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Themed Feature - 14 August 2017

From book to movie screen

Film adaptations of books must satisfy both readers and moviegoers. We present four new ones and a classic

Most who read a novel watch their own inner movie. This makes it all the more challenging to adapt a book to the silver screen. The works of British writer Dame Daphne du Maurier (1907- 1989) were a favorite source for Alfred Hitchcock. He turned her novelette The Birds into a beloved classic, which you can watch on board.

We also present the new mysterious thriller My Cousin Rachel, based on du Maurier‘s novel. Set on the coast of Cornwall in the 1830s, Philip (Sam Claflin) believes Rachel (Rachel Weisz), his cousin’s widow, was responsible for his death. But his gut feeling changes when he gets to know her better. Oscar winner Weisz plays the manipulating Rachel so adorably that her performance is reason enough to watch this visually impressive film.

Also set in Victorian England is British drama Lady Macbeth, starring 21-year-old Florence Pugh. Her hypnotizing effect as a bored young wife of a loveless man is simply phenomenal. In the source material “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”, the story was set in a town south of Moscow. Russian writer Nikolai Leskov (1831-1895) first published his gloomy novella in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s literary magazine. In the film, the Russian setting is transformed into northern England and Katerina becomes Katherine. While her husband is on the road, the young wife is supposed to read her prayer book and never leave the barren mansion in the middle of the moor. But soon a rebellious passion awakes in Katherine, revealing a lot about the power structures of the time. It’s an extraordinary and confident feature film debut by stage director William Oldroyd – and a must watch!

‘To risk everything for love’ is often a hyperbolic phrase. To Maddy, it’s literal. The teenager has a severe combined immunodeficiency, which is why she has never left the house in her life. Any mild cold could lead to her death. Then one day a boy called Olly moves into the house next door and they fall in love. The adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s young-adult novel Everything, Everything is a romantic drama that’s as good as the book. Thanks to the irresistible lead characters and heartrending story, it is likely to appeal to older adults, too.

When Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle was published in 2013, his vision of networking, total transparency and the power of internet companies rushed to the top of best-seller lists. Less than four years later, the film adaptation hit the cinemas, with director James Ponsoldt and Eggers sharing screenplay duties. Emma Watson is 24-year-old Mae, who finally lands her dream job at a hip internet company in Silicon Valley. Tom Hanks plays one of the bosses of this company, which provides a single web identity for all customers and does not want to allow anonymity any longer. It’s a techno thriller that provokes thoughts about the value of privacy. But, those who have read the book, beware: to you the film’s ending will be quite surprising. After all, everyone has their own movie in their head.

WATCH
The Birds
My Cousin Rachel
Lady Macbeth
Everything, Everything
The Circle