Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf"

Herman Hesse's brilliant novel, "Steppenwolf"

Several moons ago, however you'd like to label my past filmic leash of tugging, I was introduced to Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf, which, as most people are quite familiar with by now, is also a popular rock 'n' roll band (that lifted the name from the novel, of course, as if they couldn't be more original!). Unfortunately, the band is far more "known" than Herman Hesse's novel, but if I could take the two and stir them together, there really are no recurring similarities, unless one wants to familiarize the psychedelically-solarized scenes of the "Magic Theatre" from the film (which is essentially a bonus snack at the end of of the flick) with the band's song "Magic Carpet Ride," then that may have some merit, because, all in all, one is most certainly taken on a ride amidst the cinematic gulps and nibbles there, as well as within the book.

Steppenwolf, starring Max Von Sydow

Rarely does a film ever stay true to the contents of the story that it is being created from, but apparently Fred Haines wanted to do it "right" and thankfully for us dogmatic ones, we were served with a delicious feast. From Wiki: "The film made heavy use of visual special effects, which were cutting-edge at the time of its release in 1974." I would suggest reading the book first and then watching the film so that you can compare as you follow. This particular film, along with BBC's 1977 Count Dracula (starring Louis Jourdan), are two of the most faithful adaptions of book-to-film releases that I am familiar with, and both are well-worth venturing into ... of course, if you like this kind of madness as I do.

As The Hitch would spout, I think I'd better be trodding off. I just decided to have my head sanforized. Good night.

1 comment:

robby said...

I love both the film and the novel. The only low point (if I can consider it as such) is that most of Harry's hindsights and meditations in the novel are a bit missing in the film (as well as the opening preface in the book which is totally cut out) due to brevity's sake. Obviously it would have taken a three hour film ala Tarkovski to develop all the stuff written in the original book anyway.

Therefore, as you wisely point out, it's better to read the book first and then watch the movie ;-)