Posted September 9, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in Features
 
 

Film Literature


Books and films have always gone hand in hand together. There’s something for everyone whether you are fanatical about film, an aspiring filmmaker or simply love literature. We kick off with the books behind three of the biggest cinema releases this September and October, a treat for sci-fi aficionados and lots, lots more.

Books and films have always gone hand in hand together. There’s something for everyone
whether you are fanatical about film, an aspiring filmmaker or simply love
literature. We kick off with the books behind three of the
biggest cinema releases this September and October, a treat for sci-fi aficionados
and lots, lots more.


1. The Skin I Live In, based on Trantula by Thierry Jonquet £7.99 (Profile
Books & Serpent’s Tail)

Anyone who is familiar
with Pedro Almodovar’s work will
understand why he chose to base his new film, The Skin I Live In, on the late
Jonquet’s book, Trantula. This easily consumable novella concerns itself with
Almodovar’s favourite themes: sexuality, identity and maternal devotion. Paris
born Jonquet first published the book in 1995 as ‘Mygale’ the nickname of the
central character, Richard Lafargue.
Plastic surgeon Larfargue is rich, successful and generous on the
surface; but beneath his polished exterior he hides a deep secret, not least
that he locks up his beautiful wife Eve in a room wired up with 300 watt
speakers and an intercom, which he uses to bark orders at her. The hubristic
Lafargue is in fact a bitter and twisted widower who chooses to play god with
his refined surgery skills.

Almodovar’s adaptation,
which is out in cinemas now, isn’t entirely faithful to the book – he relocates
the narrative from France to Madrid and he shifts relationships and narratives
around, changing names, too – nevertheless, the original premise is certainly
identifiable. Trantula is reminiscent of a modern day Frankenstein, delving
into issues of revenge, passion, the human spirit and relationships. Jonquet’s
words flow easily from the page making it an accessible but enjoyable read,
with enough suspense and intrigue to keep the pages being turned hurriedly
enough.

Best for:
a dark and stylish holiday read. To Buy the book Trantula Click Here

Film Trailer


2. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver £7.99 (Profile
Books & Serpent’s Tail)

Another book which is the basis
for a film which is hotly anticipated at the end of next month. Shriver’s
striking novel is an intense meditation on evil, motherhood and the role of career
women and wives. Eva is a mother, who, two years after her son killed nine of
his fellow pupils in a Columbine style massacre, is struggling to come to terms
with the incident and her redundancy as a mother. Deciding it’s time she spoke
about her son Kevin she writes a series of brutally honest letters to her
estranged husband, Franklin. The reader follows Eva’s thought process as she
looks back, with hindsight and regret, at the time before Kevin was born and
his childhood leading up to the fateful incident. Stunning and sharply written, Shriver captures those everyday
moments that can affect us so much – a look, an oversight, the little things
that lead up to big things – with such accuracy. She also dares to say what many won’t – that motherhood can
sometimes be a disappointment. She muses over, but doesn’t give definitive
answers to, uncomfortable but important questions such as: where does evil come
from? Is it down to nature or nurture? And is it ever alright to admit you
dislike your own child – even from the start? Lynne Ramsay’s film promises to be as good as Shriver’s novel. It
has already premiered at Cannes earlier this year and Shriver herself has said
of the film: “Stunning… a brilliant adaptation of my novel.”

Best
for:
posing important but
uncomfortable questions, not to mention a riveting can’t-put-it-down read. To Buy the book We Need To Talk About Kevin click Here

Film Trailer


3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte £10 (Michael O’Mara Books)

