titled - I recall the acting was absolutely outstanding and I soon overlooked that the film was in a foreign language.

Love also to follow the Italian libretto of Puccini's opera's and see how every bar and sometimes single notes fit to the text. Another example of the difficulties of translation

In view of your recommendation will watch "Sophies Choice" when it is shown again.

Decision not to see the film of "Captain Correlli" reinforced by this discussion.
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Old 19-January-2002, 16:35
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In appreciation of Louis de Bernières thought I should post a copy of the following extract from his book here.

It seems highly relevant to the thread:-

Does this woman need help

For those who have seen the film and not read the book did the message come over as beautifully as in this text?



"And another thing. Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire tomate every second of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. But sometimes the petals fall away and the roots have not entwined. Imagine giving up your home and your people, only to discover after six months, a year, three years, that the trees have no roots and have fallen over. Imagine the desolation. Imagine the imprisonment.
Continue "love" topic in the linked thread though
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  #18  
Old 19-January-2002, 17:18
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I haven't seen the film or read the book....Saw the documentary though and made a mental note to do either of the above...but still haven't

Reading all the threads has reinforced my wish do read the book - I'll wait until the film comes on cable - it'll be worth a watch.

Subtitles in films - W/L you hit it on the head - if a film really absorbs you the subtitles seem less of a hindrance.....

but of course ultimately the goal of most movies nowadays is to make money......so fabienne yes that's going to "prostitute" any art form......shipping in Hollywood stars to take the place of decent local actors. Money talks - a sad but true fact.

Film's that improve on the book are ones that have a theme that is only truely portrayed with images..Words are powerful tools......but for something so vivid as say Schlinder's List - celluoid is the only medium that has that...

Take The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.

This was IMHO an excellent book and a lot of the imagery was such that words could do it justice....

the film only served to maybe add a bit of richness to those mental images - there was no real ISSUE that need to be portrayed as in Schindler's Ark.

Could someone please start a book thread

ROTFL@W/L Sport's Pages
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  #19  
Old 31-May-2004, 17:15
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Mandolin was on BBC1 last night and I ignored the review

Playing fast and lose with Louis de Bernieres's surprise bestseller about a Nazi and Italian- occupied Greek island during the Second World war, this adaptation bu director John Madden ends up as not much more than a picture-postcard love story. Madden has produce a good-looking film, but Nicolas Cage's mandolin-plucking Italian is a cartoon and Penelope Cruz is a very Spanish Greek. Only John Hurt walks away with dignity intact
Remember the introduction to the book describing the beauty and history of Cephalonia. I was somewhat disappointed that for me that didn't come out in the opening sequences although elsewhere John Toll's photography has been cited as boosting the island's tourist industry.

Dr Iannis in the book seemed a much younger character and had a warm bantering and teasing relationship with his daughter Pelagia (Penelope Crux) than for me the rather stiff character portrayed by John Hurt .

The men's chorus work was appalling seeming like a mass choir in a studio rather than excellent singers on location.

Didn't "La Scala" take place in the latrines and not the wash area?

In the book there was a citing of a ghost of Captain Corelli so did one believe in that ghost because it was not revealed that he had survived the group execution by German forces?

For me the book conveyed the shock, horror and surprise of the war crime committed by the German forces is slaughtering Italian allies who had surrendered to th them. The film glossed over resistance by fighting sequences in Hollywood style using aircraft that were too obviously models.

..... but I'll now probably reread that wonderful book
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  #20  
Old 02-June-2004, 08:07
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I watched the film on TV again, and i still haven't read the book. I still quite like the film, i liked the romantic landscapes and moments.
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