When director Jean-Jacques Annaud first announced that he would be making a film adaptation of THE NAME OF THE ROSE — airing on Sundance Channel this Sunday at 10:05PM — many were perplexed, if not aghast. Umberto Eco’s thick historical novel was a gripping medieval mystery, true, but it was also a dense meditation on linguistics, theology, the legacy of the Classical Age and history in general, from a proud academic who had previously been known mainly for his brilliant books and essays about semiotics, literary theory and aesthetics. The novel was a remarkable combination of page-turning suspense and heady philosophy —- how on earth would it translate to film, and a big-budget one at that?
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