Friday 13 July 2007

Book Through Thurs... er, Friday

Sorry, I always seem to forget it's Thursday when it's Thursday... at the moment, am fiddling around with trying to get a house next year (need another housemate, but want to get the house before someone else does... bah)... anyway, this will be a little fill-in, as it is surely Thursday SOMEWHERE in the world... are Australia behind us or ahead of us? Not sure. It's either just-Thursday or almost-Saturday there, anyway.

This week's Booking Through Thursday is:
1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

1. Remember this post? This is quite an easy one, because my favourite film is The Hours. In terms of translating the book to the screen, I think it's fairly accurate, and certainly faithful to the feel of the novel. Michael Cunningham was certainly happy enough to do a commentary on the DVD.

2. Without question, Winnie-the-Pooh. It was a film, wasn't it,
not a TV series? Either way, it was a travesty. Amusing, yes - but why-oh-why did they feel the need to jettison EH Shepard's amazing illustrations? Why was Christopher Robin American? Why was Rabbit on drugs? Why Gopher at all? Nothing makes me seethe quite as much as the Disneyfied Winnie. Oh, and Mary Poppins, whilst a great film, bears very little resemblance to P. L. Travers' books.

3. I always try to, and feel quite cross when people don't,
but must admit to seeing Memoirs of a Geisha and The Shipping News without ever having read them, and only read Notes on a Scandal this week, despite seeing the film when it first came out. Bad Simon.


  1. Gopher was an excellent addition to the cast of Winnie the Pooh, I feel. But never mind.
    The Cider House Rules film is a significant improvement on the book (I assume... I couldn't get beyond the first dozen chapters or so). To Kill A Mockingbird is an excellent adaptation that stayed very true to the spirit (and, largely, the content) of the source novel.
    The worst? Captain Corelli's Mandolin was a pretty poor film of a superb book... I also saw a TV version of Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie, in which they changed who the murderer was. Awful.

  2. Ishiguro's "Remains of the Day" was pretty successful. I read the book first. Kurosawa's "Ran" is NOT an adaption of "King Lear" but is certainly heavily influenced by it, and it is a fabulous film (and its not a bad play either). In this case I saw the play (haven't read it yet) before the film.

  3. I was sceptical that, ' The English Patient', could be adapted for the screen, but Anthony Minghella's script was excellent, it differed from the book, I enjoyed both film and book enormously.

  4. I might have to read Captain Corelli's Mandolin in spite of the movie if it's that good . . . but then, the book couldn't fail to be an improvement on the film!

    And in answer to your question: Australia is ahead of England (I think 10 hours, unless one of us has daylight saving. Ten hours on the east coast, that is).

  5. Don't, Captain C's M is probably the worst book I've ever read! Very lazily written, packed with cliches, and inexplicably successful, in my guarded opinion(!)

  6. There is a film and two Winnie the Pooh tv series: one animated and one with animatronic animals. They were what I was raised on (the Disney stuff). It was such a delight to read the real deal this year.

  7. oh, Winnie the Pooh, it is my favourite with original Shepard's illustrations.
    I hate the Walt Disney caracters!
    You can be sorry, if you don't speak Hungarian, ( I suppose unfortunately not) because the Hungarian translation more than excellent, more than brilliant!
    Sorry, for my poor English...
    Koltai Eva Hungary


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