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Archive for May 7th, 2010:

Movies vs. Books

posted May 7, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in books

I have a confession to make. I like books, and I like movies, but I do not like movies based on books. I guess I should clarify—if I have read a book on which a movie is based, I almost always prefer the book. There is no snobbery or elitism involved here (and if you knew the kinds of books I generally read, you would have no doubt I am telling the truth); rather, for me, books paint a fuller picture, something a movie cannot fully accomplish. Ironic, I know, since books have words and movies have images, but books have details and nuances and, I don’t know, magic that fill the brain.

Here is an impressive and fascinating database of movies based on books. How many have you seen? Seeing a movie after I have read the book is a disappointment because I have already “seen” it in my head, and the movie can never match up, but if I see the movie first, it kind of ruins the book for me. Just glancing at the database, there are a number of movies I have seen and really enjoyed, but I never read the books on which they were based. They include After Dark, My Sweet, the 1990 film based on the Jim Thompson noir novel, and Dead Zone, the 1983 film starring Christopher Walken (!) that was based on Stephen King’s novel of the same title.

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