Friday, January 27, 2012

Three D Gatsby

Maybe you don't know but a 3D Gatsby is in production joining that list of filmmakers who have tried with the classic novel and failed starting with the 1925 production to the Copolla Redford Farrow fiasco that left us with the tinny twenties music playing over shots of  1920 automobiles. The prose in that production was actually the undoing of the film with the heavy Carroway voice over that sounded like molasses's on top of sugar against the spectroscopic gaiety of the twenties and Redfords suits and cars and his heartthrob good looks. Alas it died.

 Now comes a new version. Three D. The rational is that they can finally stage Gatsby like a play the way it was meant to be. Unfortunately Gatsby depends on Fitzgeralds prose and not on the technical staging of the plot. To separate one from the other is near impossible and to put the prose into a voice over or an actors mouth sounds heavy and awkward. Who can forget Redford delivering his line "Cant repeat the past, why of course you can old sport!" Ick,

And so technology will not rescue the film. The book is simply too dependent on the eloquence of Fitzgeralds marvelous ear. There is no way around that and the story without the prose is inconsequential. Fitzgerald had a great fear of the movies initially replacing novels and some would say that has come to pass. But great works of art can never really be duplicated even in 3D. So I guess we will have to continue to read the novel to really get Gatsby.

So sorry to all those with 3D glasses.

Books by William Hazelgrove