Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Based on the Book

Anthony Lane has a review of the third installment of Lord of the Rings in the New Yorker. Lane is one of my favorite writers at the New Yorker. I always read his stuff first.

Lane loved the movie, of course. He muses about the raving fans he sees outside the theater. In the last paragraph, he discusses his feelings about the book and the movie. He almost seems guilty about liking the movie. Like he has somehow betrayed his first love, the book.

As I watched this film, an eager victim of its boundless will to astound, I found my loyal memories of the book beginning to fade.

He reconciles himself to loving another. Because the second is so different that it doesn't replace the first. He writes,

It may be time to halt the endless comparisons between page and screen, and to confess that the two are very different beasts. Moments that lurk deep in the body of the novel are brought into the light... when I watch Legolas scrambling up that mamak, my mind turns not to Tolkien (who wrote no such scene, anyway) but to Douglas Fairbanks, scaling the side of a ship, in "The Black Pirate," with monkeyish ease and delight. Peter Jackson has not really made a movie of "The Lord of the Rings"; he has sprung clear of it to forge something new. He has taken a deep breath, and raised a storm.

I understand Lane's discomfort. Two other movies that I want/don't want to see are based on books that I loved, Girl with a Pearl Earring and Cold Mountain. Girl with a Pearl Earring was good, but Cold Mountain was great. And I devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at least three or four times before seeing the movie. Do I want to replace the pictures in my head, with Hollywood's renderings. When I read Cold Mountain again, as I surely will, do I want my Ada to have Nicole Kidman's frosty face? I guess it's okay, if it is done well and very differently, as Lane says.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

< ? Redhead Blogs # >

< ? Blogging Mommies # >