Daily Diary discussion

Books vs. Film

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
How do you see the world of books vs. that of film? I really find that the world of books often stay with me more inside my head when I'm doing other things because I'm using more of my imagination to carry that world. A great film puts me in a definite world but the visual image of the world is still created by the film-maker/actors not my imagination. A great film does have great power by its definite, specific vision. A great book though can be re-read I think and grow as we age a lot more than a great film. Any thoughts?


message 2: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) It all depends on how the film is presented and how faithful it is to the book. I thought that even though Peter Jackson left huge chunks out of the movies and injected some 'adventure genre humour', the movies still stayed true to the spirit of the books. I'm sure that as a result of the movies there are many more people who read the books than would have otherwise. Same with the Narnia movie. And as for imagery, if the film-maker has done a good job - it just extends our imagination...it is quite nice to 'tweak' our own ideas of how things should look. I see it as an added resource to draw on. Then there are the dreadful disappointments, like Eragon....the movie was tat in comparison to the book. You are right about revisiting books as we age and mature....we get more from re-reading in relation to our life experiences as they accumulate.

message 3: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I find that once I see a movie, my image of a character is sort of cemented...the Harry Potter movies/books come to mind.

message 4: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (shannonc73) | 7 comments I agree with the image of a character being cemented once I see the movie. The books always seem to stay with me more, though. I am guessing because they are usually so much more detailed.

message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa For me, the worst part is comparing the two, the book versus the film. When I've read a book and then the movie is announced I always struggle with whether or not to see it. Sometimes, the film is actually better than the book. (The first example that comes to mind is Must Love Dogs, cheesy I know). I haven't seen Twilight because I really loved that book and I'm terrified that I'll trade all my images and impressions for what the movie shows me. I agree with you guys about the Harry Potter movies. Reading the books released after the movie, I found I pictured and "heard" the actors instead of the descriptions in the book. I wonder if JK Rowling had that problem writing them? I find that if I've seen the movie, I won't read the book. What about you? Will you read the book after seeing a movie based on it?

message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Books vs Film are two very different media, and I find it difficult to compare the two, even when it comes to films made from books.

The power of words and imagination is amazing, but I also love the power of imagery and the pacing of a story, combined with the music, and of course, good performances.

I have read books after seeing the movies, and vice versa, and I don't really have a problem with them. It is true that movies rarely live up to the book, but should they? I think it depends on the reasons for making the film. Sometimes, a filmmaker has such a strong reaction to a book, they are compelled to bring it to the screen. These tend to work better than those that simply want to capitalize on the popularity of a book.

One of my all time favorite books, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" I might never have read if I hadn't seen the movie (also one of my favorite movies.) I could tell when watching, that there were many layers of meaning that would be explored in the book that were absent in the film, but the film did a fantastic job of synthesizing grand ideas into small scenes.

Also, when the director adds their own snippet that is missing from the book, I find it very interesting. In the unbearable lightness, there is a marvelous scene between the two female leads that is nowhere to be found in the book, and is one of my favorite scenes.

Of course, no one will ever agree on this, even in terms of a particular movie.

I disagree on the whole cementing of images. I can read Harry Potter without picturing the characters from the movie, except those who were so perfectly cast, they seemed to jump from your imagination, like Hagrid, and Ron. Hmmm, maybe I'll go plug in Order of the Phoenix today.

Happy New Year

message 7: by Harlequin (new)

Harlequin Historical (historical) Will you read the book after seeing a movie based on it?

If I enjoyed the movie, then definitely because i usually like the book more than the movie. So, if the movie was good, almost always the book will be better. IMO

As for the Harry Potter movies, they didn't disrupt my pleasure of the books in the least. Actually, the movies were always a disappointment when I compared them to the books. I enjoyed them and watch them often but the books are so much better and no, the movie characters do not replace the book characters in my mind's eye. No matter how good an actor is, they can never replace the image the author has given me. Rowlings does a beautiful job describing the charcters that nothing could interfere with the image I created. I do agree that Hagrid and Ron did a great job protraying their characters in the movies (for Ron especially the second movie). But, I still have my own thoughts of what he/they look like from the book and what they would sound like.

message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea My favorite Ron moment: "Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies?" With that perfect sqeuak to the voice.

message 9: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 100 comments Mostly the book is better than the film. I usually try to read the book months/years before I see the movie so my visualizing the characters become cloudy. I am usually disappointed with the movie version. One I am waiting to see is Blindness, not sure how that will work with the film.

