By: Elizabeth Cate
For: Red Rock News
Date: September 14, 2012
Read the Book and Watch the Film
Over Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the Telluride Film Festival, in Colorado. At a panel discussion I attended, the moderator, author Dave Eggers, asked panelist Salman Rushdie—whose novel “Midnight’s Children” has been adapted into a film that was playing at the festival—which book-to-film adaptations are his favorites. Rushdie listed Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” and Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece “The Godfather.” A fellow panelist mentioned the films in Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy, which are considered by critics to be among the greatest movies ever made.
A film adaptation can generate renewed interest in a book, and it can help bring a book to life for readers. For me, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was a tedious read until I watched Peter Jackson’s screen adaptations. Now that I can picture the characters and settings, I find Tolkien’s writing much more engaging.
Sedona Public Library’s DVD collection contains a large selection of page-to-screen adaptations, and more are available through the Yavapai Library Network. Recent arrivals include “We Need to Talk about Kevin,” based on Lionel Shriver’s novel, and “The Hedgehog,” the French-language adaptation of Muriel Barbery’s “The Elegance of the Hedgehog.” Later in September, look for “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” the film version of Deborah Moggach’s book “These Foolish Things.”
Some of the most highly anticipated movies being released this fall and winter are book adaptations. After an almost 10-year adaptation process, “Life of Pi”, based on the award-winning Yann Martel novel, will be in theaters in November. This movie is directed by Ang Lee, who also directed the short-story adaptation “Brokeback Mountain.” “Cloud Atlas,” an adaptation of David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, will come out in October. Appropriately, this mind-bending story has been adapted by the Wachowski brothers, creators of the “Matrix” trilogy. Multitalented Stephen Chbosky, author of the coming-of-age novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” has directed his book’s film adaptation, which is scheduled for a limited theatrical release this month.
Several classic books that have previously been made into theatrical films, TV movies, or musicals have been newly adapted. Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” has been remade, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. It will be out in November. In December, two remakes are coming to the big screen—“Les Misérables,” based on the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, and the first installment of “The Hobbit.”
Certain writers’ books seem particularly suited for film adaptation. James Cain’s stories are good examples. His hard-boiled novels “Double Indemnity,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and “Mildred Pierce” are available through our county network libraries, as are the movie versions. Other excellent book/film combos include Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go,” E.M. Forster’s “Howards End,” and Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”
Sedona Public Library is proud to offer our community an ever-growing collection of over 5,000 DVDs for adults and children. Pay us a visit and discover your favorite book on film, or vice versa!
Sedona Public Library is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, supported by donations and grants. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Elizabeth Cate is Collection Development Librarian of the Sedona Public Library.