Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie into Story -- Odette Toulemonde

  A few weeks ago I posted about Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's story collection The Most Beautiful Book in the World, which is absolutely fantastic.  At the end of the collection, Schmitt writes a postscript about how the stories came into being; he wrote them during free moments while directing a film Odette Toulemonde, for which he also wrote the screenplay.  During what he calls this "clandestine writing", he also decided to adapt the film's screenplay into a short story, which is included in the collection.
  I very much enjoyed the short story, about a woman and her relationship with her favorite author (of course it's not as simple as that); and I was thrilled to see that the film was showing on TV5 Monde last week  If you have the chance to see the movie, I highly recommend it in addition to the short story.
 What I found interesting is that the story and the screenplay have different endings, and they both seemed to work.  In his postscript, Schmitt makes sure we know this is intentional:
... anyone who is interested in both the cinema and literature, and who becomes acquainted with the two versions, will notice above all their differences, for I really did try to tell the same story using two languages, and unequal means: words in this case, and animated images on the screen.
   And if you were curious as to the origins of the cover of Europa Editions' release of the collection:
  It comes from the film, Odette Toulemonde.