Kokkinos on adapting Thomson

The Age profiles Ana Kokkinos, director of The Book of Revelation, which debuts tomorrow night at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Kokkinos first read Thomson’s book in 1999, and had to beat off strong international interests to win the rights to adapt it…. “His previous five novels were all optioned (by film producers) but nothing happened,” she says. “This time he wanted the rights to go to a real filmmaker, because he knows his work is demanding and difficult to adapt.”

She wrote him a long letter, which led him to see Head On, Kokkinos’ previous film starring Alex Dimitriades as a gay Melbourne man who rejects his family’s traditional Greek values to explore his sexuality.

“I think Rupert had faith in our ability to adapt his ideas into cinema.”….

She describes The Book of Revelation as part of an intellectual tradition that includes Last Tango in Paris and Bunuel’s Belle de Jour.

But she laments that this approach has almost died out now. “In the 1970s and ’80s, there were individual voices like Bergman, Tarkovsky and Fellini who brought people to the cinema because they broke all the rules. It has become very rare now to see a film that speaks to you on many levels.”

Previously: Thomson and I discussed the cinematic potential of his books, and Hollywood’s predictably flat-footed response. Oh well, not to worry. There’s always Snakes on a Plane.


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