Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ideas Towards A Screenplay for "A Game Of Glory," Section 1

Anderson, Poul, "The Game of Glory", Section 1, IN Anderson, Captain Flandry: Defender Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2010), pp. 303-306.

(i) An aerial scene of snowflakes falling from a dark sky.

After a while -

Narrator: A murdered man on a winter planet gave Flandry his first clue.

More snowflakes falling.

Narrator: Until then, he had known only that a monster fled Conjumar in a poisoned wreck of a spaceship...

Narration from pp. 303-304 continues with background music.

Screen shows graphic scenes first of the fleeing monster, then of our region of the galaxy, then of the incidents in Flandry's career summarised on these pages.

Aycharaych moving surreptitiously appears very briefly with a change in the music for "...discovered how to lie to a telepath." (p. 303)

Other scenes:

Flandry on a planet described as a Merseian aristocratic hunting preserve;
Flandry at a banquet:
Flandry fighting a duel;
the Braean High Temple declining an offer of a military base on their planet.

(ii) Narrator: Wherefore Flandry walked through smashed ruins under a red dwarf sun.

Live action scenes start. Flandry and his escort, surrounded by ruins, walk towards camera. (p. 304)

Flandry, voice-over, not yet speaking on screen, replaces Narrator: The usual project in cases like this...(until)...a governmental framework. (p. 304)

Flandry's voice-over interrupted by the crash of a blaster. Action scenes including debris from their own explosion striking Imperial marines' helmets as they charge towards the house from which one of their number was shot. Flandry and the sergeant of his escort stand above the dying marine, African-descended but with skin gone gray. Stomach ripped open. Under the dim sun, blood looks black on muddy snow.

Subtitles with partial translation in square brackets necessary for the marine's dialogue.

Marine: It's him in Uhunhu that knows. Ai! 'List nay, they said. (Do not enlist, they said.) Etc.

Marine draws attention to the statue of a girl on the icicled fountain. Flandry looks up at it.

We see it.

Narrator (low): She was springtime and a first trembling kiss...(no more)

Marine screams, addresses the statue, "...don't eat me, mother -" etc, dies (pp. 305-306).

Flandry questions his escort (p. 306). Then he and they walk away. The screen freezes on the departing Terrestrials.

Narrator: Flandry was lonesome among his fellow conquerors. At least a planet bearing some Africans might be decently warm.

We see the girl on the fountain.

Narrator: Behind them the girl on the fountain...

Sound and light from a massive explosion.

Narrator, emphatically: ...smiled.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, Paul!

    Interesting, this beginning for a filmed version of "The Game of Glory." I have wondered if any filmakers expressed interest in producting filmed versions of any of Anderson's works. I hope someone does!

    I know only of a few films allegedl based on written SF works. I said "allegely" because the filmed form of Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS is simply too hideous to deserve being linked to RAH.

    I'm not sure if Sir Arthur Clarke's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, was written before or after the film. And there was a filmed form of Matheson's I AM LEGEND. And that's about all I recall.

    Sean

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  2. Sean, I have added several small revisions to this post before spotting your comment so I hope you will have another look at the post?

    I disliked both the novel and the film of STARSHIP TROOPERS but can see that they differ and that someone liking the former would dislike the latter. Even worse, a STARSHIP TROOPERS comic had a general demanding the draft! That is totally antithetical to RAH and his novel. Free men fight.

    Clarke wrote a short story, "The Sentinel", that inspired 2001. In that case, the novel was written as the film was being made. Differences are noticeable. The novel is not surreal.

    Also, Clarke wrote a short story, "The Songs Of Distant Earth", then a screen treatment, then a novel, the only difference from 2001 being that the film of "Songs" didn't get made.

    There were 2 films of I AM LEGEND, 3 (at least) of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, 2 of THE TIME MACHINE, 2 of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, one of FAHRENHEIT 451, also 2 of Philip Dick's TOTAL RECALL, one of Asimov and Silverberg's THE BICENTENNIAL MAN. One of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. Also, PLANET OF THE APES, SOMEWHERE IN TIME, THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Paul!

      Yes, I noticed how you revised your blog. But nothing immediately came to mind. What I recall of Anderson's description of the statue of the Braean girl is that it was of an alien female, despite closely resembling hurman women.

      I' a little surprised you disliked Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS. IMO, that was one of the last really good or readable books he wrote--before the started writing crud like STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND and I WILL FEAR NO EVIL.

      I am not sure a draft is always a bad thing, so I'm not at all sure I can agree with RAH here. But what I recall is that a precondition of citizenship in the Terran Federation and gaining the right to vote was to do a VOLUNTARY stint in the armed forces. And a draft would undermine a political arrangement of that sort.

      Thanks for your comments about Clarke. And I completely forgot how there were filmed versions of Wells THE TIME MACHINE and THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. To say nothing of Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451.

      Sean

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    2. Sean, I mentioned my revisions because I thought they spelled out the idea a little better but they didn't add any content.

      I think in STARSHIP TROOPERS military service was just one kind of public service qualifying folk for citizenship but RAH emphasised the military so much that people think that that is all that he was talking about. The book never fails to inspire difficult arguments between sf fans, including on that point (whether it was just the military that got the vote).

      I disliked the flogging and the glorification of the military. For once in Heinlein, the aliens were unimaginative. I disagreed with the arguments - though engagement with arguments is itself enjoyable.

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  3. There was also the ghastly Millennium, based on a short story by John (or possibly Jon) Varley.

    That'd make an interesting post - good SF books/stories that had become bad films. Remember 'A Sound of Thunder'?

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  4. Millennium was a bad time travel novel by Varley.

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