ARTISTIC ALLIANCES

Which Is Better, The Book Or The Flick? 10 Classics Turned Into Movies


Published on July 10, 2024


Credit: Suzy Hazelwood

Despite using very different languages, cinema has sought inspiration in literature practically since its beginnings . Some of the greatest stories of the seventh art are adaptations from classic books.

Although we hear the expression "The book is better than the movie" quite a lot, there are vast examples in which film adaptations live up to the stories that inspired them . Many times, when watching movies based on our favorite novels, we can discover new dimensions, delightful supporting characters, and surprising subplots we didn’t even know were there. Here are 10 great movies where the synergy between film and literature worked to perfection.

1

To Kill a Mockingbird

Credit: Kabiur Rahman Riyad

Considered one of the most important novels in American literature , To Kill a Mockingbird revolves around a widowed lawyer who feels a great responsibility to uphold the law and set a good example for his children. The novel was first published in 1960 and just two years later Atticus Finch became a cinematic legend thanks to Gregory Peck and Robert Mulligan's adaptation of Harper Lee's literary original. One of the best and most remembered trial films, it raised the issue of the institutional racism that prevailed in American society.

Peck's portrayal of this complex character was so good that it earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor . In addition, years later the American Film Institute recognized his brilliant version of Atticus Finch as the greatest hero in the history of cinema, surpassing the likes of Indiana Jones, James Bond, Han Solo, and Rocky Balboa.

2

Pride and Prejudice

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British author Jane Austen is one of the most adapted writers of all time —from Sense and Sensibility to Emma , there are a large number of great films based on her books. But Joe Wright’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (2005) is probably one of the most iconic and also the one that best captured the novelist's sense of humor.

As a result of the director's attention to detail, the film was a great success with audiences and critics alike. In fact, this great work of adaptation was granted an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction . In addition, Keira Knightley was nominated for Best Actress for her accurate and memorable portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet. Donald Sutherland’s scene-stealing role as the weary but gentle Mr. Bennet deserves a special mention. If you don’t trust us, just go back and watch the memorable scene where he gives Elizabeth his consent to marry Mr Darcy. Prepare to shed a few tears!

3

Dracula

Credit: Tim Alex

Undoubtedly the most famous vampire of all time, the story of Dracula has been adapted to film countless times . We all have the pale face of the Count played by Béla Lugosi in 1931 imprinted in our memory, but perhaps the best adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel is the one released sixty years later. In his 1992 version, Francis Ford Coppola was able to take this classic story to levels never seen before , thanks to an excellent cast led by Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins.

As if this were not enough, this adaptation sought to explain the origins of the vampire, making very clear the causes of his curse and his eternal conflict with God. In this way, Coppola was able to turn one of the most classic monsters of gothic literature into one of the most chilling creatures of cinema, whose aged appearance and twisted shadow are capable of terrifying anyone.

4

Gone With The Wind

Credit: micheile henderson

Margaret Mitchell's brilliant novel was surely one of the most important adaptation challenges in the history of cinema . Fortunately, the result could not have been better. Victor Fleming's film brought to the big screen —as early as 1939 and in dazzling Technicolor—, one of the best love stories of all time. The director’s meticulous care of every detail of the production can be seen in the breathtaking images showing the aftermath of the American Civil War .

The impressive acting work of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are out of this world. Still considered one of the most important and tragic couples in celluloid history , their performance earned them an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. If you haven't seen it yet, you should know that this is a must-see classic for anyone who claims to be a movie buff!

5

Carrie

Credit: Kelly Brito

With over 65 published novels it is no wonder that Stephen King is one of the most adapted American authors in the history of cinema. Quintessential films like The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) and Misery (Rob Reiner, 1990) have given us some of the most legendary scares of our lives. But perhaps Brian De Palma's version of Carrie (1976) is the most faithful approach to a King text , as well as being one of the best films about adolescence and the real terrors it entails.

Sissy Spacek's memorable performance as Carrie and the iconic prom scene will remain in the memory of viewers for generations . Thanks to De Palma's cinematic approach, this movie version of the novel has left a lasting mark on horror cinema and solidified Stephen King's indisputable storytelling talent for the big screen.

6

Doctor Zhivago

Credit: Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov

Although it is one of the most successful films of the 20th century —adjusted for inflation, it is the ninth highest-grossing film in the history of the United States—, some claim that this 1965 three-hour-long screen version of Doctor Zhivago gives excessive attention to the romance between Yuri and Lara, omitting the political message of the original book.

Arguments aside, the technical perfection of the film —it won 5 Academy Awards at the time— and the excellent performance of Omar Sharif have been enough for many to consider this adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel as one of the greatest classics of all time . In addition, the work of director David Lean is considered a great achievement, even above one of his previous masterpieces, Lawrence of Arabia .

