The Next Lovecraft

  1. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    Mixed race people like me are too lazy? and nobody else is qualified!
     
    Mar 7, 2010
    #21
  2. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Ummm... sorry, but you lost me there somewhere.....

    What on earth does being of mixed race have to do with the matter?:confused: And as far as no one else being qualified... I beg to differ. There have been quite a few rather good Lovecraftian adaptations and Lovecraft-themed films by amateur and independent filmmakers. They may lack the budget, but they have an enormous respect for the material, and it shows.

    And yes, I think this one would actually (save for the "boxed object" and some makeup effects) be a relatively easy and inexpensive endeavor to put onto film. (Not cheap, mind you, but certainly it could be done on a rather limited budget.) After all, you mostly have one actual setting where the action takes place, save for the flashbacks (i.e., the Jermyn family background), most of which could be done in a small studio (or even, as the silent "Call of Cthulhu" film shows, in someone's basement and back yard) with some careful set designs and lighting. A few things would be difficult, but not impossible or all that expensive, with proper use of editing, lighting, and the appropriate camera angles (I am thinking specifically of the "sparring match" with the gorilla and Arthur's forebear). I mean, let's face it... if some amateur filmmakers can actually make a quite effective mock-up of R'lyeh....
     
    Mar 7, 2010
    #22
  3. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    What I mentioned is to complex to understand. I didn't just mean genetics but also God(s) hand, and space-time forces that are involved in what is reality that could change or be changed or shift, etc.

    I've never seen any of these Lovecraft film adaptations to the stories. Which ones would you recommend here: < Amazon.ca: lovecraft: DVD >

    I am willing to purchase a couple of them tomorrow, why not, but what I thought was really great were the audio recordings by the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company that are on iTunes. Now those were awesome. I've listened to the Innsmouth recording about seven or eight times and the Dunwich several times. They are not narrations, but radio theatre.

    ...but the mixed race stuff is actually quite applicable when I read some of these Lovecraft stories, not that I plan to do what these characters did, but I'm trapped although I became ambidexterous and I just drive with the other foot if I feel sad or depressed.
     
    Mar 7, 2010
    #23
  4. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    I am afraid this leaves me even more confused than ever. I won't address the idea of the hand of god (or gods) being involved, both because I have no belief in such, and because discussion/debate on these themes tends to get prickly rather rapidly... often leading to flaming (or near-flaming). So best for me to leave that alone.

    However, I am quite at a loss what you mean about "space-time forces that are involved in what is reality that could change or be changed or shift". I might be able to get what you mean, if you could give me some examples of what sort of things you are talking about there, but as it is... I am simply blank.

    [/quote]I've never seen any of these Lovecraft film adaptations to the stories. Which ones would you recommend here: < Amazon.ca: lovecraft: DVD >[/quote]

    That one is a little easier, though it depends on what you are looking for. If you are seeking direct adaptations of Lovecraft stories, quality versions of those are a little harder to come by though they do exist, usually from the amateur filmmakers or the very small independents. Adaptations with some leeway... well, you have a better option there, though things such as Stuart Gordon's films are not to everyone's taste, and many Lovecraftians view them with a rather different kind of horror. Personally, I think that, despite their liberties, they are very genuinely in the Lovecraftian spirit in many ways, and quite intelligently done films; and Dagon in particular is one of those efforts which I find grows on me more and more over the years. If you choose that one, go for the widescreen version, and after viewing the film, listen to the commentary and then watch the film again... I think you'll see what I mean.

    The Call of Cthulhu is an extremely low-budget film... yet is one of the most faithful adaptations of any Lovecraft tale ever made. Done by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, they manage to do a very good job of capturing the feel of the silent film of the period as well as being incredibly close to the text of the tale. Some aspects of it may come across as risible to some, but overall it is a wonderfully effective and atmospheric adaptation.

    Cool Air is also a lovely film, though Brian Moore took a very brief tale and added a good deal of characterization in order to make something a bit longer than a very short short subject; Jack Donner's performance as Dr.
    Muñoz is, simply, exquisite; very moving and yet with a subtle air of the alien which foreshadows the end of the tale. (Other pieces on that disc vary somewhat in quality, but all are interesting. I think, for example, that "An Unsatisfactory Solution" is a very fine adaptation of that particular chapter of "Herbert West -- Reanimator", while "The Hapless Antiquarian" is a delightful blending of Lovecraft and Edward Gorey's "The Gashleycrumb Tinies".

