Monday, May 3, 2010

Omega Man/ I am Legend

Now that I've finished reading/re-reading the original 1954 novel, the relationship between the novel and the film versions is clearer:
1. elements of the novel do appear in the films, but the films are quite drastic reworkings of the original;
2. key elements, such as vampirism and eroticism, are played down;
3. the ending is altered from the original 'end of the human race' to 'a hero arises to save the human race';
4. the original bacterial warfare idea is transmuted (do you like that word?) into a viral one.

These are all significant alterations. Obviously, changing the form (novel to film) of necessity alters the content (cf McLuhan), and the original psychological approach cannot work filmistically (do you like this word?) so I'm not complaining here, just observing.

Personally, I have enjoyed all three, for all three do what good sci-fi should do-- they echo, reverberate, haunt the mind so that we keep thinking about the plot, themes, characters, and so on, long after we've watched or read the art.

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