When I was teaching literature to middle schoolers we would read the book and then watch the movie and have them compare/contrast the two. I wanted them to discover on their own how much more powerful the books usually are. Even the kids realized that, it was a good a teaching moment.

message 10: by Beth (new)

Beth I agree that for the most part, I like the book better than the film - you can get into so many more layers and details in a book and it is so powerful. However, I also love so many film interpretations. It gives me an opportunity to see what someone else reads into a story - what their visions are. Even thought there are many "what were they thinking" moments after I see some of these movies.
In film,I loved "The Hours", "A Beautiful Mind", "Gone with the Wind" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. All did sway from the original written work (especially A Beautiful Mind), but the films were amazing just the same. When I saw "Cold Mountain" I loved Renee Zellweger's portrayal of Ruby. This was not one of my favorite books, but I thought she did a brilliant job with that character.
I prefer to read the book first, so that I can develop my own ideas & interpretations and then I love the chance to enjoy someone else's - even if at times, it is a HUGE letdown.
Meg, your teaching story reminds me of my daughter and "Because of Winn Dixie". She read the book in her 3rd grade class and then they went to see the movie. They all loved the book and none of them liked the film. It was so interesting. When the started talking about what was left out or changed in the film, one of the girls said "then why make the movie at all?". It was a fabulous conversation. We were thrilled that the girls all decided that the book is the preferred medium! When "Bridge to Terabithia" came out, the kids opted to stick with the book and never did see the movie. A lesson learned and applied!

message 11: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments I TRY to take them as two different entities altogether and not compare if I can avoid it. Of course it is sometimes hard not to.

message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 53 comments I love Harry Potter movies - they're as good as possible comparing to books. I didn't like The Man in the Iron Mask with Leonardo Di Caprio

message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim | 41 comments I read NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN after I saw the movie and it helped me understand the movie more

At the same time it made me appreciate how good of a job the director did in presenting the story accurately on the screen and so reading the book and the seeing the film both ended up being better experiences for me

anyone have that happen with another book-movie combination?

message 14: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) I love the Danish movie The Vanishing, but some of it is a little confusing, especially people's motives for what they do throughout the movie. Reading Tim Krabbe's book cleared up A LOT.

Unlike Beth, I think I prefer to watch the movie first. I find that I will just about always enjoy the book no matter what I thought about the movie. I guess it's because I like reading and savoring more than sitting and viewing or a good writer knows more what he's doing than an even competent director.

If I know a movie is going to deliver surprises or a twist, I definitely would rather watch before reading. I'm dying to read Let the Right One In, but I'd rather be surprised by the movie than know what's going to happen.

message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim | 41 comments Tressa wrote: "I love the Danish movie The Vanishing, but some of it is a little confusing, especially people's motives for what they do throughout the movie. Reading Tim Krabbe's book cleared up A LOT.

Unlike B..."

I loved THE VANISHING movie but never read the book
what's LET THE RIGHT ONE IN about?

message 16: by Tressa (last edited Mar 04, 2009 09:39AM) (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) Let the Right One In is a Swedish book/movie about vampires. My co-worker who is a big movie buff said it's one of the best movies he saw last year. Both the book and movie are supposed to be really good.

The Vanishing book (Golden Ei?) explains the story much better than the movie, especially why Rex made the last move. That ending has always haunted me because it's one of my biggest fears.

message 17: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 23 comments I love to compare the book to the movie, but I generally try to read the book first... when I hear of a movie being made (Atonement comes to mind) and it's based on a book, I make a mad dash to the library to read it in time. Usually (not always) a book adds a layer of richness to a movie and becomes complementary (The English Patient was like that-- and in that case, I read the book because I loved the movie so much).

I'm always amazed at what an adapted screenplay can become when based on a book. And oddly enough, even when you watch the movie, because it's been translated by someone (usually other than the author), I often find myself surprised by the writer's, actor's or director's choices...

Right now I'm reading The Reader (a little redundancy there)... and I'll admit it, I've got Kate Winslet in my head because I know she's in it-- but she also seems to fit the role perfectly... so far.

message 18: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) Sometimes the movie is 100 times better than the book. Forest Gump the movie trumped the book because the characters were so much more interesting in the movie. I just didn't like the book and I read it years before the movie was made. The book was not as interesting or concise as the movie; it didn't make a connection with me.

I love how the short story Brokeback Mountain was fleshed out so well into the wonderful movie.

I enjoyed Ghost World the movie, but the graphic novel is so much better. The movie was a lot different in that the Steve Buscemi character had such a big, important role.

The Hours movie and book were equally perfect.

message 19: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) I definitely try to read (or listen to) the book first before stepping into the movie theater or renting the movie, because I prefer my visualization/imagination to be unspoiled by another's interpretation.

However, there are some books that I've begun which I end up having a difficult time getting in to, and the movie might just spark my interest to find out more by reading the book.

back to top