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The Dark has fallen flat

I loved Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising series when I was an adolescent. It was one of those rare books that seem to alter your vision and internal narrative while you read them, so strongly do they convey a series of moments and a point of view. Once when I was miserable in college I snuck away for a day to the local city library and read the first book. The familiar myth was exactly the comfort I needed.

So I was sorry to read my first review of the movie and learn that, Christopher Eccleston notwithstanding, it's apparently terrible.

I usually avoid film versions of books that mean/meant a lot to me -- that's why I haven't seen Narnia, despite it getting actual good reviews -- and this seems like the obvious example of why.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
platypus
Oct. 8th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
The Narnia movie was good, in that it was faithful, but I'm not sure it was necessary, you know? There was nothing there that a childhood's worth of imagination hadn't already conveyed. My big fear with seeing a movie of a beloved book is that the images in the movie will become indelibly associated with the story, and that I'll lose the details that my own mind came up with in favor of them. That hasn't happened, but I only saw the movie once, and I've read the books many, many times.
np_complete
Oct. 8th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
My big fear with seeing a movie of a beloved book is that the images in the movie will become indelibly associated with the story, and that I'll lose the details that my own mind came up with in favor of them.

Yes, exactly.
kalleah
Oct. 8th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
It wasn't necessary, although Jim Broadbent was surprisingly close to how I've pictured the Professor in my head.

The movie I can't bear to see will be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. That is easily the most evocative and imaginative of the series (at least to me). The whole scene with Lucy and Edmund and Eustace falling through the painting ... I don't think I can watch and see someone else's CGI vision of my childhood.

Or, The Last Battle, with everyone going further up and further in ... my heart quakes at the idea. Some dreams should not be laid out so bare.

Now, that being said, I did have some trepidation about seeing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I loved it. I think having a subject where there is no canon to screw up helps. Which canon would you go with? Book? Radio? TV? Or even the video game? The movie was worth it for the dolphin song and dance number.
np_complete
Oct. 8th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
Funny, I wasn't worried at all about Hitchhiker's, and I'm definitely fond of that. It might be partly the age I was when I first encountered it, partly the tone of the work, and partly that I was very aware of Douglas Adams as a real person who was writing it (and having a hard time doing so.) Plus, it was popular. The Dark Is Rising and to a lesser extent, Narnia, felt like personal discoveries, secret adventures. Hitchhiker's didn't. It was something that lots of people I knew were sharing in.
kalleah
Oct. 8th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
That makes sense to me. The Narnia series is so deeply personal to me -- I adore Adams, but I feel like I'm sharing him with the world in a way I don't with Narnia. It's mine, regardless of how many other people have read it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )