A Tale Of One Story
Does reading the book ruin the movie? Vice Versa?
That used to be a struggle for me. Seeking the best version and ignoring the rest, regardless of how good they might be.
My perspective has changed. I've started thinking of adaptations like song covers. Write a great tune, someone will cover it. Write prose that resonates souls and some will tell the story again. Landing on a screen instead of text is secondary.
The analogy works at another level: It's really easy to think you can cover a killer track. Turns out, most people can't and end up shitting the bed. If you try, best make sure you're ready and bring your a-game.
A Tale Of Two Versions
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...--
The thing that clicked for me is that listening to a shitty cover doesn't diminish the original for me. I forget it pretty quickly unless it's sooo bad as to be remarkable in its own right. Even then, it becomes it's own thing.
And, just because a book is great doesn't mean the movie is going to suck. It simply means there's a super high bar to hit. But, there's no requirement to hold onto every detail of the original.
Words and images are different tools. They works in different ways. Trying to covey the same feeling in the same way in different mediums is doomed to fail. Akin to dancing about architecture.
Also, it's art. Who the hell wants to make the exact same thing again? That's for the assembly line. Not the creative.
A Tale Of Mercy
I started thinking about this when discussing Silo on Mastodon. It started as a book, then got turned into a show. It's the same story, but a different version, highlighting different parts and different interpretations.
The best music analogy I can think of is these versions of Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Even if you're not into jazz, listen for a few seconds of each to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
It's the same song.
Except it's totally not.
Except for the part where it is.
I think of the first version like a book. The printed page. More subdued with a low reading light. The second version is like a movie. The mechanics of brining in The Dirty Dozen Brass Band makes having the same vibe impossible. The say way staring images is different from staring at text.
You have to do something different because you're using different tools on the same source material. So, make it your own.
A Tale Of Hope
We are made of star-stuff and stories. Our bodies from one. Our minds for the other.
The stories we tell each other effect the stories we tell ourselves. And, the stories we tell ourselves create our reality. By telling and retelling our tales we can shape the world. We can make it a better place.
So, read all the things and watch all their counterparts.
Even if some versions are shittier than others.
Even if the book really is better than the movie.