All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Watching Literature – One Adaptation At A Time

on July 20, 2014


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A couple of times now myself, Belle from Belle’s Bookshelf and Marg from The Intrepid Reader have amused ourselves by watching movies together (despite the fact we live in 2 separate states) and conducting an in-depth analysis of them on twitter at the same time. The first one was entirely by accident – Belle was watching it, Marg put it on as well and I’d seen it the week prior (it was Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel) and we had a great time. We decided we’d watch some of the other adaptations of his novels (ok yes, it’s mostly to mock them). The second time we arranged a time to all sit down and watch and chat together and so we tackled Safe Haven.

That was some time ago but recently we’ve revived this. Turner Classic Movies, my cable TV’s oldie movie channel were playing some classics, one each week in the month of July. Belle and I were chatting about a book read-a-long we were doing and I asked if she’d seen Gone With The Wind, the first movie. She hadn’t and I hadn’t seen it in 20 years so we immediately decided we would do that one as our next watch-a-long. Unfortunately Marg was unable to join us as her son accidentally deleted her recording of GTWT from the cable box!

I read the book of Gone With The Wind when I was about 12 or 13 and it actually happened to be on TV not long after that and my grandfather taped it for me. On a BETAmax video player, no less! How’s that for showing my age? I remembered the basic storyline and we settled in to watch the first half – but of course that didn’t happen and we continued on until almost 1 in the morning watching the whole epic. We admired the dresses and Scarlett’s strong and independent spirit. Also at 12, I didn’t really get Clarke Gable but at 32, can I just say I get Clark Gable now? That look, those dimples, that grin. Belle and I decided afterwards that we’d definitely be doing this again and we began throwing up suggestions of what our next watch could be…..

North & South

Pic from Worthy Of Note

This time I had never seen it and both Marg and Belle have seen it numerous times. I’ve also never read North & South although I do own quite a few Elizabeth Gaskell novels. But I’d heard such brilliant things about this adaptation and all of the other BBC ones I have watched have been so stellar so I broke my rule of always reading the book first! I really enjoyed this – Margaret is such a wonderful, strong character who goes through so much in this. Gotta love a little hate at first sight with underlying sexual tension and a man who’s not afraid to lay it all out there. And that intense stare he has. Romance aside, it was interesting to step away from London and society and visit the more working classes and the issues that they faced during this time. I’ve got the book ready to go and I’m looking forward to seeing this play out on the page. The adaptation looked beautifully done and I may or may not watch several scenes again *cough*

We were talking after we finished watching North & South (over 2 nights for that one) and decided that there’s so much we want to watch, for many different reasons. We still have Nicholas Sparks movies to watch because we like torturing ourselves plus we have dreamworthy BBC adaptations to do and slightly dubious YA novel adaptations as well. So far we have these titles on our list of things to watch:

BBC’s Pride & Prejudice from 1995 (and then possibly comparing and contrasting it with the Keira Knightley movie version)
The Notebook (and all other Nicholas Spark novel adaptations)
Vampire Academy, Divergent The Mortal Instruments Movie
North & South adaptation from 1975 with Patrick Stewart (compare and contrast!)
Dr Zhivago

We will alternate between each type – next up is The Notebook, based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel, which I’ve never read or seen. Perhaps because of this, I don’t get the whole Ryan Gosling thing that the internet seems obsessed with so maybe watching this movie will rectify that? I don’t know.

What are your favourite adaptations, modern or classic? Got anything you think we should definitely add to our list? It’ll be one that grows all of the time!


2 responses to “Watching Literature – One Adaptation At A Time

  1. Marg says:

    What else have we added to the list now? Frozen, 27 Dresses are two that I can think of straight away. So much fun!!

  2. Belle says:

    Love this post! It’s so fun! I think we should definitely add Great Expectations to the list! And maybe Northanger Abbey? Oh, and Wives and Daughters!
    As for Nicholas Sparks, we’ve got The Lucky One, The Last Song (ugh), A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle… so many haha.
    Should we do Twilight at some point too? I’m a little scared to revisit that one lol.

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