Reading Movies

I’m bothered. By lots of things actually. I’m bothered by the fact that laugh and slaughter are not pronounced the same. I’m bothered that customer care agents act like they are a gift to mankind, from some sort of god. I’m bothered by short people trying to be tall, tall people trying to be short and average people inventing complexes. Heck, I’m even bothered by the fact that Kenyans don’t care about the fact that of the 27 presidential presidents, my non existent pet cat would still get my vote if he decided to run. Most of all though, I’m bothered by the fact that books are being murdered by movies faster than it takes an ant to step off a pavement.

Having recently read The Hunger Games trilogy, then watched the movie I’m still a little angered by the whole affair. We have a movie that took a book about oppression and a girl who offered her life in place of her sister’s, changed into a movie about blood knives, bows and arrows. Given, the book wasn’t the best piece of literature on earth, but it sure as hell was better than what they put on screen.

And they do this all the time. Song of Fire and Ice has been, in effect, turned into a porn flick. The Lord Of the Rings was one of the better ones, yet even they lost meaning severally. Plus the battles depicted in the books and in the films, were very different. The fact is the largest killer of the publishing industry starts with an “H ” and ends with a “D.”

And it isn’t Howard.

Then again this will just bring about the whole debate about translation won’t it? I mean, even the people who translated Murakami were criticised. It has been said severally, when changing something from one medium from another something is lost. Even script writers are often displeased with how the delivery happens on screen. In fact our very own Sibi Okumu once chased actors off stage in the middle of a show for poor delivery.

And I understand all this; but still.

A friend of mine says, we are disappointed because, when it comes to books we each see the characters differently in our minds. We feel like they feel, hear like they hear and follow their every step. Maybe it’s true. When Suzzane Collins wrote about a young confused girl from district twelve who could hunt, I saw her in my mind as more practical oriented than leather jacket wearing. And when Robert Ludlum wrote Jason Bourne, the first image that came to my mind wasn’t one of Matt Damon. So maybe it does have something to do with the imagination. But I do have another wild hypothesis. Maybe, just maybe, books were written to be read.

9 thoughts on Reading Movies

  1. Books were written to be read, but don’t you think that in today’s society it’s a bit of a moot point still thinking that. I mean, i’m all for hope and believing in a world where all books are read before the movie comes out, and not just because someone said the movie was awesome so of course ‘the book must be better’. It shocks me that even though people recognise this as the premise they STILL don’t read the book.
    Anyway, brilliant article, as always :)

    Reply
    1. I don’t think it’s a moot point. I think it needs to be made. Imagine the atrocity if a novelist dedicated their time to make a book out of, say, shawshank redemption.

      Given, we don’t live in Utopia, although I wish I did. Maybe if we beat the drum long enough they’ll get the rhythm

      Reply
  2. Mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I’ll only watch a based-on-a-book movie if I’m not deeply attached to the book. This is the reason I’ve never watched LOTR or any of the Narnia or Harry Potter films Incidentally, HP went so vehemently mainstream I was completely turned off for a while, and now would not care to be seen reading one in public. (Got them on my Kindle though :) )
    On the other hand, when a movie is very successful, it tends to popularize the books, making them much easier to find. Which is always a good thing.

    Reply
  3. Yea…books are to be read but if that’s the only medium….imagination remains constant and too individually fragmented. Turning it into a moving screen gives it a defined image and thus curtail further or unchecked imaginations by readers. Essentially….reading keeps the book open…a moving screen closes its imagination.

    Reply
  4. Nice read as always, I like your view on things. I completely agree. I miss the satirical pieces can’t wait for your next piece, maybe, just maybe it will be satire 😉

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  5. Haven’t read the Hunger Games, or watched them. Beginning to wonder if I should. Tried to read a non-GOT the other day, by him. ICANT.Ugh. I like books. This is my contribution.

    Reply

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