Books, writing and writers in film and tv

I was watching the 2008 version of Journey to the Center of the Earth today (ahem, for the third time – I like Brendan Fraser, alright?!), and it occurred to me that a lot of the film and television I’ve enjoyed in recent times has been related to books in some way. I don’t mean book to film/TV adaptations (although I’ve recently enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and How to Train Your Dragon, and I’m looking forward to Tomorrow When the War Began, all based on great books), but movies or programs that have books, writing or writers solidly at their core. Sunday nights, for example, I have a steady date with Castle (and sure, Nathan Fillion plays a big part in my enjoyment of this, but that’s not the point!), which is a show about a crime writer who has attached himself to a police detective as research for his new books. I love that Castle is paired with Bones (very loosely based on the Kathy Reichs Brennan books), and one of the things that tickles my fancy is that in the show, the character of Brennan writes fiction about the character Kathy Reichs. These are the things that amuse me!

But when I really start to think about it, a great many of my favourite movies have had this in common. I guess it really isn’t a surprise. I’m a teacher librarian, I read constantly and always have, and now review, edit and publish as well. Books are a massive part of my life, so it’s not a shock that I’m going to like a lot of media that depicts books and writing! Interestingly, most of them ARE based on novels or short stories, but it’s the subject matter that is important. Here’s a list of those I’ve come up with today that I’ve enjoyed:

The Princess Bride
Inkheart
The NeverEnding Story
Nim’s Island
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
The Librarian movies (with Noah Wyle)
City of Ember
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Labyrinth
Stand By Me
Marley and Me
Finding Forrester

If I want to push the boundaries and include storytelling in my list, I could add Big Fish (which I loved), and if you go to diary movies, there’s a whole bunch more, like the Bridget Jones movies, and maybe even Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

And that’s just those I’ve seen and could think of off the top of my head! A quick Twitter brainstorm (thanks Tweeps!) also netted a heap more:

The Ninth Gate
The Name of the Rose
Mr Murder – I’ve read the Dean Koontz novel, but not seen the movie. I think there are more Koontz and also Steven King books (and probably films based on them) with authors at the centre.
Black Books
The Reader
The Diary of Anne Frank (there are multiple adaptations of this)
The Notebook
Freedom Writers
Capote
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the Guide is a BOOK! It counts!)
The Librarians (I refuse to watch this, but I know others are amused by it)
Ella Enchanted

Another stretch could be Julie and Julia (Do cookbooks count? Blogs?), but I haven’t seen it yet.

And one to look forward to could be Endymion Spring! (Warner Bros has it optioned). Books books, glorious books! Even when they are in the movies and on TV they are glorious! đź™‚

What’s YOUR favourite movie, tv show or even just straight book that has books, writing or writers as a strong plot/character focus? 

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Books, writing and writers in film and tv

  1. Anonymous

    I am partial to Brendan Fraser. The funniest bit in that JTCE movie was when they were falling. They stop screaming and then he says, we’re still falling and they start screaming again. Otherwise…I’ve seen Brendan in better films. Mummy!

  2. Anonymous

    I capture the Castle – the book and the movie – which is about the family of a writer who wrote a celebrated, genius novel 20 years ago and has been in decline ever since. The royalty cheques are running out slowly, they live in a dilapidated castle, and he still can’t write the sequel.
    A classic scene has the kids locking their father in a tower with a typewriter in the hope of forcing him to write.
    This isnt’ actually what the book is about in the main, but it’s a great subplot and the whole story has much to say about creativity and how hard it can be to live at the whims of someone else’s muse. Also Billi Nighy is awesome.

  3. Anonymous

    Books
    The Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies and books. Humour, romance, suspense – it has it all. Also very quotable.
    Have just finished reading Julia Child’s autobiography,My Life in France. A great read. Good insight to the political times – MacCarthyism in USA and its wide ranging effects on people’s lives – as well as a journey through an amazing country and its food and culture. Written with great enthusiasm- strong voice, very energetic – when she was in her late eighties. So much better than listening to Merryl Streep in the movie.

  4. Anonymous

    Books
    The Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies and books. Humour, romance, suspense – it has it all. Also very quotable.
    Have just finished reading Julia Child’s autobiography,My Life in France. A great read. Good insight to the political times – MacCarthyism in USA and its wide ranging effects on people’s lives – as well as a journey through an amazing country and its food and culture. Written with great enthusiasm- strong voice, very energetic – when she was in her late eighties. So much better than listening to Merryl Streep in the movie. Lyn Q

  5. Anonymous

    Secret Garden is probably the Stephen King movie of most relevance, although there’s a lot of them featuring a writer in one way or the other, from The Shining to 1408.

  6. Anonymous

    Ever After – A different take on the Cinderella story, where her great great granddaughter is telling the story to the Brothers Grimm.

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