Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books vs. Movies

This morning, I was listening to Jan Mickelson on WHO. A guest (author) was discussing whether he would prefer one of his stories made into a movie or to just continue in print, through generations. He remarked that he would prefer his stories remain in print because they will continue to be read. He said that once a movie is made, it may receive hype and glory for a season, but it will fade. Stories continue to be treasured, read, shared and discussed.

A movie can help a story gain wider recognition from an audience the story alone may not have reached. However, once the movie passes out of our consciousness, who remembers it? Unless a movie gains a foothold in our experience, it will fade. Classic novels, though, continue to be read and passed on through generations. Classic novels can be enjoyed at any age.

A movie draws us into a storyline or help us fall in love with a character, but the actual novel commits us to the story (or author). Case in point: I wasn't a Jane Austen fan growing up. I may have caught part of Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility on PBS, but it didn't hold my attention or implant itself in my vein of consciousness. I had not read any of her works; it wasn't required reading in my high school. We had American Lit, not Brit. I watched the 2005 Pride & Prejudice (with Kiera Knightley) and really enjoyed it. I decided to read the novel, though, because a friend had mentioned that this movie just didn't capture the characters. That summer, I read Pride & Prejudice. This was followed by Sense & Sensibility...followed by Emma...followed by Persuasion. Needless to say, I am a fan.

I've seen a variety of movies for each storyline. Some capture the story; some are horrid. I am glad to have the knowledge of the true source, though. It is so much richer than the movie.

I think of the Chronicles of Narnia. I started reading the series in 4th grade. Even then, I could understand the symbolism used to identify characters and Biblical events. I watched a PBS version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I'm glad I had read the book first - because after watching that, I would not have been interested in reading the novel! Movies must be well done. Simply creating a movie to bring a story to life or appeal to a wider audience isn't enough. It must be appealing in order to appeal! Now that Disney has produced some Narnia stories, the stories are accurately depicted and very well done. Hopefully, these movies can be bait to lure a new audience genre into the books!

As Lavar says, though, you don't have to take my word for it! Pick up a good book today!

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