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The temptations and pitfalls of adapting your own novel for the screen

HOLLYWOOD has been adapting great books into films for over a century, and for just as long, authors have disapproved. Stephen King loathed Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” (preferring the inferior 1997 television mini-series that hewed more closely to his book), while Truman Capote dismissed the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” based …

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“Mother!” is a startling scrambling of the horror-film genre

“MOTHER!” begins in a creaky old lodge in the middle of a forest: a setting so tediously generic that it’s easy to imagine finding it as the stock photograph for “scary house”. Viewers will recognise plenty of staples of the horror genre in the film’s opening minutes. The house is …

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How Russia went wrong, as told from the inside

Russia’s Dead End: An Insider’s Testimony from Gorbachev to Putin. By Andrei Kovalev. Translated by Steven Levine. Potomac Books; 392 pages; $34.95 and £26.50. HIDDEN within the Soviet system were able, conscientious officials who were appalled by the crimes and lies they were asked to defend. One of them was …

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The many, often competing, jobs of the Bank of England

Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013. By David Kynaston. Bloomsbury Publishing; 896 pages; £35. To be published in America in November; $75. MONTAGU NORMAN, the longest-serving (1920-44) and most eccentric governor of the Bank of England, had little time for economists. He quipped to …

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“Forest Dark”, a tale of two lost selves

Forest Dark. By Nicole Krauss. Harper; 304 pages; $27.99. Bloomsbury; £16.99. THE latest novel from Nicole Krauss, “Forest Dark”, opens with the mysterious disappearance of Jules Epstein. This vital man of great appetites and fierce arguments had spent nearly seven decades devoted to the pleasures of this world, swaddled in …

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Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s co-founder

AS THE one-time lover and lifelong business partner of Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé was Diaghilev to Saint Laurent’s brilliant Stravinsky. Demanding, small of stature and in possession of a filthy temper, he was, to some, quite terrifying. Yet he was also a bold and successful businessman, a noted art …

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A powerful new documentary series on the Vietnam war

Their children will remember, too THE great novels of the Vietnam war, both in English and in Vietnamese, tend towards surrealism. In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”, an army medic manages to have his 17-year-old sweetheart flown in from Ohio for a visit, only to watch her transform into …

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A blow, but only a glancing one, against big tech

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. By Franklin Foer. Penguin Press; 272 Pages; $27. Jonathan Cape; £18.99. PUBLIC scrutiny eventually stalks the kings of capitalism. Wall Street banks enjoyed decades of unfettered growth before coming to be seen, as Matt Taibbi, a journalist, described Goldman Sachs, as …

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Sorry, Roger: Rafael Nadal is not just the king of clay

THE RACE is on. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the two men who dominated men’s tennis from 2005-10, have enjoyed a startling resurgence in 2017, splitting the year’s four grand-slam titles. Mr Federer picked up his wins at the Australian Open (where he defeated Mr Nadal in a five-set final) …

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“The Florida Project” is a subtle film about poverty in America

FEW things open a film-maker up to criticism like telling the stories of the poor. Depict their lives as a string of endless indignities, and you will be accused of exploiting their suffering. Find and portray the joy in their communities, and critics will say you are ignoring systemic injustice …

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