Fantastic Cinema : 5 films to discover RICHARD MATHESON

Petite riddle : What is the common point between the truck’s evil Duel, the first film of Steven Spielberg, and the robot boxer led by Hugh Jackman in Real Steel ? They are both born of the imagination of a visionary writer, Richard Matheson, who has enriched american literature of more than two-hundred new or novels related to science fiction, horror as the polar. In the sixty-year career, this modern storyteller of loneliness and fatalism, of course, was courted by the cinema and television. A screenwriter for The Fourth Dimension , and Star Trek in the sixties, he collaborated with Roger Corman at the same time, to format the new Edgar Allan Poe in a series of eight films, which is enough to score deeply into the collective imagination of America, and to influence young moviegoers who will become George Romero, Chris Carter and Stephen King in the following decades. To celebrate the link by which Matheson was written to the screen, I provides you with a list of five adaptations of his novel or novels.

 

The MAN WHO SHRINKS



Released in 1957, directed by Jack Arnold, with Grant Williams, Randy Stuart and April Kent

Following a radioactive contamination, a man sees with dismayed his body decrease in size. To such an extent that it becomes the prey of a cat and a spider. Bravely, he participated in the discovery of his universe.

First adaptation of a novel by Matheson on the big screen, The Man who shrinks has since become a classic of the adventure film in the United States, with it remarkable and does not occur in the sets the conventional of a jungle or any outside wild and hostile, but inside a house. This environment yet familiar to most of the audience, finds here a new-look full of traps and dangers, of which the dramatic is enhanced by the video play on proportions, and the use of accessories not up to standard. In the fifties, in the absence of barnum digital, the technicians had to make several versions of these sets and accessories, at different scales corresponding to the steps of the narrowing of the hero. It should be noted that Alexander Payne is preparing a tribute to this classic titled Downsizing.

 

I AM LEGEND



Released in 1964, directed by Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo Ragonawith Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia and Emma Danieli

Dr. Morgan, now the lone human in a city victim of a pandemic, and the inhabitants exhibit all of the symptoms of the vampire, hand on a daily basis by liquidating a few of them before heading back to the barricade at him in the dark of the night.

Many literary critics consider Matheson as the inventor of the modern myth of the zombie, by the dimension of invasion urban away today to his haitian roots. If this Italian adaptation of 1964, presents the creatures as vampires by the classic features (sun harmful, thirst for blood), their ambulation, as well as the acculement of the survivor in a place blocked off, and lays the groundwork for the Night of the living dead and the other Walking Dead. Charleton Heston will resume the role in The Surviving seven years later, the variations in the representation of post-apocalyptic are worth a look; even if this second adaptation, such as that of Francis Lawrence in 2007, forget about the displacement of the point of view to the sect of the infected, which proposed a reflection on the concept of civilization while justifying the original title of the novel.

 

THE HOUSE OF THE DAMNED

Released in 1973, directed by John Hough, with Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall and Clive Revill

In order to discover the mysteries of “the house of the damned”, a team composed of a couple of physicists, a medium and a survivor locks himself for a week in this house, where it appears either dead or crazy.

Unlike the two films mentioned above, the scenario of The House of the Damned has not been signed by the author of the novel original. At this time, Matheson her stories horror gothic television, and preferred to leave this adjustment to a team of English, because this old country haunted was then the bastion of the genre, thanks in particular to the productions of Hammer and Amicus. Thanks to this decorum-rich mist and creaking doors, the writer dusted off a type of traditional narrative by combining the approaches of psychological and parapsychological. The seventies were marked by the film of their claw, by the atmosphere exacerbated, which materializes all the sensual from the female characters.

 

BEYOND OUR DREAMS

Released in 1998, directed by Vincent Ward, with Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr and Annabella Sciorra

The death of their children has removed Chris from his wife Annie. When in his turn he dies, Chris is reborn in a land of unlimited was born out of his imagination, and whose paintings of Annie draw the contours. A world of revelations, and conflicting emotions.

Here is another facet of Matheson : the sentimental; facet already being exploited by the cinema in 1980 as Somewhere in time, melodrama in which a romantic relationship should be to the test of time travel. Beyond our dreams continues the questions about the fate of beloved novelist, dealing this time with its main character, a fight against the current of the world of the dead to the living world, inspired by the myths ofOrpheus and of Beatrice. On its release, this adaptation was a technical tour de force, and although it was considered a tire-weepy and a little grotesque; it deserves the interest of the enthusiasts of fantastic for the character dante (this is the case to say) of his visual universe.

 

THE BOX

Released in 2009, directed by Richard Kellywith Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella

Norma and her husband lead a quiet life in a small town in the United States until the day a mysterious box is deposited in front of their home. A few days later, the enigmatic Arlington Steward tells them that by pressing the red button on the box, they would receive 1 000 000 $, but this would result in the death of a stranger.

From a writer of the Fourth Dimension and Duel, you can expect the concepts, particularly the twisted, whose main protagonists are struggling to get out. It is precisely to the famous fantasy series that Matheson had written the script of The Box, before Richard Kelly, a young prodigy follower of paradoxes and temporal relationships of cause and effect, sign this adaptation, which he will unfortunately distort the effectiveness of the concept and complicates the narrative. Even if it is not always easy to disentangle the postulate of metaphysical work; by the iconic presence of Frank Langella and his way of expanding some ranges of space-time, this film has an appeal Lynchien which is worth the detour.

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