A great Short StoryThis is a great short story
How to turn a big short story into a big TV show
Friday, without much trumpet, Amazon published three genuine drivers, among them Sea Oak, composed and co-executive by George Saunders and built on his eponymous tale. In the past, Amazon has had good fortune with his direct-to-prime literature films - his film version of I Love Dick was an unorthodox celebrity last year - so I'm glad to see that their tastes don't waver.
In the end, everyone who has had a pretty good year will love George Saunders, as you may have noticed: in February he released his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, with almost unparalleled success, and in October he won the Man Booker Prize. I' ve been hearing many rumors about Saunders-based adaptions in recent years, but unlike the New York Times-produced New York Times miniature film, which was made by Lincoln in the Bardo, Sea Oak is his small-screen first.
Fiction movies from shorts are relatively rare for apparent reason (although they are natural and sometimes excellent: Brokeback Mountain and Standby By Me are good examples), but shorter story-based TV shows are even less common because they need much more narration (or at least more narratives ) than a lone movie.
As a rule, good TV demands more than an original concept, but good feature films do not. Most of the shorts are just that: brief. So, I went into the Sea Oak film with some doubt - and not just doubting the possibility of turning a 30-page tale into a vivid film.
I' ve reread everything Saunders wrote (most of my diploma dissertation was about his work ), and I really loved that tale, and I too am a rather unbearable reformist who makes any adjustment to something I know well quite a bit of hair. Glen Close is completely chapped at the beginning and completely scary at the end.
Joysticks, where the teller of the tale (called Cole in the pilot) is essentially an aeronautical theme Hooters with masculine staff only - has been turned into Posers, a facility where performers are standing around in ultra low-cost kits, while stupid, evocative speech over voices flow through a series of narrators. It' fun, and certainly a Saunders trademark, but in theory it seems a little thinner than in use.
I think something is also missing when I open the driver with Bernie, who admits her "unfriendly thoughts" in a canticle. Throughout history we find ourselves stumbling in the same faith as the storyteller that with her shitty lifestyle and work in the 99-cent shop until the minute she turns up, we look up in her chair after murder at her cousin's door and say: "Sit the heck out.
" However, perhaps this is just a feature of stress that shifts from the storyteller of the initial narrative to the pilot's glenn close. I don't hold that against Saunders. This only means that a book is (almost) always better than its ad-ditions. Or, as my dad always said, most films are better than most of them, but the ones that are better than films have no inferiority.
Approximately two third of the initial storyline takes place in the film, but that's more of a power than a worry. Bernie is dying in the tale; Bernie comes back with a plot; Bernie breaks up (literally) before it can be fully realised. At the end, a Bernie asks the narrator: "Some folks get everything and I have nothing.
" Nobody, neither inside nor outside history, has an answer. No one. This adjustment seems to be an answer to another and far stranger question: What if it takes Bernie a little longer to disintegrate?