Literature & Film discussion

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message 1: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new)

Alison "Beowulf is a 2007 animated film directed by Robert Zemeckis, a film adaptation loosely based on the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name. It was filmed using a special technique of motion capture similar to what was used in Zemeckis' previous film The Polar Express. Beowulf stars Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Dominic Keating, Alison Lohman, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Brendan Gleeson, and Angelina Jolie. It is being released on November 16, 2007."

"Love in the Time of Cholera is a 2007 motion picture directed by Mike Newell. Based on the novel of the same name by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, it tells the story of a love triangle between Fermina Daza (played by Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and her two suitors, Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem) and Doctor Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt) which spans 50 years, from 1880 to 1930." (This is not a reccomendation, rather just the info--the early review I read on this one was not good).

And coming soon...

"The Mist is a 2007 horror film based on the 1980 novella The Mist by Stephen King. The film is written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is slated for a November 21, 2007 release. Director Frank Darabont originally expressed interest in directing a film adaptation of Stephen King's 1980 novella The Mist for his directing debut, but he instead filmed The Shawshank Redemption, also based on another King novella. In October 1994, after completing The Shawshank Redemption, Darabont reiterated his interest in filming The Mist. Darabont did not immediately follow through, instead directing The Green Mile (1999), based on a serial novel by Stephen King."

message 2: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I'm really disappointed with what I have seen so far of the changes they have made in Beowulf. For starters, Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother is the Worst. Casting. Ever. Grendel's mother is NOT sexy or attractive in any way and in fact there is some debate whether she was even human. Typical Hollywood having to glamorize perfectly good original stories, even stories that have been around for literally thousands of years.

message 3: by Ron (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Ron | 2 comments Isn't that how Hollywood works though? I mean, don't they have to find a way to sex up EVERYTHING? It is too bad they made the changes they did to that story. This could have been a great movie if it followed the original epic more closely. However, I have heard great things about this flick. I will definitely check it out sometime in the next couple of days.

message 4: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I usually try to read books before I see the movie versions. Maybe I should reverse that policy and only read the books after seeing the movies so I'm not disappointed.

message 5: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Alison The reviews that I have read of Beowulf were written by people who actually got to experience it in 3D, and I'm do you get to see it in 3D? Because I see it opened at a lot of theaters here in Memphis today, but there is no mention of 3D.

I have to admit that the review that I read, coupled with the trailer that I have seen have been intriuging. It may turn out to be a piece of Hollywood crap, but at least for now I'm hanging on to hope that this could be fresh, original, and fun. I must confess, if I get the opportunity to see it in 3D with a big old bucket of popcorn and some $7 Junior Mints, I'm all over it.

message 6: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:48PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) It opened on IMAX in 3D today in Sacramento. The local news was there to interview people when they came out of the theatre at nine this morning. Some people were dressed in medieval garb. I wonder how many of the people whose reviews you've read have read the poem? I think I would probably love the movie if I had no pre-conceived ideas based on the poem (which I studied at length in lit class). The way it was done, with the CGI, looks really cool and I love going to IMAX 3D. But I just have a feeling it will deviate so far from the poem that it'll just piss me off.

message 7: by Bronwyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Bronwyn | 4 comments Also coming out on Dec 7th is The Golden Compass. Atonement is also coming out this winter. I'm excited to see both of them. Although I am almost always disappointed by movies adapted from books...

message 8: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Jonathan | 8 comments I'm curious to know which films people watched before they read the book from which the film was adapted. There are some movies that I don't think I would have appreciated had I first read the book, such as "Sideways." Sometimes filmmakers make very good choices about what to change/cut from the book to film, but if you have an attachment to the book you often won't appreciate those choices.

message 9: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Robert | 111 comments When I wrote film criticism on a regular basis, if I knew that there was a significant literary adaptation coming up, I tried to read the book well in advance - four or five months before the movie opened. As for the opposite, movies that have then provoked me to pick up the source, the example in recent years that comes most readily to mind is "High Fidelity" (which I've already discussed recently elsewhere on "Goodreads"). I didn't care much for the film version, but a friend gave very strong praise for Hornby's novel, so I took her advice and read it (it was a little more than a year after I'd seen the film). I was surprised to discover that - aside from changing the setting from London to Chicago - the movie was very faithful to the book - it just happened to work more effectively in print.
I also recently read a biography of Frida Kahlo solely because I was so impressed by Julie Taymor's wonderful film.
Beyond that, I'm certain that there are many cases where I had seen a film adaptation long before I read the novel. This applies to many established classics ("Moby-Dick", "The Wizard of Oz","The Scarlet Letter", "Anna Karenina" etc..) as well as to novels that I picked up out of an interest in the film versions (too many to even begin listing...)
But I don't think there's a hard and fast rule that can be applied to adaptations and fidelity. Ultimately, the film has to stand on its own, as does the book, and the viewer's familiarity with the source is just one more bit of information that can add insight or create preconceptions...

message 10: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:50PM) (new)

Alison I think a beautiful thing about films adapted from books is that they might inspire us to read novels that we otherwise wouldn't have (as mentioned above). Surely a new generation of Jane Austen readers was spawned from movies such as Sense & Sensibility (beautiful adaptation by Ang Lee), Pride & Prejudice (BBC version with Colin Firth & Kiera Knightley version), Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, and others. Also, one of my favorite movies/books...A Room With a View.

I also think there are plenty of movie adaptations better than the book. "The Graduate" is one of my favorite movies of all time. I found the book in a flea market once, and I just couldn't get into it. Not only did Mike Nichols improve the story by turning it into a film, but he turned it into one of the most iconic movies of all time (another example of perfectly chosen music placement).

"Ultimately, the film has to stand on its own, as does the book..." You said it, Robert.

message 11: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Another one coming soon is P.S. I Love You, based on the novel by Cecelia Ahern, and co-starring the sexiest man alive, Harry Connick Jr.

message 12: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) It could have absolutely no one interesting in it besides Harry and I'd still go see it.

message 13: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Alison Interesting & coming soon with a literary connection....Oswald's Ghost is a recent documentary by Robert Stone. One reviewer notes..."Figures like the anti-lone-gunman buff Mark Lane have their say, but the movie's bard is Norman Mailer, whose dissection of Lee Harvey Oswald is more chilling than any conspiracy."

message 14: by Robert (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Robert | 111 comments That sounds pretty interesting. Mailer's book about Oswald is, in my opinion, extremely underrated and, like DeLillo's "Libra", places Oswald against a web of intersecting and opposing political and cultural forces at a pivotal time in American history. Whether you believe he was a lone assassin, a conspirator, a patsy or completely innocent, Oswald comes across as perhaps the most unfortunate loser of the 20th century.

message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Saw P.S. I Love You today. It's one of those times I like the movie better than the book.

One of the previews was for a film version of The Other Boleyn Girl. It looks pretty good from the preview. Stellar cast. I haven't read the book though, has anyone else here?

message 16: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy (dmandujano) | 1 comments The first book I read by Philippa Gregory was Wideacre. I didn't enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl. It has been a few years since I read it but I do remember being enthralled throughout.

message 17: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
For those interested, Oswald's Ghost will be on PBS this week.

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