This past week celebrated BANNED BOOKS, one of my favorite library traditions ..I’m one of those people whom upon being told not to read something must then read it and sometimes twice just to make sure I found all the naughty bits.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (pub; 1939) — (Dir:John Ford, 1940) — This is one of those rare books to movies that are equally as good. The book is captivating and well developed, plays easily through your head as a film would….beautifully descriptive filled with landscape and human emotion. The film does well to keep up with the book through visual and mood development. One of Henry Fonda’s most memorable performances. You might have to blame this for the thread of anti-hero sentiment that weaves through American film.
The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton (pub; 1967) — (dir; 1983 Francis Ford Coppola) — I think this is one of those generational stories meaning so much in print to teenagers in the late 60s and just as much to the teens of the 1980s on film. Not a well written novel, but heart felt and full of teen angst. I can say the same for the film; not only does it have every possible teen heart throb and future A to B grade actor but it fills a need of pushing and explosion of emotion that happens to many teenagers. Along side all those cute 1980’s teen romps with Molly Ringwald this book and film offers a tight anxiety felt as an undercurrent in the 1980s as many left their home towns to head south looking for work. The movie is actually better than the book, I don’t often say that …the book is fresh and filled with over the top emotion..but the film is paced well and does a better job of showing rather than telling the story.
The Color Purple by Alice walker (Pub: 1982) — (Dir: Steven Spielberg 1985) — As much as I admire the incredible performances and direction of Spielberg – it has to be said that the book is so much better than the film. This is a quiet, privately told story – while reading it you feel like Miss Celie is telling it to you, as a friend. The film takes on a life of its own as a FILM. Its good, its so so important to watch — beautifully and horribly told story that keeps you riveted …..but …..the book in your hand, the moments you can pause for yourself…has its own life. The movie- is grand, sweeping and generous – Spielberg captures things that other filmmakers would miss but I insist that even if you aren’t a big reader you must (must) read Ms. Walker’s books.
I want to take a moment to thank other wordpress Bloggers for some really interesting takes on Banned Book week ! Please check them out! (pun, intended)