01 June 2007

Snow Leopard

My dæmon is a snow leopard, and I share that with Lord Asriel.

The first book of Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials is being made into a movie, due for release in December. I loved the trilogy - Pullman makes a complete world, bridging reality and fantasy with strong interesting characters, one of whom is a feisty 12 year old girl. I loved the books so much that I replaced two of my three mass-market paperbacks with hardcover dust-jacketed editions. I am leery about the movie. The books are so dense with intrigue and detail that of necessity will be left out of the movie, and that will be a disappointment.

I can think of only one movie that seamlessly recreated a book, so that you could see the book, read the movie, read the book, see the movie, and not be disappointed - and that was the Merchant Ivory film of Forster's A Room With A View. Heavenly movie, exquisitely done.

Nobody's Fool, with Paul Newman, was a wonderful movie. Years later, I read Richard Russo's book - and was retrospectively disappointed in the movie - so much detail in the book had been left out of the movie. I know it has to be that way, but I still expect perfection.

What other movies are out there that really maintain the density and detail of the book from which they came?

P.S. "Modest, Assertive, Spontaneous, Solitary and Shy" is a pretty spot-on description of me, if I may say so myself.


Phantom Scribbler said...

A Room With A View is one of the best adaptations ever made, I think. I once went to see it at a local cinema every night for a week.

Never saw the movie version of Nobody's Fool, but I loved the book so much that I'd hesitate to try it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love those books. I was terribly reluctant to leave that world behind when I completed the trilogy. The thought of Mrs Coulter still makes me shiver, and I can't help envisioning her as the popular columnist of the same name. It has been a while since I have read the books, so if I don't go back and reread, perhaps I'll enjoy the movie.

My daemon is a crow. I am "softly spoken, assertive, passive, competitive, flexible."

In other words, I am conflicted.

pinknest said...

i LOVE the pullman trilogy and can't wait to see the movie. i hope it's good. my daemon is a mysterious and wily fox!

Stacie said...

I was a crow.

I loved that book. I am nervous about a movie version, but one can always hope.

OhTheJoys said...

I loved the trilogy. I sometimes think of my children like the daemon because if they get too far away from me, my heart hurts.

Julie Pippert said...

I tried that thing on Mary's blog and ended up confuzzled.

Books to movies are hard. I was pretty happy with Smilla's Sense of Snow. The Elmore Leonard's usually keep the spirit.

Did not see Nobody's Fool.

Russo is a fave of mine. Would not like that messed with.

S said...

Nobody's Fool was a terrific movie, but I too saw it before I read the book.

And I agree about A Room With A View.

I thought Out of Africa was done fairly well...

Pinky said...

And my daemon is a chimp, which pleases me. The description, however, is off the mark - "softly spoken, relaxed, assertive, clever, passive."

niobe said...

Gosh, given everyone else's raves about the trilogy, maybe I should take another look at it.

I liked the alternative history details (for example, I think that Texas was an independent country) and the use of archaic or unusual, but real words (like skraeling).

But the plot didn't really capture my interest and I barely made it through the last two books.

Anonymous said...

Well, the only thing I can think of is Children of Men, which I saw last night, and was totally pissed about, because the plot was way different from the book, which I've read several times, but the feeling was I guess the same.