Later today I’m going to see the new play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It comes from the book of the same name, and is very famous in England and elsewhere.
This past spring, I had the opportunity to watch the video of the play with one of my favorite English teachers. As we watched the play, we periodically discussed the differences between our experiences with reading the book itself and with watching the play. While doing so, my teacher said something that I thought was really interesting. He shared with us that in his opinion he thought that, “no work of art should be transformed into another art form.” Considering that he is an English teacher, and therefore someone who appreciates storytelling immensely, I could kind of understand why he felt this way.
Many of the greatest pieces of literature a beautiful just the way they are, as literature. Why would you ever want to change something that is so special just the way it is? It’s an entirely fair question.
This brings up the whole prospect of books getting made into movies. Many of the worst movies I have ever seen have come from some of the best books I’ve read, for example, The Lightning Thief. One of the best young adult novels within recent memory, and also one of the worst movies within recent memory. Oddly enough though, some books have also been made into a few of the best or most famous movies of all time. To name a few, The Lord of the Rings, Forrest Gump, Harry Potter, and more. This lack of consistency brings up the question of how?
How does it happen that some of the worst and best movies of all time have been made using the same recipe?
I have no effing idea.
Feel free to comment what you think, because I’ve got nothing. The only thing I’m sure of is that whatever the reason may be, it is a VERY thin line. But seriously though, if you figure it out feel free to let me know and I will swiftly go build a million dollar franchise by making an awesome book into an awesome movie.