Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A fine ridgepole to walk

So this is happening.

In general, I look forward to new interpretations of favorites. I enjoy highlighting what the new versions get right in my view, and when they get something wrong, it brings new understanding to what makes that story what it is. Case in point: the Where the Wild Things Are movie a few years ago did a lot of things well, but I sorely missed the disappearance of Max's bedroom walls. Though I hadn't articulated it before, Wild Things to me was largely about the transformation of the familiar.

The 1980s Anne adaptation felt like a love letter to the book, which is exactly what you want if you love the book. (I was surprised and a little disappointed that Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel focused so much on the events of Book 4, Anne of Windy Poplars, to the exclusion of other episodes that meant more to me, but that opinion is my equivalent of a love letter to Anne of Avonlea.) This new series may be wonderful in its own way, but I'm a bit skeptical because the focus of so many of the quotes in the article is on making changes. I expect changes; they're part of what "adaptation" means. But to go into the project saying, “I always like to know it’s based on the stories but understand sometimes the material is a little dry and so you have to embellish a little bit?” My mind is open, but my eyebrows are raised pretty high. The Anne books began life with a serial. They are by nature episodic. You know, like TV shows have episodes?

And Anne, my Anne, is anything but dry.

Okay, I admit it: however this series turns out, I'm going to have fun with it.

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