Words by Naomi Jeffreys
“stories make you think and dream; books make you want to ask questions” Michael Morpurgo
Indeed, the power of storytelling is powerful in books and is as important in film. And many directors have made their mark by adapting famous novels for the screen. Joe Wright, James Ivory of the successful Merchant Ivory film production company are just two the directors who have made it their mission to bring novels to life for the screen.
Perhaps there is something about the majesty of the novels which directors find appealing. Indeed, Joe Wright, whose newest film, Anna Karenina is a masterpiece in how to direct a Leo Tolstoy novel. He had big sets, big stars, a wonderful score and at its heart, all the drama which one can find in novels.
Of course, one mustn’t forget what importance books still are in society today, the book business is a multi billion pound business. A reading experience is different to a cinema experience, it is much more private, it is your world, your imagination. Whereas in the cinema, it is a director’s interpretation of the novel and is a shared experience.
What’s more, there seems to be more angst, more sexual tension in period adaptations. There was far more strictures on people’s lives when it came to love, and one had to follow certain rules, which therefore makes for drama, tension, which are all perfect for film.
But, nonetheless, both novels and films have the power to leave you asking questions, maybe frustrated at the end of a cliff hanger or an unknown ending. But, the ambiguity of a novel is what makes novels and films such wonderful mediums to enjoy.