Cube, Borges

Just seen ‘Cube’, a pleasingly good/awful Canadian ‘b’ movie from last century (’97 to be precise). Such was the quality of the transfer to DVD, that it looked like it was shot on video rather than film. The conceit was very Borgesian vis-a-vis The Library of Babel. The protagonists find themselves trapped in a cube connected to other cubes in an apparently infinite configuration. Which leads me to wonder if any of Borges’ fictions have actually been filmed and, come to think of it, I vaguely recall at least one – Death And The Compass I believe. I don’t remember it being particularly impressive. My memory’s confirmed by a quick Google returning me to the ever-useful The Modern Word, which has a page dedicated to ‘Borges And The Cinema’. It looks like the adaptation of The Spider’s Stratagem by Bertolucci would be interesting. On the whole though, my experience is that films dilute the impact of fiction and only a director willing to radically reinterpret his/her subject will equal or improve upon the original. I’m reminded of Cronenberg’s (imo) extremely disappointing ‘interpretation’ of The Naked Lunch. I’d like to have seen an early Wim Wenders adaptation of Borges (i.e. up to Wings Of Desire, not his latterday style). Who else? And what interpretations do improve upon the original I wonder?


About this entry