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Graphically speaking

Video games (Tomb Raider), comics (Super, Spider and Bat men), books and now, graphic novels have become the new screenplays/ story boards. The recent ones being Sin city, History of violence and V for Vendetta. The graphic effect is the latest craze to revolutionise movies after Matrix’s action sequences.

A graphic novel is a long-form comic book, usually with lengthy and complex storylines, and often aimed at more mature audiences. It is also an interesting art form. The term can also encompass a short story collection, or collected issues of previously published comic books republished in a single large volume. When you adapt something from a graphic novel the director could either be paying a tribute, or it could be his version of the story. More importantly, the images in a graphic novel helps the director’s vision and gives clarity. They are more background oriented and have those sharp close ups and score on their sleek factor when compared to a simple novel.

A graphic look at some adaptations:
V for Vendetta – adapted from Alan Moore’s graphic novel about a crusader known only by the letter V, who commits catastrophic acts of terrorism in the dystopian tale. The film is directed by James Mcteigue from the Watchowski camp (was first assistant director for the Matrix movies). Obviously Alan Moore’s a very pissed off chap now since the company DC comics has allegedly distorted his writing in the movie who’s screen play is “rubbish”.

Sin City – Frank Miller’s famous series of graphic novels namely ‘The Hard Goodbye‘ about the various happenings at Sin City was adapted into a film which he also co-directed along with Robert “Desperado” Rodrigues and Tarantino which was released in 2005.

History of violence by John Wagner was directed by David Conenberg. The film is about a man whose violent past catches up with his simple family life. The neatly adapted short flick was nominated for a number of awards including the Oscars and the Cannes.

The list of such graphic novels include Max Allan Collin‘s Road To Perdition about a hitman father and son on the run after losing half their family to his employers and the son’s struggle to accept his father’s profession. It was directed by Sam Mendes, starring Tom Hanks and Jude Law.

Then, Alan Moore’s thriller From Hell based on Jack the ripper’s killings which was directed by the Hughes brothers starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham. Hunter S. Thompson‘s documented drug orgy through Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was directed by T. Gilliam.

UP-COMING ONES:
300 (2007)
Zack Snyder directs this epic film based on Frank Miller‘s graphic novel, “300” concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae.

Sin city 2(2007)
Rodriguez has revealed the film would be based on Miller‘s story, A Dame to Kill For.

– Thomas Koshy

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