Novels are routinely adapted for the screen. What is rare is for a best-selling writer to direct the movie version of his own book. Dai Sijie’s experience, though, was still more unusual. He was a filmmaker who turned to fiction because his movie career was faltering. Now the worldwide success of his first novel, “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress,” has put his movie career back on track.
“It’s one thousand times more difficult to make a film than to write a book,” he said. And by that, he also meant making his movie version of “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress,” which opens on Friday in New York.