Friday, December 14, 2012

A Very Literary Film Season

Sometimes there seem to be months on end with nothing I am interested in seeing being in theatres. Then, as if the clouds suddenly burst after a long drought, there is a flood of movies I’ve been dying to see. Not surprisingly, this often happens right around Christmas. And this year, it seems like almost all of those movies are based on some of my favorite books. 

While every year Hollywood releases a slew of movies based on popular books, it strikes me this season that there are more movies based not only on popular novels like the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, but on deeply important and classic works like Les Misérables and Anna Karenina. Moviemakers also seem to be trying to use these classic stories to experiment with new film formats (as Peter Jackson has done by shooting The Hobbit in a higher frame rate and in real 3D, using a two-camera technique), different ways of recording singing in order to allow the actors to, well, act more in their songs (as in the upcoming Les Misérables) and unique, metaphoric settings (as Joe Wright has done with his new adaptation of Anna Karenina, emphasizing the theme of “all the world’s a stage”). Whether or not this makes for a better movie is up in the air, but it certainly is interesting to see how these techniques are used.

So far, I’ve checked off Anna Karenina and The Hobbit from my list of must-see literary movies this season. Still left to go is Life of Pi and Les Misérables. What’s on your list?

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