Thank you to friend and MillersTime reader Elliott Trommald for his Comment (which I only just saw this morning) on my post on the film Life Itself. He wrote:
I don’t know Diane or Janet, but I think I feel what they are feeling. Certainly “Life Itself” made me feel my sister’s life and my own as I was feeling Roger’s. And Ebert made me understand the power of a movie and the relationship I seem to have with movies. We do live our lives as a movie.
Richard, you write that almost always, you find the book better than the film version. I used to agree. Now I find this less true. Take “The Fault in our Stars” — I think the movie as good as the book, actually better. The reason for me is that both work on me in a different way.
When I read a book, I control the action and the color and the emotion. The intellect is engaged; I read; I stop and muse or reread a beautiful line; I consider whether I feel as the author feels or whether the author’s story is believable. I might even critique the book as I read. All of that is enjoyable.
In a film, I am sucked into the story for better or worse and feel it, I can’t go back and reconsider what I just saw; I am carried along sometimes against my will. I am bothered, angry, enlightened, exhilarated. (“Snowpiercer” as film was more troubling for me than the book. After feeling and living the film (in the caboose and the engine room) — then comes the intellectual, rational, critical considerations.
For me, its the difference between being in a film and reading a book. Watching a good movie: for a short while my life is taken emotionally where I have not been; its different with a book. One is not necessarily better, just delightfully different. I cry easier as I age, and far more often when involved with a film than with a book. Maybe I should see “On Golden Pond” again.
I wonder what other MillersTime readers think of what Elliot writes.
My own response can be read here.