John Le Carrée is one of the most accomplished authors of the English language. His novels are both commercial and literary. Here is a brief interview Tomas Alfredson, who has adapted this work to the screen. The TV series of years ago was fantastic, and the bits I've seen of this movie matches it. Both doing great service to this masterful work.
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On Adapting le Carre: 'PW' Talks with Filmmaker Tomas Alfredson
By Mike Harvkey
After breaking out with the startlingly poetic vampire film, Let the Right One In, Swedish auteur Tomas Alfredson shifted gears and embraced English to adapt John le Carré’s canonical novel,Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, to the screen. Largely set in England in 1973, the film features a who’s-who of British talent, including Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, and Gary Oldman, as career spy George Smiley.
How is a film about the Cold War relevant today?
I’m not especially interested or educated in the Cold War. Nor vampirism. For me it’s trying to find stories that are suitable for film and that make you shiver. For me this is was a story about faith, to be faithful, and a nuanced look at friendship and fidelity. So, the Cold War thing, it’s an interesting era and period and a good backdrop for a story because it’s very black and white, but everything in front of it is kaleidoscopic. For an adaptation of a book, your film is surprisingly quiet. Do you worry that it’s too subtle? Working on a foreign-language film forced me to find different expressions besides the lingual. We tried to do that with Let the Right One In as well, to do it as a silent movie, where the dialogue adds just a poetic layer to the story. You could actually turn off the sound on Let the Right One In and understand what happens. It wouldn’t be possible with this film but I try to create as much silence as possible. Too many films, at least for me, I know what’s going to happen in every scene. It’s so boring to watch things where everything is clarified. The most interesting thing is to create a dialogue. I give you 10 suggestions for this scene, work it out for yourself.