The Book of the Movie of the Book
Published on Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 1:39pm
Many books are made into movies, to varying degrees of commercial and artistic success. There are healthy debates on how faithful a movie should be to the book, which I think are fascinatingly pointless. A song about an historical person would never be expected to contain everything about that person. Even biographies that take decades to write can’t claim to be all inclusive. This is how art works. Likewise, a movie based on a book cannot be expected to contain the whole book. A director and a group of actors and film crew may assemble one version of the story, understanding that different movies could also be made from the same material. But going back to the source of my rant…
Yet, the *only* pictures on my book are now of Disney’s Caspian cast. I’m walking around with a commercial for a Disney movie, which also happens to have Lewis’s original text underneath. What I had hoped for, and indeed what I would have gotten had Disney not stepped in, was a book with words. Framing a book in photographs from a mass-market movie force-feeds us Disney’s opinions. There is already a Disney Resort based on their interpretation of Narnia, and a Prince Caspian Disney video game. We should be allowed to holler, “Hey! That's not what they look like!” or at least have the option of not buying a Disney book. Am I overreacting? I think not. Look: authors’ words are the bricks with which we build our own imaginary worlds. This creative interpretation/invention is one of the most important parts of the artistic process. Lewis’ prose is supposed to be loose and open to such interpretation, not just a plot to be followed by these Disney-designed medieval Jonas Brothers.