The Sheltering Sky
Part One: My Vision
After reading the novel, The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, it was difficult to imagine how one could transform the novel into a satisfying film. How could one imitate such descriptive settings and emotions without the advantage of Paul Bowles’ wording? Also the novel does not have the plot of a typical movie, even an action or love story, and the ending is not conclusive. Could actors today play the deep and complex characters as they are portrayed in the book? These were some of the complications I considered when deciding how I would produce the movie.
To start to picture the film, I began to think of the actors I would choose to portray the main characters of the movie. I pictured Kit as a rather frail, pretty, blonde character perhaps played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Port should be played by an actor who can generate a sense of strength and independence as shown by the character in the book. He should be a masculine individual, but definitely have a quiet, introspective side. I would like to see Harrison Ford or a similar actor play this part. Tunner should be portrayed with the right mix of good looks and charm combined with a devious underlying air which causes one to question his motives. Perhaps an actor such as Hank Azaria would be a good Tunner.
I would try to shoot as many scenes as possible on location in the Sahara. By doing this, the viewer can gain a sense of the openness and vastness of the desert without the help of Bowles’ descriptive wording. I would try hard to show the harshness of the heat and the burden of the dust which might cause one to react differently than in normal circumstances. I would enhance these sensations by using soft African music with flutes and horns.
I think central to the plot should be the change that occurred in Port and Kit’s relationship after the bike ride to the top of the dune. Before this, their relationship was shaky and they...
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