Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dear Mom, the book was different, is all.

Dear Mom,

Here's something I've been thinking about: you know how people get up in arms when a movie doesn't 100% match the book?  I used to be that way.  When I went to a movie of a book, all I wanted to see was the book on screen.  The exact story brought to life before my eyes.

But a friend of mine posted something this week about someone doing a Harry Potter mini-series that actually tells the story of the books.  And I thought, "The films did tell the story of the books. Maybe just not exactly." And that got me thinking that I don't think films of books should just be the book.  Cuz...that's why we have the book.  Also, and perhaps most importantly, there are things in a book that don't, nay can't translate to film.  Though writing and filmmaking certainly have similarities, they are two different forms of storytelling.  It's like telling two different artists to draw a tree and then getting mad because they don't look exactly the same.

I don't know.  I think I just want to make more space for book-movies to be their own thing that happens to be based on a book, rather than expecting it to be the book.  Because if we've learned nothing else, it's that if you expect a movie to be a book, you'll be disappointed every time.  Just go into the movie maybe being excited to see how a particular director or producer or actor interpreted the story and the messages it shares. 

No one gets mad at people who reinterpret Shakespeare.  That's the beauty of art, I think.  Using a story to communicate a message means that things will be different from person to person.

Anyway.  I'm just rambling about this, but it's something I wanted to write down and hopefully remember.  I'm currently reading "A Wrinkle In Time" and I know there are some high expectations for the film, but I'm going to approach it from a place of being familiar with the story in the book so I can compare it to the story in the film and see where the differences are and be surprised and delighted by things that were brought out in the film that maybe the story missed and vice versa. 

I'll let you know what I think.

Love you,


1 comment:

  1. Remember when you taught "Treasure Island" to your little school children, then made a Venn diagram of the play/movie/book. I do that with my kids and all the movie books we read. We talk about how ruby red slippers look better on screen than silver ones - especially when movies in color were brand-spankin' new. We love it!