    On the other hand, Vols. 3 and 4 of the H. P. Lovecraft Collection (save for some of the short subjects) are not adaptations of any of his tales per se, but are very much original work in the Lovecraft vein... though Out of Mind does utilize segments from some of his tales, as well as bits from his letters and essays, as material... both for the story and specifically for dialogue... for Lovecraft himself is one of the characters in this tale, and the performance by Christopher Heyerdahl is so close to the real thing that it gives one an eerie feeling of seeing Lovecraft himself speaking. The tale that one tells captures to an intense degree Lovecraft's blurring of the lines between reality and dream, and is one of the best atmospheric feats I've seen in this genre. Dreams of Cthulhu is another matter entirely, Rough Magik (the main feature) being a different sort of Lovecraftian tale, yet is nonetheless a sterling entry in the field, telling as it does of a clandestine organization which seeks out "dreamers" influenced by the "sleeping god" Cthulhu... a number which is growing beyond their abilities to handle. Intended as the pilot for a proposed British television series, it did not find favor with the powers that be, at least partly for political reasons... yet is a very effective and chilling piece, very understated and well worthy of someone honestly influenced by Lovecraft, doing hommage as he would have preferred: in their own style and manner....
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #24
  5. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    Mar 8, 2010
    #25
  6. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    I looked up some of the movies myself and I was not overwhelmed. I watched about 45 minutes of that Rough Magik on HDTV but it was not very appealing.

    Nobody believes in God unless they are nuts, unless stuff happens that you can't explain, or that you read about afterward and who cares anyway, it is a personal thing. I don't think that God needs people to believe in him. If you did than it might take away from this life of activities. God doesn't bother most people, but people who believe in God can cause trouble possibly.

    Oh, I find this life very strange. It is very odd. At least there is Lovecraft and nice relaxing leisure time, at least unless more wars happen for no reason in which case I will follow the narrator of Dagon.

    Well, back to the topic. Yes, it didn't appear as though the movies are true to the stories. Why that is the case is beyond rational understanding. Maybe we should send those guys the Penguin editions.

    Damn movie makers! The books are enough, now I know. Now I know the truth on the matter.
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #26
  7. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    As to wheter the movies are "true" to the stories... again, it depends on what you mean. If you mean a literal, word-for-word translation from page to screen... I doubt it can be done, in most cases. The two media are vastly different, with different requirements in structure, "vocabulary" (I refer here to the techniques of storytelling and writing itself on the page, as opposed to those used in film, rather than words per se), and in the methods of delivering the dramatic "punch".

    As for Rough Magik... as I noted, it was not adapted from any Lovecraft story, but was rather in the Lovecraftian spirit -- quite a different thing. It is, in a very real sense, true to Lovecraft, but not to any particular tale or set of tales.

    But for those actually based on Lovecraft's stories, again, they vary from quite close adaptations (The Call of Cthulhu) to those which take considerable liberties from the text, but remain true to the spirit, and often provide some fascinating "readings" of the tales themselves (such as Dagon).

    However, it seems you are looking for something of a literal, even slavish, following of the text, in which case I doubt you'll find much out there taken from HPL or anyone else. As I say, the two media are completely different in nature, but "true" adaptations (that is, ones which exhibit respect for the text and for the author's vision, though making changes required by the different nature of the medium -- and, of course, with professional films, this includes attracting a mainstream audience) do exist, and some of those mentioned above fit into that category quite well....
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #27
  8. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    I think that it would be possible to film "Dagon". Modern computer animation would help to depict the monster that swims to the surface of the water and guards the obelisk. It would be a short movie, perhaps fifteen minutes long.
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #28
  9. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Possible, yes, but -- to make a professional-level film -- totally unfeasible. The cost of all the technicians, actors, etc., to do such would simply make such a thing ridiculously prohibitive. Hence something like Gordon's Dagon, which blends both that tale and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", doing an updating (both for aesthetic and practical, budgetary and locational, purposes), yet which remains remarkably true to much of the plot, incident, and spirit of the original material... even to very, very minor points not addressed by Lovecraft because they were, frankly, unimportant in a text, but quite important to conveying the same brooding, oppressive atmosphere on film... as well as serving as the cinematic equivalent of the sort of literary foreshadowing and texturing Lovecraft did with his tale.
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #29
  10. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    Acutally a 25 minute film could be done on "Dagon", not just 15 minutes. If they did a film on "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" that would take up a good 90 - 100 minutes, no problem.
     
