To get to school, I have to take an hour bus ride each way. I get motion sick, so I can't read on the bus, so I spend my time listening to a podcast called Literary Disco. It's a podcast with three friends talking about books, and sometimes pop culture stuff, and sometimes other stuff that has absolutely no relevance whatsoever but is still funny and entertaining.
Anyway, on one of their podcasts I was listening to a few days ago, they were talking about the excitement around books being adapted into movies. Rider, one of the members of the podcast, was asking why people are so excited to have something that can only exist in their head translate onto the screen. Shouldn't movies and books be kept entirely separate? Is it because we feel pleasure in judging the accuracy of it? Do people want to be pretend filmmakers, and that's why after watching movie adaptations they say "Oh yeah, they got it right"?
They only spent about five minutes on it on the podcast, but it got me thinking. I mean, I was just as excited as everyone else for the Catching Fire movie. But it's an entirely different experience watching an adaptation than just a normal movie. With a normal movie, you just enjoy the story and where it takes you, without knowing what happens. Part of the enjoyment of a regular movie is the plot and the discovery of plot points. In Catching Fire, for example, I knew everything that was going to happen and was even waiting for those events. Okay, up next is the poisonous fog. Then the monkeys. Oh, yeah, there they are! I definitely think part of the reason that I loved Catching Fire so much was because of it's accuracy in regards to the book.
So I think that judging an adaptation on its accuracy is part of why we love adaptations, but only a small part. The ultimate dream for fiction readers is that their fictions would become reality. Yes, what happens in a book happens in someone's head, but I think when a book is turned into a movie it becomes that much closer to being real. There are now real people, real voices, and real-looking events to associate with the fictional events of the book. I think those visual images are a big part of what readers are so excited about in regards to movie adaptations.
That's just my own personal hypothesis as to why there is always so much excitement around book to movie adaptations. What do you think is the reason for the excitement? Do you think book to movie adaptations should exist? Why? Why are they so important to the book community? Would it be better if we all just left books alone? And what did you think of Catching Fire? Or if you haven't seen it, how excited are you to see it?