This month, we Quills are commenting on our thoughts about turning books into movies.
Here I go . . . !
In my experience, people seem to have strong feelings about whether books should be turned into movies. Some can’t wait for film, while others claim the movie version of a story ruins the written one. For my part, as much as I love a good read, I also rather enjoy stories that take form in pictures and sound. So, while I agree that often, when a truly good written story is turned into a motion picture, things are lost, there are exceptions.
As have so many before me, I’ve read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The books are engaging, but they are also somewhat difficult to read. (I’m not altogether sure what that is a function of . . .) By contrast, I loved the movies. The scenery, the sets, the lighting, the music, and all sorts of other little details, brought the stories to life for me. There are pictures from the movies that it seems, are engraved into my mind: the Hobbits hiding from the Ring-wraith; Smeagol holding the ring and saying “my precious,” the glow around the fairy Arwen; and the firelight reflecting on Frodo’s face just before he throws the ring into Mount Doom . . . These scenes—these visions—will stay with me for so long as I live.
Another great “book to film” success was with The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I quite enjoyed the story when I read it—except for one little thing. I found the style—though it clearly worked for this story—held me back. I think this is because Collins tells the entire story from Katniss Everdeen’s perspective, providing her thoughts and reactions as they occur. Consequently, Collins often presents those thoughts and reactions in incomplete sentences. Unfortunately, I seem to have an “error” light installed somewhere deep inside me that goes off every time I read something like this. Thus, while the form used for these stories is certainly acceptable for a work of fiction of this kind, that “error” light nevertheless goes off for me—regularly and repeatedly—and that holds up my reading. By contrast, the movies are seamless. They capture the rustic atmosphere of Katniss’s home every bit as well as the almost fantasy-like features of the Capitol. Added to all that are some excellent performances. The result is . . . well . . . magic!
Up next is Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies.
Well, Ms. Robin Lythgoe . . . What say you?
Yanno . . . I don't often watch movies made from books I've read. In my opinion something seems to get lost in the translation. I was just talking about this in the first installment of Geeking Out on Steampunk, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi with Epic Authors, with fellow authors Leeland Artra, Wendy Van Camp, and H. M. Clark. Movie's can't . . .
Read more here.
Kristie Kiessling is not with us this time around, but we look forward to her return, which hopefully, will be soon. Find out more about Kristie and her work here.