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Friday, May 23, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question, suggested by: Superfastreader: Books and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?

Interesting question. Books give the reader the chance to imagine certain things, to delve into dialog or a character's thoughts in the way a movie can't. It can also be much, much longer than a movie could ever be. Books have the luxury of giving us millions of details and backstories about characters.

Movies obviously can be very connected to books, but a skilled director has to know how to present the events and ideas of the book in a visual way. Actors have to often times portray the thoughts of the characters using facial expressions instead of internal dialog. And where a book like Lord of the Rings spends lengthy passages describing the scenery of Middle Earth, in the movie, it is simply there. We see it as the director interpreted it to look.

Have you ever seen a movie that was all about the mood and the music and the visual aspects that you could never imagine it to be adapted into or from a book? The first movie that comes to mind is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (An awesome movie by the way). It is about a guy who is trying to erase his memory of his girlfriend. Partway through the erasure, he decides he doesn't want to give her up anymore. A big part of the movie is dreamlike sequences, and presented in book format, it would have been completely different.


Nymeth said...

Great point about Eternal Sunshine. I have nothing against book to movie adaptations, but movies like that are an example of how great stories can be written specifically for the medium and take advantage of all its potential.

Alice Teh said...

I share the same thoughts on LOTR. That movie, IMHO, is one of the best adaptations ever made.

Kim L said...

nymeth-agreed! I think there are certain directors who definitely take advantage of the movie format and tell us stories in new and interesting ways.

alice-definitely. I don't know if there could ever be a better one