ENTERTAINMENT
Follow the Entertainment section on Facebook!
Movies Now
ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES Movies Now

Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies: Author inspired many films, to mixed results

The late author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died Thursday at age 87, was best known as a Nobel Prize-winning novelist and pioneer of the genre known as magical realism. But the prolific Colombian writer also had ties to the movies.

Marquez's work inspired numerous film adaptations, and he wrote a handful of screenplays as well. The onetime journalist even penned movie reviews.

Somewhat ironically for an author known for his vivid, visual prose, Marquez's work often proved difficult to translate to the big screen, with resulting films rarely living up to their source material.

In a 1981 interview in the Paris Review, Marquez was asked if he thought any books could be successfully translated to the screen. "I can't think of any one film that improved on a good novel, but I can think of many good films that came from very bad novels," he replied.

RELATED: Gabriel Garcia Marquez was more than magical realism

Adding that he once wanted to be a movie director, Marquez said, "I felt that cinema was a medium which had no limitations and in which everything was possible. … But there's a big limitation in cinema in that it's an industrial art, a whole industry. It's very difficult to express in cinema what you really want to say.

Here's a look at some movies made from his books and how they fared.

"Erendira": Marquez wrote the original screenplay for this 1983 film years before and published a novella version in 1972. The original screenplay was lost, but Marquez re-created it from memory for director Ruy Guerra. The film tells the story of a teenage girl exploited by her imperious grandmother.

In a New York Times review, Vincent Canby wrote, "'Erendira' has a kind of dreamy if monotonous charm to it. Unlike the Surrealist comedies of the late Luis Bunuel, the 'magical realist' comedy of Mr. Garcia Marquez's screenplay never abruptly shocks or surprises us. It's sometimes funny, but everything is presented in the same hallucinatory manner that is essentially soothing, even when it comes to murder."

PHOTOS: Gabriel Garcia Marquez through the years

"Chronicle of a Death Foretold": In 1987, Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi directed this drama adapted by Tonino Guerra from Marquez's about a murder in a small Colombian town. The movie opened the Cannes Film Festival.

In a review for Empire, Gavin Bainbridge wrote, "Making a film of one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels was never going to be easy" and went on to describe "Chronicle" as "an ambitious and uncompromising project but essentially too far up its own creak and without a paddle."

"No One Writes to the Colonel": Another Marquez adaptation to screen at Cannes was Arturo Ripstein's 1999 film "No One Writes to the Colonel," based on the story of an impoverished, retired military leader who served in the Thousand Days' War.

In a Variety review, Leonardo Garcia Tsao declared it "a deeply moving adaptation of one of Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez's finest works."

RELATED: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Prize-winning author, dies at 87

"Love in the Time of Cholera": In 2007, one of Marquez's books was finally adapted into a Hollywood movie, directed by Mike Newell, written by Ronald Harwood and starring Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. The film fizzled at the box office, taking in $4.6 million in the U.S., and it received poor reviews.

In The Times, Carina Chocano called the movie "a plodding, tone-deaf, overripe, overheated Oscar-baiting telenovela." She added, "Doubtless it's an enormously daunting task to adapt a book at once so sweeping and internal, so swooningly romantic and philosophical, but it takes a lighter touch and a more expansive view than Newell and Harwood seem to bring."

"Of Love and Other Demons": Writer-director Hilda Hidalgo had better luck with her 2010 debut, Costa Rica's submission for the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2010.

Variety's Andrew Barker wrote that Hidalgo had "seemingly unlocked the key to translating the cerebral sensuality of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing into film, providing one of the few screen adaptations worthy of the Colombian novelist’s source material."

ALSO:

'Mrs. Doubtfire' sequel is in the works; Robin Williams to return

'Transcendence': Can Johnny Depp rise above his recent misfires?

Cannes 2014: Watch trailers for 'Homesman,' 'Foxcatcher' and more

@ogettell

PHOTOS AND MORE PHOTOS: Faces to watch 2014 | Movies ENVELOPE: The latest awards buzz DOCUMENTARIES: 10 best of 2013, and a new crop in 2014

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Through the years

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Through the years

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday in Mexico City. Fondly known as "Gabo," Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. Here is a look at the author and his work through the years.

  • In 'Pan,' Levi Miller takes an 'awesome' trip to Neverland

    In 'Pan,' Levi Miller takes an 'awesome' trip to Neverland

    Early last year, about 4,000 boys ages 11 to 13 gathered in London's Wembley Arena to demonstrate that they had what it took to play a perpetual child. British filmmaker Joe Wright and casting director Dixie Chassay were holding an open call for their Neverland film, "Pan," and they hoped a worthy...

  • Anne Hathaway, Nancy Meyers say 'The Intern' evolved from 'Baby Boom'

    Anne Hathaway, Nancy Meyers say 'The Intern' evolved from 'Baby Boom'

    Nancy Meyers wrote and directed "The Intern," a comedy opening Sept. 25 in which Anne Hathaway plays Jules, the young founder of a thriving Internet startup who hires a 70-year-old intern, played by Robert De Niro. Meyers, who also wrote and directed the movies "It's Complicated" and "Something's...

  • Heady days for Jessica Chastain as 'The Martian' and 'Crimson Peak' loom

    Heady days for Jessica Chastain as 'The Martian' and 'Crimson Peak' loom

    "You caught me at the best time — I'm so relaxed," Jessica Chastain said on a recent afternoon, speaking by phone from her home in New York. The actress had just returned the previous night from a two-week trip to Jamaica, a rare respite from an otherwise hectic schedule.

  • Making 'Everest' was a tall order for filmmakers

    Making 'Everest' was a tall order for filmmakers

    On the set of most $60-million movie productions, stars run their lines in tricked-out trailers. Bleary-eyed assistants are on call to fetch chai lattes and quinoa salads. Actors sit in fancy folding monogrammed chairs.

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt mentored by daredevil Philippe Petit for 'The Walk'

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt mentored by daredevil Philippe Petit for 'The Walk'

    Talk to Joseph Gordon-Levitt about Philippe Petit, the French daredevil who walked a high wire between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, and the conversation will wind its way through Paris (the actor's favorite city) and its cinema culture, the connection between wire walking and acting ("both...

Comments
Loading
67°