    Mar 8, 2010
    #30
  11. Starbeast

    Starbeast Benevolent Galaxy Being

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    Writing in the style of H.P. Lovecraft

    I really enjoy the works of H.P. Lovecraft, in fact he has inspired me to write in a style that seems to be easy for me and very close to his. I hope I can get some of my short horror stories published, I would like to be the "Next Lovecraft".....some day. :eek:
     
    Mar 12, 2010
    #31
  12. Tinsel

    Tinsel Science fiction fantasy

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    His writing is nice to read usually except for when he goes on about all kinds of imaginary things. Now there is a place for that as well, but the better writing has historical support and turned toward horror. The modern world does not hold any mystery, so a good read is something that sparks interest in learning about the world when it was full of all kinds of happenings. Dan Brown does a bit of that but he should write horror. Well, at least you write horror, and I have not read Clive Cussler, but there must be a bridge in there somewhere.
     
    Mar 15, 2010
    #32
  13. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    I linger within ye shadows of Sesqua Valley, dream
    I have found just the opposite to be true, but perhaps I have an exaggerated sense of wonder. I have had encounters with the supernatural since my strange childhood, and my friendship with one modern witch has overwhelm'd me with just how mysterious this world can be!
     
    Mar 15, 2010
    #33
  14. Nesacat

    Nesacat The Cat

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    Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
    I'm with Wilum here. There is indeed wonder in the world, even in the things that may not seem wondrous in the traditional sense. I too have lived with the supernatural since I was a child though it took me some time to realise that they were not perfectly normal. :eek:

    Aside from that I personally find what technology can be quite wondrous. Perhaps it's because I'm not very tech-savvy but it's amazing. Instant communication, us here talking to people from all over the world in this one single place for starters. And of course there's all those gnomes living in ATM masheens all over the world dispensing cash to people.

    And there are the old wonders like the oceans, the same now as they were when Lovecraft discovered R'lyeh and the deeps of jungles and the heights of mountains. There's wonders aplenty if you allow yourself to see them.
     
    Mar 16, 2010
    #34
  15. GOLLUM

    GOLLUM Moderator Staff Member

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    I rather think that may the point here. At least I see wonders almost everyday here, often in nature/landscapes.....:)
     
    Mar 16, 2010
    #35
  16. J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Mercy. The world Lovecraft lived and wrote in - is gone.
    A key to many of his stories is the world that was very-nearly gone even in the earlier part of the last century. We can't write the same way without sounding like we are deliberately imitating.
    AND ..forgetest thou NOT the many others...Hodgson. Ashton Smith. There were a good number of very good 'weird' fiction authors in Lovecrafts time.
    The next Lovecraft will not write about anything H.P. did - he or she will have to create the same effect using more modern subject matter.
     
    Apr 11, 2010
    #36
  17. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    I linger within ye shadows of Sesqua Valley, dream
    The worlds that are gone may be recreated in fiction and brought to life therein. As an author, I live in the world of Lovecraft, and my work is my own feeble extension of that world. Of late I have been experimenting in setting tales in the years in which Lovecraft wrote, in some cases I've been writing actual sequels to Lovecraft's tales that pick up his narrative. Lovecraft is one of many fine writers in the genre -- but for me he is the one who proves most fascinating and influential. I return to his fiction time and time again, rereading the stories, hunting for audio readings (listening to the fiction can often alert one to things missed from reading), and devouring discussions of them (which reminds me that I need to hunt through my old Crypt of Cthulhu and Lovecraft Studies issues for essays on "Pickman's Model" and "The Haunter of the Dark"). But we cannot in all seriousness talk of "the next Lovecraft" -- such a creature will never exist, nor should she.
     
    Apr 11, 2010
    #37
  18. J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Couldn't agree more with your attitude and approach. It guarantees a small sales base, but who cares !
    Have to get in the mood to write dark horror, to me it's the hardest challenge, but I have to include others, Hodgson, CAS, Bloch, Lieber..and just try to get into the zone somehow.
    A guy like Lumley came from this milieu, and he knocks out 500-pagers like there's no tommorow, all set in the present. I'd be happy with 200 pages that added anything to the genre, which to me is still the fairly distant past. No cellphone for Cthulu.
     
