Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Golden Compass, and odds and ends
Yesterday I took my sons to see the movie version of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, after my eldest had raced through the three books of Pullman's series His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass). I haven't read the books, so I came to the movie without too many expectations. My son, however, had many criticisms--mostly about how the filmmakers changed things from the book--which he whispered to me in an outraged tone through the course of the film. There's nothing like an indignant 11-year-old! But most egregious to him was how the ending, he said, was cut off.
When we read about the tortuous process of making the movie (on Wikipedia), it became clear that the filmmakers had had to make many changes, in content and in theme. In theme, to appease Christian groups who were upset by the story's anti-religious themes, and in content to force the story into a movie-length one, that stands on its own but is also obviously a set-up for a sequel.
This last is what really bugged my son, and what also bugs me about film adaptations like The Lord of the Rings. I guess it has to be done if you're going to do a series of films, but the cliffhanger ending, while fine on TV, just doesn't work in a theater. Especially when you know you'll be waiting at least a year for the next installment of the story.
I haven't posted much lately, having been extremely busy with the kids. Also busy with my striking, picketing husband (see United Hollywood for updates on that crazy situation), and the holidays in general. But I'm still reading.
My book group has chosen (okay, I pushed this one) Anne Enright's Booker-winning The Gathering for our next book, and I'm very excited to read it. And I'm finishing Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, which has been a fantastic read. More on that soon.