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Adaptation: The perfect adaptation

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Peter J.
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  1. The movie Adaptation.
  2. Clarifying why the questions about adaptation have persisted for so long.
  3. Joel and Ethan Coen's 2007 No Country for Old Men.
  4. The most interesting and brilliant feature of the film.
  5. The case of Adaptation.
  6. The Orchid Thief.
  7. Donald versus Charlie dichotomy.
  8. Example of Kaufman's original crisscrossing through diagetic universes.

In 2000, The New Yorker magazine writer Susan Orlean published her book, The Orchid Thief, a history of orchids and orchid collectors. The main themes of the work include the history of the passion for plants held by cultures past and present, the perils of harsh habitats such as the Fakahatchee swamp, the natural evolution of life on earth, and the value of a ?new? species of orchid, whether it is a kind that already exists but is yet to be found, or a hybrid that could potentially exist but is yet to be bred. Tales and observations are balanced with accounts of her meetings with a contemporary collector and cultivator from Florida named John Laroche, who caught her attention when he was tried by the state of Florida for illegally removing protected floral species from a state reserve. The significance of this man lies both in his character as a wild, obsessive rogue, hunting his fortune by selling rare species of orchids and trying to breed his own completely original kind, and also his extensive knowledge of orchids, which inspires Susan Orlean to research the topic extensively and to become fascinated with the entire culture of orchid lovers herself

[...] Immediately, Kaufman's opening scene shows Kaufman (played by Nicholas Cage) speaking with Hollywood producer Valerie Thomas about what he wants his adaptation of The Orchid Thief to look like. He states that he intends to the movie exist on its rather than have it be ?artificially plot driven? through typical and unnecessary inclusions of sex and drugs. So far, in the swamp scene, this has been the case. But the aspiration to avoid those Hollywood elements is promptly challenged by Thomas' suggestion for the two main personalities from The Orchid Thief to fall in love in the screenplay, as opposed to remaining platonic like in the book. [...]


[...] The significance of the character from Donald's screenplay, the cop who ?gets obsessed with figuring a victim's personality, and in the process falls in love with her, even though he's never even met her, is that he possesses a drive for something special, something unique: becomes, like, the unattainable, like the Holy Grail.? From the ultimate enemy to New Hollywood comes an example of how to grasp originality (through the hilarious and fascinating half-and-half exposure of Kaufman, and through the metaphoric version of the adaptation that serves a purpose for Kaufman's own screenplay) while still contributing to the adaptation of The Orchid Thief: for Orlean, the unattainable is the ghost orchid. [...]


[...] Adaptation is an adaptation, but why did Kaufman do the production in this way? What does he think Orlean's book is really about? It isn't the flower, but the person obsessed with the flower. It isn't the result, but the character's unstoppable quest for that result. As Orlean writes in her prologue: I was really happy to see that the movie portrayed the real heart of the book, which is about the pursuit of passion and how it shapes our lives. [...]

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