I remember the moment I realized, midway through reading the book about five years ago, that nobody would ever be able to adapt it into a film. I smote my forehead with the palm of my right hand in darkly self-deprecating humor for getting hooked on (and greatly enjoying) a transmedia dead-end, cul de sac. The principal characters were all too young to buy beer, and the moral/psychological gradients ranging through the book would tax the talents of deeply-contemplative middle-aged actors to do justice to the thematic material — not kids — or the nauseating compromises would result in an exploitative abomination, a typical Hollywouldn’t. No fucking way.
And in the five-or-so years in which I wasn’t looking it got made. Brilliantly! In spite of the employment of young actors, whose work-hours are proscribed and carefully monitored, and numerous layers of dark implications involving genocide, totalitarianism, authoritative disinformation, and increasingly-accurate predictions regarding the soul-destroying cost of the conduct of warfare by increasingly-youthful soldiery, it got made more carefully, intelligently and far more precisely than I would have guessed was possible. I credit Gigi Pritzker and Gavin Hood for realizing an absolute impossibility — and if I heard their commentaries correctly, they credit everybody involved in making this obviously-unmakeable film.
Ironically, the reason I stumbled onto the book was its author’s, Orson Scott Card’s, profoundly-supportive appearance in Done the Impossible; the fan’s tale of Firefly & Serenity.
And just for the record, I think the red carpet/cobra(dragon) was the key metaphor for fame, blame and shame. Even more than the book, the film facilitates passonate, civil conversation on matters that need voices.
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