Tag Archives: Film

Double Feature: Pages and Popcorn

Photo credit: Lynn Friedman via Flickr

Disclaimer: For this discussion, Mr. Gette and Ms. Nicolelli are limiting themselves to book series adapted to the big screen. This discussion will exclude one-off book-to-film adaptations, such as The Book Thief or Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.

JG: I blame Harry Potter and Frodo.

Sure, YA books and series were turned into movies before 2001. But the runaway success of both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Fellowship of the Ring ushered in an era of studios looking for the next big thing.

JN: Producers can expect a guaranteed audience, either book fans eager to see their beloved stories come to life. Or, book fans eager to disparage the film adaptation. Either way, money goes into pockets.

The money spent on early millennial series adaptations like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter was money well spent, on the part of readers turned moviegoers. However, I would argue that film series adaptation has been in sharp decline ever since.

JG: Film adaptations have been divided into two categories: hot new series like Divergent and The Maze Runner; or backlist favorites like The Dark is Rising (made into the absolutely dreadful movie The Seeker). But series are a two-edged sword: on the one hand, you know what your next few films will be; on the other, no movie really stands alone.

JN: It’s nearly impossible to execute a book-to-film series that is of high quality from start to finish. And this is when the book series is actually complete, not even taking into account the adaptation of book series that are not yet finished. Look at what happened to Divergent! Or Chronicles of Narnia.

JG: Another issue is length. Some books are just too jam-packed to make a regular-length movie without lots of cuts. Which leads making multiple movies from one book. Deathly Hallows Part I & II. Breaking Dawn Part I & II. Although sometimes it’s hard to tell if the decision is being made because of length or potential profit.

JN: And then there is the opposite problem of taking a normal-length book and unnecessarily dividing it into multiple films. Mockingjay I & II and The Hobbit (I can’t even keep track of the ridiculous number of installments). And only the most optimistic, naive book lover would see this as anything other than Hollywood trying to make money.

JG: It’s one book! ONE BOOK. The Hobbit  is shorter than each of the books in the Lord of the Rings series!

JN: Peter Jackson fell from grace quite a bit with The Hobbit adaptation. And seriously, Orlando Bloom?!

JN: But going back to adapting a book series before it is finished. JK Rowling always knew the Wizarding World and Harry’s story inside and out. The filming schedule did not back Rowling into any corners and the books did not suffer for the film adaptations. However, authors like Veronica Roth (Divergent) struggle under the pressure to churn out the finalized story. Just look to Allegiant if you need evidence. Blegh.

JG: It can be ok for a screenwriter to change or cut things. Some parts of books just don’t translate well to a film. Sorry, Tom Bombadil fans. The Lord of the Rings benefited from having hundreds of pages of traveling condensed into montages.

JN: Absolutely! Do you have a favorite book-to-film adaptation moment, Mr. Gette? Perhaps one where the screenwriter(s) changed the author’s version of the scene/event/character/etc.

JG: I honestly believe Jurassic Park is a better movie than book. Maybe because I saw before I read it, so that’s the version I know best. The Hammonds in the book and movie are VERY different, and that does a lot to change the whole feeling of the story.  But the moment when Grant and Sattler see the brachiosauruses for the first time and the theme swells is pretty great (and that, too, is different from the book). You?

JN: I saw the Lord of the Rings films prior to reading the series (I know, I know!), but I remember seeing the movie trailer for Fellowship like it was yesterday (the music and Cate Blanchett/Galadriel voice over!). While I had dabbled in the fantasy genre, Fellowship absolutely hooked me. Another memorable moment was seeing Diagon Alley come to life in Sorcerer’s Stone. It was when I knew the Harry Potter films would be excellent visual adaptations. My favorite single scene of adaptation that is different from the book version is the Order of the Phoenix showdown between Dumbledore and Voldemort. The book version details specific spells, while the film version mostly features the magical manipulation of elements. It seemed so appropriate for these two magical powerhouses.

JN: What is your least favorite book-to-film adaptation moment, Mr. Gette? It can be an entire film, film series, or single scene. Or all three!

JG: When I was 10 there was nothing I loved so much as My Side of The Mountain. In the book, Sam tames a falcon, Frightful, who helps him survive. There are sequels based around Frightful. In the movie, she gets shot by a hunter. Maybe she survives – I don’t know. I shut it off after that, and never finished the movie. What’s yours?

JN: I could say everything about the Divergent or Golden Compass movies, but I was not necessarily in love with those books. Perhaps the biggest adaptation betrayal was The Giver. Just, no.

