It is rare that a movie or TV show is better than the book it is based on. I mean, it happens, but it’s rare. Yes, some movies live up to or complement their source material, but most of the time they don’t. For starters, let’s take 2019 – remember 2019? – back when we were still going to movie theaters? Ah, seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Skip these 2019 movies, and read the book (or listen to the audiobook) instead:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Cate Blanchett! Richard Linklater! Our fair city and library as a filming location! What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out.
The book: “…a compelling composite of a woman’s life—and the way she’s viewed by the many people who share it. …the nuances of mundane interactions are brilliantly captured, and the overarching mystery deepens with each page, until the thoroughly satisfying dénouement.” – Publisher’s Weekly.
The movie: “The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending.” – The New Republic. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%.
What is almost as good as getting outside in the summer time? Watching movies about other people getting outside! The outdoors are a great component of so many amazing films available at the library, but there are some films in which “outside” features almost as a character all on its own. These films are different from your standard outdoorsy movie in that they are not necessarily about toughness, grit, masculinity, and hard-core survival, but rather offer softer, more comical, and/or more introspective stories about relationships and identity – which are enhanced by the outdoor settings in which they unfold. Here are three of my favorite movies about being outside, available in various forms with your library card.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople. This film came out in 2016 from sincere and hilarious Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi, whose other contributions to film since that time – including Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok – have earned him various accolades and a firm place among the world’s most beloved contemporary movie people. Set in the expansive New Zealand bush, the movie tells the story of what happens when two unlikely companions – a young foster kid named Ricky Baker and an old, gruff introvert named Hector – end up the targets of a crazy manhunt after they are stranded in the wilderness. It is equal parts hilarious comedy and tender examination of grief, relationship-building, and choosing one’s family. It also features a dog named Tupac. This is a must-see, and it is available to be streamed with your library card on Kanopy! Continue reading “Three on a Theme: Movies About Being Outside”
March 13th, 2020 was notable for two reasons. One, it was Friday the 13th, but hardly anyone at the Seattle Public Library noticed for the second reason: it was the last day we were open before closing our doors for a month because of COVID-19. It was a frantic and stressful day full of uncertainty for everyone, with an outstanding outcome: on a typical Friday, SPL checks out 13,000 physical items, but on March 13th we checked out 104,000 books, DVDs and CDs!
While patrons are unable to borrow any physical items until at least April 13, SPL has a rich and robust collection of digital resources that can be accessed anytime. Patrons new to digital resources will find lots to choose from, and experienced patrons will find new items to discover.
This St. Patrick’s Day we may find ourselves hunkering down with a movie and drinking at home. That made me think of some of my favorite films over the years that I’ve watched around this time of year.
My absolute favorite when I was a kid was Darby O’Gill and the Little People. My godmother was obsessed with Sean Connery, I mean who wasn’t, but my favorite part was the romance and, of course, I can still sing that song by heart…you know the song right? Pretty Irish Girl.
Oh, she is my dear
my darlin’ one
Her eyes so sparklin’
full of fun
Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year: