Book vs. Film Writing Contest
It was surely one of the most heated debates I have ever witnessed among friends, and in the end it turned into an open argument. It all started very innocently with a discussion of Leonardo DiCaprio's career, and the controversy broke out when we mentioned the movie The Beach. One of my friends called it a “cheap” (not in terms of money, of course) Hollywood rip-off of a cult novel by Alex Garland, which immediately provoked the other one to strike back by calling Garland's novel "an average book" turned into an unforgettable movie by an ingenious director (Danny Boyle). Of course, after almost two hours of arguments, accusations of being a complete ignorant and worse (by both sides), they came to no conclusion at all... And that's perfectly fine. I am pretty sure that all of us still remember that night and think of it whenever they hear a mention of The Beach.
There will always be someone to whom the eternal debate of 'books vs. films' seems pointless and futile. That someone either prefers to lose him- or herself in the pages of imaginary worlds made of letters and punctuation, conveying states, thoughts and emotions, or, on the other hand, they simply do not have the patience (or name it as you wish) to read but rather prefer the visual experience the film has to offer. Due to the film's general premise of "what you see is what you get", many argue that films, when compared to their book counterparts, limit your imagination. This many not be the case with every single film, as there are some which trigger your imagination and make you question the fictive reality they present. Still, the sentences you read definitely provide more space for your creative thought. Either way, there is a third group of people who, at times, prefer one over the other. Or even both. They, too, have their reasons. And box offices can prove this: J.K. Rowling was equally big on screen and in print. So was Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
Peculiarly enough, not only books are made into movies. Sometimes, though not too often, the process is also reversed. Critics often argue that book adaptations are just a mere way to make some extra dime upon the film's success, since many of these authors hope the readers won't notice the publication date. Nonetheless, there have been certain attempts, and rather successful ones, like Alan Dean Foster's Star Trek series and 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke (his book was published concurrently with the film release as it was being written while the film was under production - both Kubrick and Clarke wrote the screenplay).
Taking all the things into account, squeezing hundreds of pages of belle letters into a 90-minute spectacle certainly isn't easy. Many things get lost in the way but perhaps the visual aspect is the one that is gained. Does Hollywood ruin novels? Or does it make your reading experience even more powerful? Should you read the book first or see the film? And, of course, which do you prefer? Or is there simply no debate here but it all depends upon a unique case? You tell us. And we'll make it worth it.
Thanks to the opportunity to cooperate with the great team behind the Perspectives magazine, we are glad to announce a special competition for the readers of Perspectives. We have prepared a list of famous novels which were turned into equally famous movies, which can serve as an inspiration. Or you can just pick a book/movie pair you feel passionate about and share your thoughts on it with us and the readers. The only condition is that the original language of the novel has to be English. A selection of the best submissions, again in English, will be presented in Perspectives, and the readers will pick the final three winners. The author of the best submission will have the chance to choose 3 books from our list below, the author in the second place gets to choose 2 books, and yes, you guessed it right, place number 3 picks 1 book. We are looking forward to your participation. The deadline for accepting submissions is January 15, 2012.
Ivan Mistrík & Sonja Miller
owners of 11th Floor Books
Submissions are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2012.
Voting will be held January 16 through January 31, 2012.
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11th Floor Books (www.11th.sk) is an English second-hand bookstore compressed into a flat on the 11th floor of a regular panel apartment block in Bratislava - thus the name. Its owners have always had a passion for reading and visiting bookstores. Several years after starting their first project which aims to map independent English bookstores around Europe - Bookstore Guide (www.bookstoreguide.org), they finally found the courage to realize their dream and open their own bookstore, specializing in second-hand English books. Their aim is to provide everyone, even remotely interested in reading in English, with a quality selection of both fiction and non-fiction titles at affordable prices.