Thursday, 22 May 2008

Books verus Movies

This weeks question from Booking Through Thursday is:

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?
Just back from a long day of 8 hours of a round trip from Bristol for two one hour meetings at either end of London to this question. (Yes I have done how was your day with the wife, and made a fuss of the dog so no raised eyebrows and muttering about men not knowing what a real day work is like) So got my pint mug of Red bush tea and loaded up to play at random anything labelled French music in its data base and these are my random thoughts:
  1. When I read a book I am its cast director populating the book from the script but when seeing a film of the book it often down to what star will get the audience in and it so rarely lives up to my imagination(Strangely enough when I read books I suddenly see characters as specific actors and scenes in particular film styles)

  2. Imagined worlds and creatures with today's special effects are outstanding in films- imagine a Lord of the Rings or a Harry Potter say 20 years ago...shudder

  3. Books are great for inner monologues and for the play of language so tell me how they could film Money by Martin Amis(didn't they and it was crap?)

  4. Films are great for visual imagery and depicting the grand natural order of things but then again Casablanca is neither but a great film(Yet compare 2001 to the story it was based on!)

  5. Books are portable and accessible in any environment(ok so perhaps when not whitewater rafting but you know what I mean)

  6. Films often loose so much by not being shown on the big screen (tell me that Gone with the Wind doesn't suffer when shown in the TV.

  7. Yet I find a lot of 19th century novels work best in Films, the endless descriptions of scenery and character gets stripped down to images so we can focus on the plot and the essential of character( Jane Austin for me works as a book and a Film but Dickens is only bearable as Film)

  8. Its harder to find Art house films then it is to find cutting edge novels

  9. Its harder for authoritarian regimes to suppress books then it is Films

  10. Its easier to be a writer and spread your work through self publishing or via Blogs then be an independent film maker( So it easier for me to support and encourage new writers then new film makers)

  11. I find obscure theories of films easier to understand then those of literature...honest

  12. You can snog when watching a film and still keep an eye on the story (but you lose the page and even the book if you snog reading!)

  13. Easier to eat when watching a film as got both hands free

  14. When reading a book you have to at some time stop and appear to be listening but when watching a film (in a cinema) they have to keep quiet.

  15. Nothing beats the experience of being let loose in a bookshop with gift vouchers so you get to touch, smell and look at new books(Or the joy of finding a second hand shop that just put books in vague order so you never know what gems you may find)

  16. For those in the UK point me in the direction of the film version of the 2nd hand book capital of Hay on Wye

  17. Reading a book can never duplicate the experience of 300 people engrossed in a film so for moments we are humanity not individuals.

  18. I can see a French film but can't read a French book( unless I can read French as 2nd language) and so experience another's culture that the translated book waters down.

  19. I have 2000 books and no danger that new technology will mean that they could be inaccessible if the video/blue ray/film projector breaks down.

  20. I can read books with disguised covers on the train that others may find objectional but could be seen on a train if watching an unapproved film


  1. Thanks for visiting and you are quite right - books can give different POVs but films can't really.

    Love your point about snogging and books!! Hmmm - I can just picture trying to read over someone's shoulder!! ;-)

  2. I just saw one recently called PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. It's supposed to be in Dublin, and in the movies, she's suddenly in NY, and making a trip to Ireland instead of making a trip to Spain. Ugh!

  3. Lol some great points! I've also just added you to my LibraryThing Bloggers page, so drop by to make sure your name and link are correct :)

  4. This is awesome!!! I love the way you think. #8 is so true, especially when you live in a small southern town in the US. And we both touched upon #17. I'm going to point my husband to this post. He'll love what you have to say. It might even inspire him to write a post.

  5. With regard to #19, my wife jokes that we'd be okay if some global catastrophe kept us from having electricity because we have so many books.

  6. Interesting points. I don't agree with all of them but I can see where you're coming from. Happy BTT.

  7. I agree with you on #7. The descriptions often bog down the story. It's much easier to focus on the plot when we're watching a movie.

  8. I can carry my books wherever I want to and read it wherever I wish. I need light, of course!

    I like your list!

    Here is my BTT post!

  9. Wow - great post! I love your thinking. I agree with you on #7 and I love #19! And #20 as well. Thanks for visiting my blog. Look forward to more from you. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. My what an exhaustive list! I think you've left no stone unturned here. I'm not much of a moving goer -- although I do rent art house films when available and also any with a culinary theme. But not if they've been books first (this is all with the exceptions of the Harry Potter films and The Lord of the Rings, which I thought were fabulous).

    I've not been to Hay on Wye, but it's near the top of my "places to go" list. Thanks for a fun post!


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