7

Little Women

Credit: micheile henderson

Another literary classic adapted to the big screen many times, Little Women got a revival in 2019 thanks to Greta Gerwig's modern take. Although the book portrays a historical moment totally different from our current reality, Gerwig manages to give the film that touch of freshness that makes a classic feel current and new. The truth is that her focus on female empowerment and the existential crises of growing up are things we can still identify with today .

In this way, the director —who was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay— manages to tell the same story we all know and love through a new lens , while remaining true to the spirit of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel. In addition, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Timothée Chalamet make the most of every moment on screen as they play these memorable characters with mastery and emotion.

8

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Credit: Daria Kraplak

Patricia Highsmith is another of the great American authors who has given the world amazing books that were later adapted into films. Carol , The American Friend , and Strangers on a Train are just a few examples. But the 1999 version of The Talented Mr. Ripley by Anthony Mighella is the most famous adaptation of a Highsmith novel and perhaps the best of the whole Ripley saga .

With a stellar cast that included Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow as the happy couple and Matt Damon in the role of the charming yet terrible Tom Ripley, the film was a total success. Nominated for five Academy Awards , The Talented Mr. Ripley left us some of the greatest scenes in film history.

9

Great Expectations

Credit: Suzy Hazelwood

In 1998, Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón decided to take the story of Charles Dickens's literary classic Great Expectations and make it into a film. However, he did not limit himself to the original premise and structure but gave it a twist. He chose to set the story in the present day, turning Pip —here called Finn— into a young dreamer whose mysterious benefactor helps him travel to New York to become a great artist capable of fighting for his dreams.

The film stood out for its excellent soundtrack, the use of a green tone color palette , and above all, for an excellent cast that included big Hollywood names such as Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Cooper, Robert DeNiro, and Anne Bancroft.

10

Blade Runner

Credit: Armando Arauz

Many of the best science fiction films of all time are based on classic books . For example, Total Recall , War of the Worlds , and Solaris have been adapted from the works of renowned authors. But perhaps the best one in this genre is Blade Runner , directed by Ridley Scott in 1982.

Starring Harrison Ford, this futuristic classic with neo-noir touches is based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? , written by Phillip K. Dick in 1968. In a dystopian future where humans are manufactured and transferred to colonies located outside of Earth, bounty hunter Rick Deckard will have to confront them. Although at the time of its release, it did not receive much recognition, this film loaded with philosophical connotations has managed to transcend both frontiers and generations to become a cult movie adored by fans all over the world .


ECCENTRIC PLACES OF CULTURE

Discover The Wonderful Weirdness These Ten Museums Have To Offer!


Published on July 10, 2024


Credit: Andrew Neel

While museums are truly elevated keepers of timeless art and superb culture, we can all probably agree that they can sometimes be a bit stuffy. We have all felt moved by a particularly majestic piece of art, but sometimes we just want to engage our wacky sides. Sometimes you walk into a museum not looking to contemplate the truth about human nature: you are just looking to have some fun.

Don’t worry, we got you covered! We have gathered ten iconic museums from around the world that showcase and study unconventional subjects, and truly find beauty in common, unusual, and downright zany items.

1

Dr. Pepper Museum

Larry D. More Credit: 4.0

In the world of soft drinks, few sodas have a history as rich and interesting as Dr. Pepper. The tale of this beverage, invented by pharmacist Charles Alderton in 1885, is filled with fun facts and details that will surely surprise you. But don’t take our word for it: if you ever find yourself in Waco, Texas, take the time to visit the Dr. Pepper Museum and learn all about one of America’s favorite drinks.

The museum is housed in the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company. This 100-year building is commonly known as "The Home of Dr. Pepper", since it was the first building specifically built to bottle the soft drink. Besides numerous exhibitions detailing the history of Dr. Pepper, it also allows visitors to create and bottle their own soda.

2

Potato museums

Credit: Lars Blankers

Potatoes are truly the "jack of all trades" of vegetables. There are so many different ways to enjoy a potato : you can bake them, fry them, mash them, turn them into delicious French fries, or turn them into a nurturing and comforting potato soup. With so many ways to eat this beloved vegetable, is it any wonder that many countries around the world have decided to honor our "spudtacular" friends with various potato museums ?

Considering the number of potato museums around, we have selected a few of our favorite locations. Belgium’s Frietmuseum is entirely dedicated to French fries, and is housed in a beautiful 1399 building. The Canadian Potato Museum is home to "the Potato Hall of Fame" and proudly displays a 14-foot high fiberglass potato in its entrance. Here in the United States, you might want to visit the Idaho Potato Museum in the city of Blackfoot, which houses the largest potato chip , measuring 25 inches.

3

Museum of Bad Art

Credit: Yunsik Noh

Approximately 30 years ago, antique dealer Scott Wilson was walking down the streets of Boston when he came across a painting protruding between two trash cans. Interested only in the frame, Wilson originally intended to throw away the arguably bad painting , titled "Lucy in the Field with Flowers". However, both he and his wife found themselves captivated by the piece, and sought to acquire and exhibit other equally objectionable pieces. And thus, the Museum of Bad Art was born.

