Thursday, 22 May 2008

Booking through Thursday
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?
Books and movies can offer entertainment on such different levels. The one can be instant and short-lived, the other far more enduring.
It's a funny thing, but I rarely, if ever, read a book if I've seen the movie first (except for Jurassic Park), but I'm quite prepared to see a film version of a book I've enjoyed.

It's quite good fun — isn't it? — to pick over the film version and compare and contrast it with the book, and to see how your interpretation differed from the film's, and if the main characters looked the part, and discuss what bits were left out and why! Disappointments are infrequent.
I qualify all this by saying that now I've watched on telly the recent BBC adaptations (let's count these as movies, for the sake of this week's question) of Cranford and North and South, I'll probably read both of those — I haven't read Mrs Gaskell.
Film versions can also give you a way to familiarise yourself — even superficially — with a book you may not care to read. Or can't be bothered with! Like the Harrys and LotR. I so wish the films had come out before I hauled my way through these two!
It's a big mistake to expect a movie to be everything that a book is. The two are very different, but complement each other so well, and we're lucky to have them both.
There's a hell of a lot of dross out there on bookstore shelves — a lot of books should never have been published: do you reckon there are as many movies in that category?


Marie said...

I'm like you- I've hardly ever read a book whose movie adaptation I've seen first. And then I'm nervous when I go see a movie of a book I love, but I go anyway!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm a little odd in that I will easily read a book after watching a movie and some times I find it easier to read after I've watched the movie. I don't do this often but it's been known to happen.

trish said...

I had a slightly different take on this question. I think that reading is more interactive, while watching movies is more passive. Reading requires an imagination, which is what makes the story come to life and makes the story unique to each person who reads it.

John's comments said...

I find that adaptions of classical novels like Cranford are the only way I will visit the story as the writing can so be often dreary. I also liked Larkrise to Candleford which I have read many times although I struggled to see how the adaption related to much of the book

gautami tripathy said...

For me reading and watching movies are different aspects. I watch stupid movies and read intellectual stuff!

Here is my BTT post!

joanna said...

I think YES! There are so many bad movies out there, it's scary!

alice said...

I don't like seeing a movie of a book I have read. ESPECIALLY if it was a book I enjoyed. The casting, the lighting, the acting - how could the producers have got it so WRONG? The scenes and movie in my head, as I read, *they* were perfect. This movie, the one I see now - not even close. I am usually sadly dissapointed.

Fairlie said...

I don't usually like to see movies of books I have enjoyed - I find it frustrating when things are not portrayed as I imagined...or worse still, when the movie-makers change the ending. Arghhhh!

As an exception to this rule, I have seen all the Harry Potters. And loved them. But then, I loved the books too.