From inner dialogue to background information, many elements are going to be missed as a book is transformed into a movie. It is a challenging art form to do justice to a piece of literature. It is exciting to know that your favorite book is going to come to life on the movie screen (I don’t know if they are silver anymore). It can also be disappointing since other’s visions can greatly differ from your own. We all have our idea of what the characters and setting should look.
When I was young, I wasn’t familiar with actresses and actors, so it wasn’t difficult to believe that they were the characters that were portrayed. Case in point (and I know Star Wars is not a book but hear me out), Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will always be Han, Luke, and Leia to me. When a book comes to life with a famous person a role, it does make it that much harder to accept them as that character. Not impossible, but just a bit more work.
The setting is not going to be exactly as you picture it. It could be close, or it could be way off. It is fun to see high definition scenery compared to fuzzy mental pictures. It was a bit disjointed though, to see the Hogwarts grounds change between films.
I try to read the book before seeing the movie and I never get my hopes up. Here are some of the hits and misses in my opinion:
As I was reading the book, I kept thinking, “This is written like a movie”. I could be wrong, but I think the author wrote this with a movie in mind. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I enjoyed the book.
Mars looked right. I’ve seen so many pictures (I’m a space/astronomy buff) that it was hard to go wrong. My question is: Why is Jason Bourne there? (Yes, he did a good job.)
Ready Player One
If you’ve read my previous ramblings, you know that I’ve read this book a few times. I was excited when the movie was announced. I didn’t recognize the actors, so that was good. Some of my favorite parts were omitted and others made just for the movie. That was fine, a few more topical ideas allowed it to reach a younger demographic. I heard a complaint that there was to much CGI (ummm, it took place mostly in a virtual world, what did you expect?).
The Hunger Games (the first one)
Visually it was very close to what I imagined. Woody from Cheers was odd at first, although he grew on me.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
If I hadn’t seen “The Office” (UK), Martin Freeman would have been perfect. He was very good in this role and I quickly forgot the previous character. Set wise, it was close to my vision… I’m glad they stopped there though.
Not even going to go there…
Field of Dreams
I admit I saw the movie first. It was quite a while later that I read Shoeless Joe. A few things were different, the reference to J.D. Salinger was changed, but overall it was true to the book. It was refreshing to see Darth Vader in civilian clothes.
The Lord of the Rings
Three long books, three 2 1/2 hour movies. There were so many scenes left out, but I understand the reason (5+ hour movies?). Visually it was stunning. Jackson picked perfect locations and I couldn’t fault any of the choices.
A few recognizable actors, but that didn’t detract much. I thought the effect of the Ents was a bit cheap though.
Short book, three long movies. Should have thought harder for the LOTRs. Hey, there’s that Office guy again (it was a good choice).
The Bourne Identity
Again, here is a book that I read much later. The book is very different from the movie, so it is difficult to compare. I liked them both.
There are more that I could talk about if I could remember them. What movies would you add?
There are many books that I have re-read. The mark of a good/great book is one that compels you to return for another go. There are many reasons for a re-read:
- You missed something the first time. I do this a lot. Usually it is because I read at night and I fall asleep and forget
- It is exciting
- It tugs at your heartstrings
- You can relate to it
- It is so well written that you enjoy it just as much as the first time
- It brings back memories of where you were when you first read it.
So here is a list of books that I have read more than once, not in any particular order (not even alphabetical you ask? Nope, not even alphabetical...)
Ready Player One
Breakfast of Champions
The Foundation Trilogy (and beyond)
Cather in the Rye
The Long Walk
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and the other ones)
A Canticle for Leibowitz
The Arctic Grail
Oryx and Crake
A Wrinkle in Time
There's probably more...What books have you read over and over (or just over)?
I put my birds on a diet. They’re not really my birds, they’re the birds. The birds outside that I started to feed (of course they are the outside birds, it would be pretty weird if they were inside birds that weren’t mine…). Anyway…
Let’s back up a bit. I decided to put out some seeds and bugs – I KNOW! You can buy bird seed that has bugs in it! Pretty cool. You can also just buy the bugs, I think that they are mealworms, so I suppose I should call them grubs. You know, when I was young, my father would buy coconut fingers (chocolate coated coconut-very yummy) and we would call them “grubs”. Gross! Unless you are a 7-year-old boy. Anyway…
Birds go nuts over it. Literally, they lose their little minds. It took a few days, but finally they discovered my little snack tray outside my patio door. I didn’t get a lot, maybe 6 or 7, they are hard to count, it might be 1 or 2 really fast ones. It is kind of like the one fruit fly I keep seeing. I know it is the same one because it looks the same. I started putting my compost in the freezer because I didn’t like the cloud of flies every time I opened the lid. I don’t know what that guy is eating now. Anyway…
I woke up one morning to a tapping sound. I looked out and there was a bird pecking at the pieces of bread that I had put out. It was going stale (the bread, not the bird) and I don’t like throwing out food, I never have. I’ll eat food that is past it’s best before date. Sour cream keeps a long time it you don’t open the lid. Recently, there was some guy who lived off “expired” food for a whole year. Kudos! It is really shocking how much food is wasted. I try to do my part by not buying to much and checking out the discounted food. Anyway…
This bird was pecking at the bread, so I put out a few more seeds (and grubs). The next morning about 8:00, the same thing happened (pecking and feeding). Then the little stinker came at 7:50, then 7:45. He had it all figured out – The early bird gets the seeds (and grubs). Then, he came at 7:30 and I realized that he had ME trained. Well, I put a stop to that and made him wait. I was told that that was cruel but the little guy is not going to starve in 30 minutes. And, he probably has little stashes of seeds (and grubs) all over, most of which he is not going to be able to find. Such wasteful creatures (see how I turned that whole thing back onto them? Ha!) I know they waste because there is a squirrel that buries his acorns and seeds everywhere and I find them sprouting up everywhere. Squirrels are cute, but boy do they make a mess. That’s why I started to trap them (humanly) and relocate them to a ritzy neighborhood. Don’t ask me about the skunk. Anyway…
Back to waste. I noticed that there were still bits of seeds (but no grubs) left on the feeder each morning, so I wait until those are all gone before I put out more seeds (and grubs). Not really a diet, more like a fast. Which was the main point in this post.