JG: Just like all movies, ones based off of books can be great or terrible. And while it’s disappointing when a favorite becomes a bad movie, at least you still have the book.

JN: Books > Movies.


Hidden Collections at the Calarco Library

A unique collection that combines old and new

There are many kinds of collections – coins, stamps, bottle caps, music, etc. – and most are unknown beyond a small group of people. Libraries are pretty well known for their collections of books, I think it is fair to say. What is less often known are the collections contained WITHIN the collections of books.

 photo credit: db Photography | Demi-Brooke via photopin cc

Confusing? Definitely. The Calarco Library collection does not just consist of fiction and non-fiction books; we have other collections of materials (print and non-print) that warrant your attention. These are highlighted below to make YOU (yes, you) more aware of these resources. Some of these resources might help you complete a research project, a Senior project, or simply be something you can escape to during a Free Friday. Read on, and enjoy!

CD Collection: Classical music, readings of Shakespearean plays, radio broadcasts, slave songs – our CD Collection can be used for class projects, reading, research papers, or simply for “listening pleasure”. Although it may be hard to believe, not EVERYTHING is on iTunes and/or Spotify just yet. Included with the collection are comfy chairs and CD players. This collection is located on the lower level.

Film Collection: Why, isn’t this dubbed the “DVD Collection?” The Calarco Library still carries VHS tapes of films that are either not available on DVD, or difficult to track down. These are the films your teachers often use in class, but students also use the documentaries as resources for projects and papers. This collection is located on the lower level.

Alumni Collection: Hopkins has many outstanding alumni, some of whom have published books. You will find these books in the glass case near the Baldwin entrance.

Magazines/Newspapers: We subscribe to more than 40 popular magazines, and we also subscribe to The New York Times, The Connecticut Post, and The New Haven Register. While there are obvious favorites (Issues of Seventeen are always misplaced), the collection is well-rounded and appeals to a variety of interests. There are also professional journals specifically for Faculty, which are located in the Faculty Reading Room (lower level). For a full listing of our subscriptions, please visit the Magazines & Newspapers LibGuide. Magazines and newspapers are located on the lower level, directly across from the stairwell.

Modern Language Easy Readers: Bonjour! Hola! Ciao! 您好! We invite you to spend some time practicing your language skills with the Modern Language Easy Readers. Our collection contains anything from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Mandarin to Barbar in French. These books are located on the lower level with the magazines.

College Collection: As the college process looms in the distant (or not so distant) future, visit the College Collection and harness the “panic” with well-informed research. The Calarco Library provides a diverse collection of guides, including ones to assist you with college selection and exploring college majors. We also have guides that provide information about the college admissions process, as well as AP and SAT study guides. The College Collection is located on the lower level of the library adjacent to the textbooks.

Outdated? Not when the information on microfilm isn't availabe for free online

 photo credit: OSU Archives via photopin cc

Microfilm and Indexes: Have you ever wondered about those fat green books and the filing cabinet in the area across from the library classroom? Wonder no longer; this area contains our Microfilm Collection and Indexes. What is microfilm, you might ask? It is film on which a printed book or magazine is photographed and shrunk down for easy storage. Why would you use microfilm when there’s the Internet? Easy, because not everything is publicly or FREELY available online. The microfilm readers make it easy to print or e-mail articles of interest, allowing users to easily obtain primary sources. Here is a list of the publications the Calarco Library has on microfilm:

  • Atlantic Monthly (January 1960-December 1987)
  • Birth of America – Colonial Newspapers (1763-1783)
  • British Heritage (December 1979-November 1989)
  • Current History (September 1941-December 1984)
  • Current History & Forum (December 1914-March1921)
  • Documentary Sources of Western Civilization
  • The Federalist Years – Colonial Newspapers (1789-1820)
  • Forging More Perfect Union – Colonial Newspapers (1784-1788)
  • Harpers (January 1958-December 1984)
  • History Today (January 1951-December 1977 ; January 1978-December 1992)
  • The Nation (July 1913-December 1987)
  • New Republic (November 1914-December 1984)
  • Newsweek (February 1933-December 1987)
  • Time (March 1923-December 1999)
  • US News & World Report (May 1933-January 1984)

In addition to the microfilm collection, in this same area on the lower level of the library is the bound Life magazine collection (January 1960-December 1972) and The New Yorker complete collection (through 2005) on CD-ROM.

Hidden no longer, come visit the Calarco Library and explore our collections.