So I missed class today so this might be totally off topic but I've been thinking about something Belinda tweeted the other day. Here it is for everyone's sake...
unbearablylight just watched Alice in Wonderland with Whoopi Goldberg. Literature looses something when the visual is handed to you, sometimes.
I was going to respond on Twitter but I can't make a long enough tweet to say everything I want to. I recently watched the movie Lolita (I've read the book before) and while it was okay, so much of Humbert's character was lost on screen. The actor wasn't terrible or anything, it was just too immense of an undertaking for anyone I think. And I realized that, in my opinion, that is true of all novels made into movies. Lolita, The Grapes of Wrath, Fear and Loathing, A Clockwork Orange, and yes, even Harry Potter. After pondering, I've come up with a possible reason why.
"There he stood, in that same green shirt-a tall and lanky boy of seventeen."
That probably took you at least a second to read and get a vague picture of the guy. But in a movie, all of that description is gone in a second. What took a slight moment to read has been erased. It doesn't seem like much, but take a whole book of those few seconds and you've lost a lot. One of the greatest examples of this, in my opinion, is the movie Fight Club. As popular as that movie is with kids our age, so many of them never catch the multiple personality aspect of the main character Tyler Durden. The movie is fine, but cannot even compare to the book. The whole Madonna song/poem thing recently reminded me of an assignment I had in my sixth grade English class. We were about to start studying poetry, and our homework was to go home and print off the lyrics of a song we liked and bring them to class. I did "Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam. When we brought them into class, we then did the typical marking of the stanzas and rhyming scheme ect. Her point was to show us that poetry isn't always long and confusing and in literature books. Looking back on that now, with a greater understanding of poetry, I can see where people need to see a deeper meaning in the Madonna song in order to consider it poetry, but poetry isn't those Madonna words natural form, eh? Just like a movie isn't Lolita's intended form. Sure, tons of songs do have a deeper meaning than just the lyrics, but lots of awesome songs would fall, well, flat on paper. Then I got all curious wondering, well, what if you took your favorite movie (that's not based on a book) and tried to make it into a book? I was imagining the movie Blow, because it was the movie I watched most recently. It's kind of... impossible to imagine, no? And as long as we are considering TV shows literature, one of my very favorite TV shows, Arrested Development, is going to be made into a movie this year, and I know lots of fans are apprehensive about how it will translate into a movie. I mean criticizing that Madonna song for not being a good poem is like the same as criticizing meat for not being good in cookies. Well maybe not the quite exactly the same...but I hope this made sense to at least one person, my thoughts tend to not come out as organized as I would like.