Revisiting or discovering
a classic such as Bronte’s Jane Eyre is always a pleasure. Michael O’ Mara
publishing house have released this hard back version of Bronte’s most famous
novel, tying in with the release of Cary
Fukunaga’s
new adaptation released later this month and starring Michael Fassbender as a most fitting Mr
Rochester. Jane Eyre is an unfortunate orphan who attempts to support herself
by becoming a governess. Happy in her newly gained position at Thornfield
Hall she soon becomes acquainted with her abrupt and sometimes scornful master,
who, despite his temperament she strikes up an intense friendship with and
eventually she falls in love with him. As always in Jane’s life there is to be
turmoil as she discovers he is harbouring a dark secret which threatens to ruin
Jane’s hopes of happiness. This new hardback edition sports a classic yet
contemporary design guaranteed to look lovely on any bookshelf. Matching
editions of other classics such as Bronte’s Wuthering Heights can also be
bought. Fukunaga’s adaptation is keenly anticipated; it did well in the US
where it was given a limited release and if Fukunaga’s first feature-length
film, Sin Nombre, is anything to go by his adaptation of Jane Eyre should be a
must see.

Best for:
replacing your well thumbed copy currently languishing on your bookshelf with a
brand spanking stylish new copy or as a gift for a classic book lover. To Buy the book of Jane Eyre click Here

Film Trailer


4. Alien Vault: The definitive story of the making of
the film by Ian Nathan £30
(Aurum
Press)

Ridley Scott’s Alien is a film classic; masterful in special effects and sci-fi storytelling
for its time and loved by generations long after its original release in the late
70s. This book, out the first of September, by the executive editor of Empire
magazine, Ian Nathan, celebrates the birth of the original film and opens a
portal into its making. Nathan, clearly a passionate fan as well as a film
aficionado, talks about hearing about the film from his mother in 1979 as a 10
year old boy. She had described Aliens as “so frightening all she could do was
laugh”. Nathan wouldn’t watch the film until the director’s cut was released 25
years later. This book, lovingly compiled, features Polaroids from the original
set, Scott’s story boards (contained in separate pockets), concept artwork from
H.R Giger, sketches and construction blueprints for the Nostromo, plus, amongst
other things, tales from the set. For example, apart from John Hurt, who arrived early on set, the rest of the crew were kept
in the dark about the alien that was about to burst from his chest. Beautifully
illustrated and full to the brim with anecdotes and inside information about
the filmmaker’s craftsmanship; no Alien fan is likely to be left disappointed
with this offering.

Best for: Sci-fi fans and aspiring film makers. To Buy Alien Vault by Ian Nathan click Here

Film Trailer


5. 501 Must See Movies £25 (Octopus Books)

Any self respecting movie
geek should have a book like this, ready to tick off the movies as they devour
them, one by one. This edition has been updated to include 50 new films. The
must see films have been compiled with the help of industry experts such as
writer and critic Chris Darke, who has written for Sight and Sound and The
Independent, and academic Ronald Bergan (PhD Eng.Lit). Broken down into genre
categories, each film is given an illustrated page outlining the credits and a
three paragraph blurb of its synopsis and why it is a must see movie. No doubt
there will be some you agree with and some you don’t; for example Grease is
undisputable – but should Chicago really be in there? Other undisputed classics
include The Terminator, The Magnificent Seven, City of God and Old Boy. For a
list of must see books 501 seems an odd number, but we hear they are planning
an edition that hits the one thousand mark…

Best for: Any
self-respecting film fan and students who wants direction on where to start when
brushing up on their film knowledge.

And Finally…

101 Cult Movies/ Action Movies You Must See Before
You Die by Steven Jay Shneider £9.99 each
(Octopus Books)

From the same series are
these two mini guides which give you a deeper look into each specific genre. Compiled
by Shneider, who is a film critic, scholar and producer, with the help of other
professionals he delves deep into each genre from the beginnings of the early
20th century to 2009, exploring the commercial and critical success
of each film and what makes it a must see movie. 101 cult movies includes films
such as The Rocky Horror Show, Easy Rider, Donnie Darko and Rebel Without a
Cause. Whereas 101 Action Movies includes films such as True Lies, Enter The
Dragon, Lethal Weapon and Point Break.

Best for: stocking
fillers and a lonesome coffee table. To Buy 101 Cult Movies/ Action Movies You Must See Before
You Die click Here


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com