The music world lost an incredible talent yesterday. John Mann, from the band Spirit of the West, died at the age of 57. My life has many memories related to this band. The Winnipeg Folk Festival, where I was first introduced to them, rubber boots, mud and all, remains engraved into my soul. Friends and future relationships were forged with a soundtrack that continues to play. Each song, like a private video, reminds me of times past that forever will not be able to erase.
I am grateful that I was able to see them at their final concert at the Commodore in Vancouver with the person that I loved. Unknown to me at the time, this would be one of my last good memories.
Spirit of the West represents a wonderful part of my life and at the same time brings me sadness because by no one's fault but my own, I threw what I had away, the ashes of an previous existence taken by the winds to be forever scattered.
Thank you, John, for your talent. You will be fondly remembered.
When I was growing up, my father would read or make up science fiction stories when I went to bed. As I got older, I began to read short story anthologies and novels from some of the pioneers of science fiction writing. I was filled with wonder at the fantastic visions of the future. Just like a child’s imagination is unfettered by boundaries, these writers were able to make the unknown their own.
I grew with the writers, following the up and comers with their new approaches, styles, and understandings. More discoveries made for more scientifically accurate writing, and gave the next generation of authors the opportunity to stretch the boundaries of belief even farther. The advances in science however, revealed the folly in some of the earlier ideas that were put forward, making some of the stories that I was so fond of just a little more absurd. While the new technical knowledge gave credibility and possibility to the stories, I missed the early days when any idea was considered fair game.
I decided to write a series of short stories in the style of the early years of science fiction, where scientific knowledge wasn’t king and imagination drove the author to create something that a young boy could read and dream about travelling to the stars and having fantastical adventures, while falling asleep to the voice of his father…
Book release is getting closer. With a lot of back and forth with my design team, I think that what I initially envisioned is what I am going to get. There were a few things that they were able to suggest to me that in the end made sense and somethings I did stand my ground (alignment, Table of Contents).
I think the hardest part was the editing. I elected to do the editing myself; in hindsight I would pay for the next time. It is so easy to overlook errors in something that you have written, since when you read it, you read what you think you wrote, not what is actually on the page, unless you read really, really, really carefully. One trick that I discovered was the “read aloud” function in Word. I caught my remaining errors this way by hearing the poems. I didn’t have many errors. Most were just due to spell check correcting incorrectly.
So, as long as everything is right in this round of revisions, everything is good to go. It’s pretty exciting. When I have a copy in my hands, that’s when it will feel real. Would I like to make a living with my writing? Of course, but I’m not spending any royalty checks anytime soon…
When I first began to write a blog, I wasn’t sure about how often I should. I thought once a week was about the right amount of time. Looking at my last post, which was several weeks ago, I now know that I am not going to hold myself to any time frame.
So, why write here at all? The same reason that I decided to publish my poems- so that others can enjoy reading them. I’ve read a few blogs here and there and a unifying feature is that you need to be passionate about doing it. I like writing. It does come in fits and starts, and most of my writing has occurred during the crappy times in my life. But a lot of it has also been a growing process, and it have enabled me to come to terms with how my life is now.
I try to tweet once a week though. I like short little bites that force you to be concise and not ramble. I hope you have been reading them.
‘till next time,
I do a lot of my writing while I'm running or biking. I rarely listen to music and I'm usually alone, so my mind is free to explore. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom many miles in the making.
"I do my best writing when I am running or hurting. Often, that is the same time…"
I don’t have a big ego. That’s probably why I didn’t pursue performing (that and my lack of perfectionism-see last post). All my writing, songs, poems, musical compositions, and sketches, I did for myself as a way to understand my feelings, problems, and where I stand in the world. But the more that I reflected on the things I created, the more I realized that maybe I have something here. Something that can help others the way that it has helped me.
Case in point: The Things You Do
When writing this I began to think, “This needs to be shared. It does no good sitting in the corner of my mind.” Probably one of the first times that I thought that others should hear something that I wrote. Is it a good song? I think the message is a common one, but it is a message that can’t be presented enough. The tune is kinda catchy as well (says the guy with no ego...)
So along with recording a few of my songs, I decided to self publish a book of my poems. I hope that people will enjoy reading them and benefit as much as I did by writing them.
Or, at the very least, be entertained.
Who said that? I'm sure someone somewhere did, so credit where credit is due I suppose, but it is very true. I'm not a perfectionist. When I practice guitar, I'm never perfect. I've tried but I find that it just makes things frustrating and not very fun at all. It's stressful too. That's not very enjoyable.
My recordings are rough, they have mistakes, and they're real. I can't (or don't want) to spend hours trying to get every note perfect, that's not me. My writing isn't the best that it can be but it's me.
That is what matters. I'm not perfect, you're not perfect - no matter what your parents have told you. But that's life, life is imperfection. Except for that one sunset, that one rainbow, that one moment when you stop and take in the world, and even then there is something that could be better. That's what to strive for.