Thanks to idragosani for this reference.

So, it’s in production. Flatland The Movie. Based on the book by Edwin Abbot.

This is not to be confused with the independent “Flatland the Film

It is obvious that the film will not be able to replicate the book.

On the surface I am minorly twigged by the animation. You see shapes riding about ontrains and cars. The plot and animation and casting suggests that they have done away with Abbot’s less than subtle poke at the treatment of women in society at the time of the book’s publishing. And the shapes are all in colours.

That being said… where do you go with this concept if you were to go to a movie?
It’s all about the square in his society. A society based on allegory of the problems and limitations of our own society. And he meets someone who ‘takes him beyond’ helps him transcend his beliefs.

I think the film will have more of a chance of success if it doesn’t try to be everything in the book, but get the spirit. Personally, the film could be as downright subversive as some of the early stuff by Walt was (if you knew what you were looking at).

One commenter on Digg hazarded, “I’d like to see the Planiverse movie. (AK Dewdney)”

I am torn on this idea too. While the story (with its human counterparts and high attention to detail) might make it easier to create a faithful film reproduction… I think the concept is more important.

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of faith. Films of late (especially remakes or conversions from novels) have been revenue generators based on equations. They aren’t interested in what made the original a success, they are interested in capitalizing on the name of the previous success carrying something they think is popular.

Case in point: Rollerball (1975). For those unfamiliar, Rollerball was a science fiction film that took place in the ‘not-too-distant’ future. Countries had been replaced by Corporations that were based in major cities. Instead of Wars… disagreements were carried out by a team from each coorporation playing a dangerous game called Rollerball. Pay no attention that it was based on the 70’s craze of “Roller Derby”. The hook of the film comes when one player is realized to be ‘too good’ for the game, the corporations must remove him (though bribery, cajoling or manipulation) to prevent the balance of corporate society from falling over.

In short a stunning film about one man standing up against an army of ‘them’

In 2002, MGM released a remake. Producer/Director John McTiernan went so far to say, “We’re an action movie that won’t get mired in all that socio-political stuff. (I can’t find a reference). Gone is the future utopian society. Gone is all of the analytical world view than still shows the strength of one mans character. Let’s just have people beat each other up. Because beating each other up is what it’s about.

I fear that at worst, Flatland will be a CGI spectacular (at least CGI on a level that is neither Dreamworks nor Pixar^H^H^H^H^H Disney. At best it will be a fusion of Abbot’s writing, modern social undertones, and subversive ways to climb out of the singlemindedness that so many are guilty of.

Only time will tell. As for me… I’m just little flat words on your screen. What do I know ;?)

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