By the Book

By the Book

54 Episodes

You’ve read—or at least meant to read—the book. Now see the movie. Just in time for the start of school, we’ve collected some of the all-time great page-to-screen adaptations, encompassing English 101 classics like “Great Expectations” and “Lord Of The Flies,” world-literature masterpieces like “War and Peace” and “Pather Panchali,” and more. While faithful transpositions abound, there are plenty of surprising spins on canonical titles, such as Akira Kurosawa’s Japan-set retelling of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” and John Huston’s hallucinatory take on Malcolm Lowry’s “unfilmable” “Under the Volcano.” Each is a distinguished work of art in its own right, as worthy of appreciation as its celebrated source.

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By the Book
  • The Castle

    Episode 1

    Directed by Michael Haneke • 1997 • Austria

    Michael Haneke's adaptation of Franz Kafka's absurdist novel follows a land surveyor as he struggles with the increasingly difficult and bureaucratic practices of the local authorities.

  • The Sweet Hereafter

    Episode 2

    Directed by Atom Egoyan • 1997 • Canada
    Starring Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood

    Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, Atom Egoyan’s masterful adaptation of a novel by Russell Banks traces the aftermath of a school bus accident in a small Canadian town that leaves fourteen children dead. W...

  • The Virgin Suicides

    Episode 3

    Directed by Sofia Coppola • 1999 • United States
    Starring Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods

    With this debut feature, Sofia Coppola announced her singular vision, exploring the aesthetics of femininity while illuminating the interior lives of young women. An adaptation of Jeffrey Eugeni...

  • The Piano Teacher

    Episode 4

    Directed by Michael Haneke • 2001 • France
    Starring Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel

    In this riveting study of the dynamics of control, Academy Award–winning director Michael Haneke takes on Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek’s controversial 1983 novel about perverse female sexuality and the world ...

  • 45 Years

    Episode 5

    Directed by Andrew Haigh • 2015 • United Kingdom
    Starring Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay

    In this exquisitely calibrated film, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay perform a subtly off-kilter pas de deux as Kate and Geoff, an English couple who, on the eve of an anniversary celebration, fin...

  • Certain Women

    Episode 6

    Directed by Kelly Reichardt • 2016 • United States
    Starring Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams

    The expanses of the American West take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-containe...