Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Adaptation: To be or not to be?

September 5th, 2011 by Natalie Bernabe · 6 Comments · ¶4 Bazin

Movies and books. For some reason, they always seem to come together in these present times, like cookies & creme. Has it always been this way? Well, the first colored full length film was definitely based on a storybook fairy tale, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Not to mention Alice in Wonderland, but that’s just Disney having fun. Bazin was reluctant to the idea that books and novels should be taken to the next level; cinema. He felt that the integrity and ‘form’  of the novel would be tarnished by the over-the-top cinematic experience.  Why so? Well, he does have a point. How many movies lack the true spirit and feel that the book left us with. Where we would stay up at night till 3am just to finish another chapter, or is that just me? Anyway, we can definitely name a few…


  What a complete waste of time. This was utter junk compared to the book. Which is why they haven’t even considered a sequel. It is a fantasy book following a young boy named Eragon, and his quest that starts with the discovery of an blue stone, while looking for food in the forest. The stone turns out to be an egg, containing one of the last few remaining dragons in the world. The story continues on, showing his adventures to try to save them all from the evil King Galbatorix. I was insanely into the book when I first read it (he wrote it at the age of 15!!), and really anticipated the movie. The movie itself lacked taste and it was BORING, missing important details and going away from the story line. The only good thing i can saw was the graphics for the dragon were beautiful, but I actually left the movie theater.


  This book was definitely a hard read. I had to reread it on several occasions. But I honestly did enjoy it. It held this crazy mystery, and who hasn’t heard of the Mona Lisa, to think that her smile holds something more than meets the eye? Well, this book made me think so. As well as the whole concept of the Catholic Church, and its heinous deeds. I didn’t totally hate or love this movie. Bazin wouldn’t have liked so-so feelings on a movie though. Although, true to form, it did have many details that the book had, only Tom Hank’s performance held it together. I was a bit bored that it had dragged on so long.  And the whole Jesus descendants’ idea? *Yawn*

He didn’t completely blow off adaptations, however. Although he did write that he ‘suffered’ when he saw Devil in the Flesh, he admits that the adaptation is the best one that could be made from the novel (artistically-speaking). My guess is that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy would have put a smile on his face. Many say that not only does it do the book justice, it surpasses it. Gotta love those Hobbits. Personally, I finished The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Rings just fine, but reading The Two Towers is like walking through mud; almost IMPOSSIBLE. The movies’ are definitely easier on the eyes. What Bazin’s whole idea on the adaptation to the world of cinema and literature is that they should be kept to a minimum. Just to avoid these feelings we all have once we see that Hollywood has completely BOMBED a good book.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    I wonder if Bazin would just be horrified in general at the books and films people consume these days. I don’t want to call him a snob, but he definitely had different tastes, and might not have even considered the texts you mention worth discussing. Do you get the feeling from his essay?

  • Daniel Min

    I completely agree that some original works of literature should not be desecrated by world cinema unless the director is competent enough.

  • Raaj Mangroo

    I think I may have misunderstood what you said. You introduced your post by saying that movies and books come togethor like cookies and cream, but when spoke about Eragon, you said the movie was junk compared to the book. If the movie was junk, doesn’t that mean the movie and book didnt come togethor like cookies and cream? Please explain because I might be misunderstanding what you are saying.

  • Stephen Mahoney

    @ Raaj Mangroo
    I think what she was trying to say is that most movies today are based on books that have already been written.

  • Eric Dorcean

    I like your examples. I myself tryed to be close to home by using TV series from my childhood and their cinematic counterparts as examples. I remember watching the DiVinchi code while babysitting my cousin and i fell asleep after the first ten minutes.

  • Natalie Bernabe

    Yes, sorry for the confusion, it’s just nowadays so many books are being made into movies, which looks sweet, but actually isn’t. Good question though, and Professor, he really DOES seem like a snob, although he has a point, but would absolutely HATE my taste in books :)

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