Read the Book, see the Movie

Read the Book, see the Movie

Time again for a perennial display favorite, celebrating the journey from book to film.  As you can see in the photo above, there has been a bumper crop of new movie-adaptations this year.  As you can also see from the sign and or the caption on the photo above, we suggest the order in which these things might best be done, but it’s not like it’s a hard and fast rule.

Two you should know.

Two you should know.

A perfect example of why one really ought to read the book first?   J. R. R. Tolkien‘s classic, The Hobbit. One of the great pleasures (think nerd) of watching Peter Jackson‘s ongoing film trilogy of same, is parsing what is or is not actually taken from the novel.

On the other hand, movies can bring less familiar classics back to our attention, such as 12 Years a Slave, by Solomon Northrup, just reissued by Penguin, in time for the release of the new film adaptation, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Moments That Made the Movies, by David Thomson

Moments That Made the Movies, by David Thomson

What makes this display particularly exciting though is the excuse it provides to include the latest title from the best living American film critic, David Thomson, of the New Republic.  If you are a film fan and you don’t know this man’s name already, it’s time you did. Through regular reviews and now a whole series of serious and very entertaining books, Thomson has created a body of critical work as likely to last as any film writing of the last century.

In his latest, Moments That Made the Movies — a truly gorgeous object, full of the most glorious color and black and white movie images — Thomson selects and analyzes pivotal scenes, masterful shots, and some of the greatest acting in the whole history of the movies; from the silent era down to the modern day.  Some the reader will recognize instantly, others may be unfamiliar, but Thomson’s witty and wise dissections can only make the reader want to see these films again or for the first time.

Now’s as good a time as any to read a great book, see a good movie, and or read a great film critic.  (Then head over to the greatest video store on the West Coast, and possibly in the country, if not the world, Scarecrow Video, and support a truly remarkable institution.  Bring a list, or browse the aisles, or ask the staff for recommendations.  There really is no greater resource for film anywhere in the world.  We love them.)