Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Golden Compass; the book versus the movie

I'm such a slacker. Yes, I've been reading, but over Xmas I read a few adult mysteries and now I'm in the middle of reading hundreds of kid's stories for the National writing contest sponsored by The Canadian Children's Book Centre. The winners won't be announced until April 1, but I have to read the stories and choose a winner well before then.

In the meantime, I reread Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass and went to the movie. Both are awesome in my opinion, although I would recommend them only for more mature readers and viewers. Pullman's writing can never be matched in film, but Chris Weitz did a fine job bring the book to the big screen; minus a few quibbles of course. I was, for example, disappointed with the oversimplification of Iorek Byrnison's (the armored bear) situation, and the set up at the end of the movie implied a change in who might accompany Lyra in her quest to find dust. On the other hand, Kidman's portrayal of Mrs. Coulter is chillingly real. The controversy seems to be more about Pullman's views than his writing as far as I can see, and the whole idea of the daemons as soul is a most interesting and provocative one. I love that the movie has sparked so much discussion, and renewed interest in what is a very fine book. I do find it strange though, that so many feel qualified to discuss both without having either read the book nor seen the film. Hmmm...

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