Thursday, January 12, 2006

Robin Swicord interviewed

In The Guardian, Jeremy Kay speaks to Robin Swicord whose adaptation of Arthur Golden's Memoirs Of A Geisha is released in the UK this month.
Golden's book is characterised by streams of inner thought and was never going to be a straightforward adaptation. Fortunately the author was on hand to help. "Adapting is always an interpretive work," Swicord says. "Some parts are original, but you're always in service and collaboration with the author. This book was written in the first person, has a long, interior, ruminative monologue and moves around a lot in time. So I had to create a chronology. There's so much complex detail about the life of the geisha and the village that would have slowed down the story on the screen. This is by necessity a distillation. Arthur was very generous and brought us his own research notes and materials, including his unedited manuscript, which was invaluable. He was supportive when we departed from the text and didn't have that reflexive, protective instinct. When it was all done and we were at the press junket he came up to us and thanked us.

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