Friday, 22 January 2016

Movie Remakes

Thanks to the staff of the Haliburton Public Library for this week's posting!

The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald and continues to be a very popular book.  In 1974 it was made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.  The movie was made again in 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan.  Neither version got particularly good reviews but the most recent version at two and a half hours long is stunningly opulent and really gives a sense for the over the top indulgences of the rich at the time. While doing research for this episode we didn’t really come to any conclusions as to why movies are remade.  Was it not good enough the first time? Was it so good the first time that it is sure to make money again? And, what exactly constitutes a remake? Someone argued that the Great Gatsby was two movies based on the same book but not remakes. So if that’s the case, what is a remake?  I don’t think we are any closer to answering these questions, but we got an interesting topic out of the debate.
Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about a movie that has been made more than one time.  Whether it’s a remake or not remains to be seen.
Lily James is Cinderella and Richard Madden is the Prince in Disney’s live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. I thoroughly enjoyed this well done remake which brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.The story of Cinderella follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother and her daughters Anastasia and Drisella into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of the jealous and cruel new family. Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honor her mother’s dying words to “have courage and be kind.” When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Sadly, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
mr miagi
Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso (left) and Pat Morita as Mr. Miagi (right) in the original Karate Kid.
For those of us who grew up in the 1980’s, Mr. Miagi’s meditative instructions “wax on, wax off” to the headstrong young Daniel LaRusso was pretty much part of pop culture consciousness. The Karate Kid starred American actor Pat Morita as the wise handyman and karate expert, Mr. Miagi and spawned three sequels, a line of action figures, and an animated series, as well as an Oscar nomination for Morita. Filmed in 1984, the story of The Karate Kid starts with Daniel as he moves with his family during the Silicon Valley boom from New Jersey to California. After running afoul with high school bullies who are part of a tough martial arts dojo, the Cobra Kai, Daniel wants to learn how to fight them. Miagi at first declines and offers to peacefully resolve the conflict, but when those efforts are rejected he prepares Daniel for sparring in a karate tournament where he can confront his foes on equal ground.
the karate kid
Perhaps should have been called “The Kung Fu Kid”.
The 2010 remake of The Karate Kid borrows many plot elements from the original, but is quite a bit different – not the least because it doesn’t feature very much karate at all. In the remake, Dre Parker, played by Jaden Smith, moves from Detroit to Bejing after his mother is transferred from her car factory. Dre, like Daniel, runs afoul of some bullies at his new school and is helped by maintenance man and kung fu master Mr. Han, played by Chinese actor and martial arts expert Jackie Chan. As in the original, Han initially refuses to train his headstrong young friend, but acquiesces when peaceful negotiations fail and instead moves the conflict to the ring.
true grit

True Grit a book by Charles Portis was published in 1968 and was so popular that it was quickly turned into a movie starring John Wayne and Glen Campbell that came out in 1969.  The movie was remade by the famous Coen Brothers in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon.  The library has the book and the 2010 version of the movie.  True Grit is the story of a feisty 14-year-old farm girl.  After an outlaw named Tom Chaney murders her father, Mattie Ross hires Rooster Cogburn, a boozy, trigger-happy lawman, to help her find Chaney and avenge her father. The bickering duo are not alone in their quest, for a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf is also tracking Chaney for reasons of his own. Together the unlikely trio ventures into hostile territory to dispense some Old West justice.  The story has been commended for introducing such a strong female character in Mattie.

Canadians who got Oscar nominations

 January 14, 2016       

Rachel McAdams was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in “Spotlight       
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue, London, Ont.-born Rachel McAdams and Toronto-native the Weeknd have picked up Oscar nominations.
Canadian co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" are also among the eight films in the best picture race.
Fresh off attending the Golden Globes ceremony where she was nominated for best screenplay for "Room," Donoghue learned Thursday morning that she is also being recognized in the best adapted screenplay Oscar category.
McAdams was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "Spotlight."
The Weeknd had his song "Earned It," from the film "Fifty Shades of Grey," nominated for the best original song Oscar. Fellow Canadians Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio are also nominated alongside the chart-topping singer.
Donoghue's book won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and a Governor General's Literary Award. The harrowing novel is about a young boy held captive in a shed with his mother. The child has no idea there's a world outside that shed.
The film won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it immediately began generating awards buzz.
McAdams played a Boston Globe investigative reporter in "Spotlight," which had an ensemble cast including Michael Keaton and fellow Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo. The film is also up for best picture.
McAdams studied theatre at York University in Toronto before her breakout roles in 2004's "Mean Girls" and "The Notebook."
"Earned It" climbed the charts around the world last year, hitting No. 8 on Billboard's Canadian Hot 100 chart and hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Weeknd's Oscar nomination marks the latest in a string of acclaim for the singer. He's already nominated in seven categories at the Grammys and his track "Can't Feel My Face" topped Rolling Stone's best songs list for 2015.
The Canadian Press

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

10 fascinating facts about Agatha Christie's Canadian connections

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 | CBC


It's been 40 years since beloved author Agatha Christie passed away at her home in England on January 12, 1976. The author of 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections as well as several plays, romances, and nonfiction works is known for her iconic detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and is recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the bestselling novelist of all time.

What's less known is that Agatha Christie had a bit of a thing for Canada. The country appeared 22 times. That's not all - check out these 10 surprising facts below for more.

1. Christie travelled to Canada in 1922 with her husband, Archibald, as part of a tour promoting the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. The Christies travelled across the country, including stops in Victoria, Banff, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Montreal.

2.The book The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery includes Christie's correspondence from the trip, including some on stationery from Toronto's King Edward Hotel, Ottawa's Château Laurier and Victoria's Empress Hotel.


4. Christie took liberties with Canadian geography in her writing. In the short story "The Sign in the Sky," a character sails from England to Canada, takes the train to Banff, interviews a witness and returns to England, all within 3 weeks - a wildly impossible feat at the time.

5. While many Christie characters are from Canada, "The Sign in the Sky" marks the only time Canada is a destination in her writing.
6. The most popular Christie books in Canada are And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express and The Mysterious Affair at Styles, according to print sales tracker BookNet Canada.
7.In e-book format, Canadian readers love Christie's short stories, with And Then There Were None joined by collections Poirot and the Regatta Mystery and The Under Dog as the top three all-time sellers, according to Kobo.


9. The only known copy of Chimneys was lost before the play was ever performed, and was all but forgotten when John Paul Fischbach, artistic director of Calgary's Vertigo Mystery Theatre, did some sleuthing that turned up a long-lost copy in the British Library. Christie's grandson attended the world premiere performance.
10. Investigating Agatha Christie, an original exhibition about the author's life and work, is currently running at Montreal's Pointe-à-Callière Museum. The exhibition includes memorabilia from Christie's life, including some of her notebooks, and also explores her fascination with archaeology, a passion that popped up frequently in her work. The exhibition runs through April 17, 2016.

Friday, 8 January 2016

15 of the biggest book-to-movie adaptations of 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 |  CBC


In 2016, the big screen will be chock-full of big-name directors turning to literary fiction: Ang Lee with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain, Martin Scorsese with Silence by Shusako Endo and Tim Burton with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, to name a few. On the kids' side, a string of classic children's books will hit theatres, including Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry's The Little Prince, Roald Dahl's The BFG and Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. Check out our full list of the most anticipated book-to-movie adaptations of 2016 below: