See the Book and Read the Movie

A List of Great Literary Adaptations Screening at SIFF 2018.

The Bookshop

Adapting from the written word to the moving picture is a special kind of alchemy—you take a plot, some characters, and a setting—and transfigure one artist's vision into something new. This year, SIFF has an eclectic roster of cinematic adaptations, with source materials that range from literary classics to contemporary New York Times Best Sellers.

The Bookshop

The Bookshop

Based on Penelope Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, The Bookshop is a melancholic celebration of bibliophilia set in a coastal town in England, 1959. The story follows a headstrong widow (Emily Mortimer) who opens a bookstore in a sleepy village and encounters both pride and prejudice from the provincial locals, with outstanding performances from Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy. Winner of Best Film, Director, and Screenplay at Spain's Goya Awards.

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The Bottomless Bag

The Bottomless Bag

Adapting the 1922 Japanese short story "In a Grove"—the basis for Kurosawa's Rashomon-for a medieval Russian setting, The Bottomless Bag spins an enchanting tale of intrigue, doubt, and mysticism in and around the Czar's court. Instead of Japan, director Rustam Khamdamov sets his story of doubt in Russia in a world of forests, soldiers, thieves, and royalty. 

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Breath

Breath

Two Australian teens in the 1970s discover the liberating world of surfing and find a mentor in an enigmatic big wave rider ("The Mentalist" star Simon Baker, who also makes his directorial debut) who pushes them to take increasingly dangerous risks. Based on the acclaimed coming-of-age novel by Tim Winton.

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The Children Act

The Children Act

What is it about Ian McEwan's novels that lend themselves so beautifully to the screen? In The Children Act, Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this riveting, complex drama of a family-court judge facing a personal and professional crisis when she's asked to rule in the case of a teenager who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion due to his family's religious beliefs.

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On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach

In addition to The Children Act, Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach is British theater director Dominic Cooke's film debut starring three-time Academy Award®-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan and rising star Billy Howle. The story follows newlyweds whose honeymoon becomes a comedy of sexual errors in this funny and heartbreaking period drama about what it means to love-as well as what it means to let love go.

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Disobedience

Disobedience

Forbidden love, repressed passion, and a longing for freedom—these phrases all represent Academy Award® winner Sebastián Lelio's latest film, Disobedience, adapted from the Naomi Alderman novel. Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola star in this compassionate exploration of faith, sexuality, and freedom as told through the passionate love between two women within London's Orthodox Jewish community.

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Edward II

Edward II

Director Derek Jarman's postmodern adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's 1594 play Edward II made a splash in the 1990s New Queer Cinema movement with its combination of matter-of-fact homoeroticism, contemporary costumes, and stark, stagelike sets, all dirt floors and walls. Visually, Jarman meticulously constructed Edward II out of shadows and candlelight, male skin, flashes of bloody violence, Isabella's couture gowns, and the porcelain planes of Oscar®-winner Tilda Swinton's face.

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Green Days by the River

Green Days by the River

A young teen in 1950s coastal Trinidad learns bittersweet lessons of life, love, loss when he is forced to choose between an attractive city girl or the daughter of a wealthy Indian plantation owner in this melodrama based on the beloved 1967 novel by Michael Anthony.

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L’Inferno with live score by My Goodness

L’Inferno with live score by My Goodness

Enjoy one of the first literary screen adaptations the way silent films were intended—with live accompaniment! Seattle rock band My Goodness bring their expansive blues and garage inspired sound to the Triple Door for a live accompaniment to the 1911 Italian silent film, a macabre tour de force inspired by Dante's "Divine Comedy" featuring groundbreaking special effects and a cast of thousands.

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