Friday, May 2, 2014

Sometimes the Best Has Already Come

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, written by Jonathan Safran Foer, is by far my favorite thing we have read this semester. This novel follows the journey that Oskar Schell takes a little over a year after the tragic death of his father in 9/11. Prior to starting his quest, Oskar finds a key amongst some of his fathers possessions. 

The key, contained within an envelope with the word "Black" written on the front, fills Oskar with a deep urge to find the lock that it opens. This urge consumes Oskar for eight whole months, as he visits multiple people with the last name of Black, because that is the only clue he has as to where he might find the lock. Eventually, he does find the lock, but it doesn't lead him to what he was looking for. In the end, he realizes that, regardless of the end result, the key was still something that brought him closer to his father for a time. Additionally, this story also shows how PTSD can effect people differently, by telling the story of Oskar's grandmother and grandfather.

As I was reading this novel, I was actually really looking forward to watching the film adaptation of the novel. Moreover, I was even contemplating downloading it, and watching it on my own as soon as I finished the novel. However, I found that once I started working on my final project, I realized that I actually didn't want to watch the film adaptation.

 One of the things that I have learned this semester, is that often times, adaptations can change opinions of original works, and that sometimes they can even provoke conflicting opinions. One of the great things about this novel, on it's own, is that it's full of different things that are not traditionally a part of novels. Therefore, I have decided that those elements are enough for me. As of right now, in addition to the sad feelings this novel provoked, it also made me fall in love with just about all of the characters, therefore, I have decided that I will do my own adaptation and for right now, I will pass on watching the film.

The film may be good, or it may be bad, or it may even change a person's initial opinions of the book, but for me, the book was enough, and I honestly think, that not all things were meant to be adapted. Some things are just better left untouched. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Feels

I hate thing that make me sad.

Today in class we watched the ending of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The story follows Oskar Schell on his journey to find the lock that fits the key he finds in his father's room. His father has died in 9/11 and this is a piece of him that Oskar his holding onto.

9/11 is something that resonates with me, as it does everybody who can remember that day. That day was my 11th birthday. I was sitting in my fifth grade classroom and i just remember we had the television on all day and we watched the footage over and over and over again. At the end of the day someone reminded the teacher that it was my birthday and she looked at me like i was the saddest thing she had ever seen in her life. My parents picked me up from school and we barbecued hotdogs and tried to celebrate my birthday, but it was pointless. I spent the whole day afraid that I was going to die. This is back when I didn't have a room and slept on the couch in the living room at my grandma's house. I remember laying on the couch and crying while my dad watched the news to see if there were any developments. Any explanation.

I can't enjoy movies that are based on tragic events. Real tragic events. It's hard for me. Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Hotel Rwanda, Full Metal Jacket, hell, even Titanic... I just can't sit through them more than once. And the one time i do, i'm always uncomfortable. I feel bad for sitting down to something for entertainment knowing that it's based off a real thing, where real people died and real families were torn apart by violence or disaster.

I appreciate the film. And in someways it was easier to see than to read for me. The imagery was hard, but I can look at the actors and know they aren't real people. Tom Hanks sounds like Tom Hanks on the answering machine and I KNOW that Tom Hanks is (most likely) ok right now, but it was still hard to hear and particularly disturbing when they showed the towers falling. When reading the answering machine passages in the book, it killed me because in my head i put real faces to the words and i cant help but want to just put the book down. It bummed me out so much, it made me not want to read it at all.

I guess i should get over it, but I doubt i will. I've always been this way. I'm a sensitive person to the extreme and I guess i just have to spend my life ignoring things that may cause me to be uncomfortable on an emotional level.

After all that emotion.. I need some adorable.


After reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer, I found the book to be challenging and confusing as it would go all over the place..  It was hard to follow the characters and wether it was past or present taking place. The character of Oskar seemed like a good character, but the things he did are a little bizarre. After watching part of the movie version with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, the story line made a little more sense in which you could put faces to the characters and see all of the confussion the written story has.
In Breakfast at Tiffannys, by Truman Capote, that was also made into a movie version it went along with the original story line and was easier to follow.  I sometimes wonder if it would be better to read the book and then watch the movie, or watch the movie and then read the book. I have done both of these and I would say it could go either way.  In one way, as in Foers book, it made more sense to picture the characters and scenery first and then read the book.  In the book by Capote  it was better to read the book and then watch the movie.  I have seen a lot of books adapted for the big screen or television.  Some scenes are different but it is a good way for a story to be in a different media.
Truman Capotes   Summer Crossing , another book we read this  semester, is being produced in movie form and should be interesting to watch and to see who is chosen to play all the parts.  All in all, some books make great movies and some, like  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in my opinion is not one of those.  I did not care for the book and the movie is not making much difference.