MOBA’s mission is "to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum", and has been doing so since 1993. Their collection includes 700 pieces of "bad" art, curated through a severely rigorous process: to be included in the museum, a piece must have serious intent, but exhibit significant flaws . Deliberately bad or kitsch art is not displayed.

4

Cup Noodle Museum

Credit: Cz XIE

Instant noodles might be the main source of nourishment for millions of college students across the world: affordable, easy to make, and easily consumable during an all-night study marathon. In case you want to pay your respects, the man to thank for this miraculous invention is Japanese businessman Momofuku Ando, who created instant noodles in 1958, and whose life is remembered by Japan’s Cup Noodles Museums.

These museums are located in Yokohama and in the city of Ikeda, Osaka, where the first instant noodles were created. Both locations heavily feature visitor interaction, encouraging tasting and having fun with different kinds of noodles. Ando’s entire life story is told in detail, including his first experiments in the 50s, and the "space ramen" he designed in 2005 to be consumed in outer space.

5

The Underwater Museum

Credit: Bibi Pace

Have you ever dived underwater to visit a museum? You definitively will have to in order to see the amazing pieces of art that the Underwater Museum has to offer. Located in Mexico, this museum features 500 sculptures exhibited deep in the ocean at the Cancun National Marine Park.

Curiously, this museum was started in an effort to preserve natural coral reefs from damage produced by tourist divers. Dr. Jaime González Cano came up with the idea of creating an artificial coral reef as a way to drive away massive diving from the reefs. This idea later evolved into the artwork the museum showcases: diverse submarine sculptures and statues, including a famous 400-piece installation called The Silent Evolution.

6

International Spy Museum

Credit: Sergiu Nista

You don’t have to wear an inconspicuous raincoat or deliver codes on a park bench to visit this museum, but it helps. Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the International Spy Museum focuses on the history of espionage, dating as back as the Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire.

Visitors entering the International Spy Museum must first go through a "Briefing Center", on which they are assigned a mission that helps them get into the mind of an international spy. The museum proudly holds the largest collection of international spy objects , including an Enigma Machine and a coat with a button camera designed by the KGB.

7

International Cryptozoology Museum

Credit: Jon Sailer

We know that Fox Mulder from "The X-Files" would have been at the entrance of the International Cryptozoology Museum on opening day, excitedly waiting with his ticket in his hand. Located in Portland, Maine, this museum focuses on the field of cryptozoology , the study of hidden or unknown creatures and animals. It features an unparalleled collection of objects related to famous cryptids, such as Bigfoot or the Yeti.

The museum was opened in 2003 by Lore Coleman, one of the most prominent experts in cryptozoology. Its main exhibit is a 5.5-foot-long, life-size model of a coelacanth, an ancient fish first discovered in 1938.

8

Cat Museum

Credit: Pacto Visual

Are you a cat person? You are definitively not alone: cats tend to find a way to snuggle and purr into the hearts of the grumpiest of owners. If you ever happen to find yourself looking for new ways to express your love for our feline friends, you might want to pay a visit to Kattenkabinet, a museum in Amsterdam entirely dedicated to artworks depicting cats.

This museum’s collection includes artwork from big names in art history, such as Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt. It was founded by Bob Meijer in 1990, to honor the memory of his beloved tomcat John Pierpont Morgan. Fun fact: the 2004 heist film "Ocean’s 12" used the Kattenkabinet as a filming location.

9

The Museum of Broken Relationships

Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Even if they are amicable, the end of most relationships is followed by a sad time, filled with comfort food and listening to sad, romantic songs. However, most relationships end for the better, and, after a brief mournful period, people realize that the future holds great things . In the case of Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, what came after the end of their four-year relationship was the opening of the Museum of Broken Relationships, in the city of Zagreb.

The idea behind the museum was to showcase different breakups and heartaches: Consequently, its collection is composed of seemingly common objects that tell the stories of different couples. The museum is considered by many to be a place to heal, and to learn how to move on from failed relationships.

10

International UFO Museum and Research Center

Credit: Uninteneded Concept

If you are looking for a place to open up a UFO museum , chances are that you’ll look to open it in Roswell, New Mexico: After all, this city was the site of the most famous UFO sighting in history. However, should you visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center in downtown Roswell, you’ll find carefully curated exhibitions that delve into hundreds of UFO sightings around the world.

Founded in 1991, the museum seeks not to convince people of the existence of alien life forms, but rather to encourage them to ask questions and conduct research on their own. It showcases documentaries, pictures of encounters, and, of course, heavily features the 1947 Roswell crash that made this New Mexico city the heart of extraterrestrial enthusiasts.

Looking for an extra scoop of literary fun?

Learn more with our Word of the day

quibble

/ˈkwɪb(ə)l/