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Mitchell on reincarnation of 'Cloud Atlas' as movie

In advance of the Cloud Atlas's October 26 general film release, author David Mitchell was able to comment on his relationship to the finished work.

books Updated: Oct 23, 2012 12:04 IST
A-still-from-Cloud-Atlas-Photo-AFP
A-still-from-Cloud-Atlas-Photo-AFP

In advance of the Cloud Atlas's October 26 general film release, author David Mitchell was able to comment on his relationship to the finished work.



"I believed that Cloud Atlas would never be made into a movie," wrote Mitchell, author of the 2004 novel Cloud Atlas, in the Wall Street Journal on October 20. "I was half right."

Mitchell identifies five key ways in which a novel's form must be changed in order to become a successful film, lest a novel's strengths becomes a film's weaknesses.

Yet, in addition to the usual adaptation issues, Cloud Atlas's writer-directors Tykwer, Wachowski and Wachowski have had to deal with an unusual, era-spanning structure; adaptive projects The Hours, Julia & Julia, and The Time Traveler's Wife met with similar challenges.

"Adaptation is a form of translation, and all acts of translation have to deal with untranslatable spots," Mitchell observed. "When asked whether I mind the changes made during the adaptation of Cloud Atlas, my response is similar: The filmmakers speak fluent film language, and they've done what works."