    May 27, 2010
    #38
  19. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    I consider myself a literary artist, so "sales" is the farthest thing from my mind when I write. Getting in the mood can be so difficult -- but if you have the desire, you are half-way there. It takes as much desire as it does work. You need to really want to be a writer to actually become a writer. I think there are a lot of people who want to call themselves writers but they have no real desire to commit themselves to doing the work, and the only way to be a writer is to write. To be a Lovecraftian writer is a weird thing, misunderstood by many. People used to tell me to stop trying to be like Lovecraft and write my own stuff. No, I want to be "like" Lovecraft, and that is why, at this late stage in life, I have just completed a new novelette concerning Nyarlathotep. My artistic vision is rooted to writing Lovecraftian weird fiction -- it defines me, and is the source of all creative joy. Great Yuggoth, writing this new novelette was intoxicating! First, it return'd me to Lovecraft, in a way that only the writing of Mythos fiction can, which dictates that I read and read HPL, study and find those gems that will inspire me. It makes me dream about Nyarlathotep, and in those visions to mold him imaginatively, in my own fashion. Then I express those daemonic visions in the form of fiction, which is a discipline I have had to teach myself -- Lovecraft was my school, but I was, mostly, mine own instructor. What you will find, as you begin to write (and you must begin now -- stop thinking about, do it now), is that you will develop your own imaginative approach to Lovecraft's world. If you do it long enough, you will have developed the habits that thus create the work that only you can create. As you write your story, you will have flowing into your mind many other impressions, obsessions, ideas, emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares -- all of which are uniquely your own. Combined, they influence and inspire you to write Lovecraftian fiction that only you can create.

    But it has to be started now, with no more worrying how to do, what to do it. Read a Lovecraft story slowly, and as you read it take notes of words or phrases that clutch at your imagination, that weave images into your mind. Begin your Commonplace Book and write down the ideas and mind-pictures that come to you as you read weird fiction. Then begin to write, either from an outline or from a scattering of notes. And let the story lead you, as so often it does. Don't fight where it takes you. As I began to write my novelette of the Crawling Chaos, I got upset that it wasn't turning into the thing I desired it to be, a sequel to "The Haunter of the Dark." But I went ahead and let the story take me where it would. This is one of the coolest things about writing, the accidents of inspiration. You may have such a concrete plot in mind, and then one of your characters will wave a finger at you and say, "No, we're going to develop this way, not that."

    Have fun, yet be serious in your writing. Write the very best you can, which comes from practice and from reading the weird fiction of those who are accomplished. Read your story aloud so as to discover its rhythm. But begin now. The world is overcrowded with potential writers who are always planning on writing -- planning and planning, but never putting pen to paper or finger to fictive keyboard. The only way to be a writer is to be a writer. And to be a Lovecraftian writer is so thrilling, if not a road to fame and fortune.

    And when you have finished that first manuscript and hold the wondrous thing in your hand, you will have a thrill as you've never known before. You did it! And when, after a year or two of work and luck (ah, luck!) you hold your first book in your hand, or that first anthology where you are one with many others -- Great Yuggoth, what a thrill!

    But you must do it NOW.
     
    May 27, 2010
    #39
  20. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    LOL... oh, yes, I know what that's like! Perhaps the most vivid such experience was when I was working on a tale many years ago... it was going fairly well, then hit a snag. I knew where I wanted a particular scene to go, what I wanted it to say... but it kept bogging down. After about the fifth false start on that scene, one of the characters literally turned to me and said: "What the f--- do you think you're doing? We'll handle this!"... then turned back to the other characters.

    Needless to say, I rather reeled at that moment... I pulled back from the keys of my typewriter (yes, typewriter!), drew a deep breath, and told myself I'd well and truly gone 'round the bend... and then my fingers hit the keys, and the scene flowed... without me having any conscious input into it whatsoever....

    But Wilum is quite correct; the only way to become a writer is to write. You also must read, and read carefully, critically, and with a sharp eye to technique, to learn from the best how to achieve certain effects. Learn those techniques, then let them flow through your own personal prism. And this is as true of nonfiction as fiction writing, if you wish to say anything which is yours, rather than simply regurgitations of what has gone before.
     
    May 27, 2010
    #40
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