Over the course of his three-decade writing career, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham has had multiple occasions to observe how the worlds of literature and cinema collide. As one of American fiction’s most acclaimed authors, he’s helped to bring two of his most beloved novels, The Hours and A Home at the End of the World, to the big screen, and in 2007, he worked with Susan Minot on the film adaptation of her book Evening. In the latest episode of Adventures in Moviegoing, now streaming on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, Cunningham sat down with Rome Film Festival artistic director Antonio Monda to discuss the challenges of adaptation, the ways in which the collaborative nature of filmmaking has offered him respite from the insularity of fiction writing, and the truth about why great novels so seldom translate into great cinema. Along the way he makes a few revelations that may surprise fans of his exquisitely controlled human dramas, such as his obsession with the horror genre. Watch an excerpt from the interview below, then head over to the Channel for the full episode and ten of Cunningham’s favorite films, including Knife in the Water, Lola Montès, and Scenes from a Marriage.
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