Timeless Dahl walks a delicate tightrope
to adapt dad’s work. There’s a line between tragedy and tragedy that goes too far.
Dad used to say a good example was of children walking down the street and seeing a man slip on a banana skin. They roar with laughter, but if he’s broken his back then it’s not funny anymore. There’s an invisible tightrope dad was able to walk along that makes it a challenge for film-makers.
Why do you think your father’s books are still so popular?
They’re timeless books. The issues they talk about are timeless. Like the big giant in the BFG. It’s in the same vein as Alice in Wonderland, children having to deal with authority. Or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Everybody loves chocolate. That’s pretty timeless as well. – ANA-AP
Mara Wilson as Matilda in the movie adaptation of the book.