Whenever I get together with friends inevitably we end up talking movies. Movies are the new books nothing new there. I enjoy talking movies and it is not that dissimilar from talking books. There are discussions of plot, setting, endings, denouement, dialogue, action, content.Obviously movies a lot of times fall simply into the is it any good category which gets a nod or a not so good. But even this gives one insight into a persons tastes. Then you tell them you read the book.
Now this is a thing of mine. I see a movie or hear of a movie and I will pick up the book. No Country for Old Men and Crazyheart come to mind. The people I was talking with loved both movies and after we talked about the merits of both films I said I had read the book for both films. There was polite interest and some discussion about the difference between the book and the movie. Then that was it. We were off to talking about other movies.
Its not that reading the book makes one more of an authority or gives a person a lock on the movie. But you do see the original vision for the story. If the book is the bible then the movie is merely a disciple. But of course there are many times the movie is better than the book, in fact they are very different creatures. Sideways comes to mind. The movie was very good whereas the novel just didn't have the same punch. One can see the difference and of course the great example in reverse is The Great Gatsby which will remain the novel of the twentieth century and Coppola's attempt to bring the story to the screen an abysmal failure to render the magic of Fitzgerald's prose.
I do enjoy talking movies because for me it is not that far from a literary discussion. Reading the book might just be my hangup. I sure don't expect others to jump on that wagon when after all, they can see the movie.
William Hazelgrove's latest novel due out in September is Rocket Man. The story of a man moving to the suburbs and losing his mind.