Sunday, November 12, 2006

Will Ferrell in a Fog

Am I the only Unamuno fan out there who notes some similarities between the plot of the new Will Ferell-Emma Thompson movie "Stranger than Fiction" and the early twentieth-century novel, Niebla, by Miguel de Unamuno?

(Apparently the answer is no: I googled "Stranger than Fiction" and "Unamuno" and found one comment at this site by a Mr. or Ms. Bongalongadingdong who also noted the parallel.)

10 comments:

Justin said...

Another no: I thought of it, then found your blog through Google.

Anonymous said...

I noticed it when I saw the preview. Then I Googled you and found the reference. Good work for posting it. I'm surprised the screenwriter and actors have not mentioned it or attributed any inspiration to it.

Anonymous said...

It is way too much of a coincidence, isn't it? I would clasify the movie as a remake, I enjoyed viewing it but kept thinking of Unamuno's masterpiece, they definitely should have referenced him in the titles.

Adam Troxler said...

After reading Roger Ebert's review,I am even more inclined to see a direct connection. This is one of my favorite novels, Unamuno one of my favorite authors. I am glad a few others have noticed this connection.

Anonymous said...

Niebla is my favorite book and I noticed the similarities after watching the preview as well. I agree they should have mentioned their inspiration for the screenplay... I really can't help but think it's not a coincidence. Finally more people agree with me and know what I'm talking about!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by doing a search on Unamuno and "Stranger than Fiction." I too thought there was a connection between Niebla and this movie.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the film on DVD. The parallels with Niebla are so striking (right down to the Professor as a stand-in for Victor) that I googled the film title and "Unamuno" to see if anyone else had made the same connection. That's how I found your blog entry.

Obviously, from the point when Harold meets his maker (so to speak) the plot diverges, but it certainly seems like an updated, Hollywoodized version of Unamuno's book.

--
Steven Capsuto
http://www.stevecap.com

Anonymous said...

I'm actually a student at UCLA and for my upper division Spanish class we were asked to read Niebla and watch Stranger than Fiction and then write a paper comparing the two.

Daniel Zorrilla said...

Neh, I'm sure you're not. My mother language is spanish and, just by coincidence, our literature teacher gave us Niebla. Also, he told us to watch the movie to do a comparison.

I feel kind of sad. The book needs somo recognition. I really don't think the director of the movie came with the idea by herself. But anyway, there are a lot of people out there who notice the relation. This is the only page i've found that says something.

Anonymous said...

There are obvious parallels! I actually saw the movie before I read the book and as I read the book it was what kept coming to mind. Check out Unamuno's "Author's Preface" of his translated work "Tragic Sense of Life" http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14636/14636-h/14636-h.htm#AUTHORS_PREFACE

I think the Spanish modernists' existential crisis speaks to our post-modern fast-paced, digitized, twerking, superficial culture that can be every bit as existential-crisis inducing.