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Five Movies That Were Books First

Literary classic films

Films that you could read without the script

It goes without saying that words can get in the way of what something really means. With any kind of art, intention and interpretation are equally valuable vantages for admiration. As a medium, film affords modes of expression that can be shared beyond language. All arrogance aside, some of the best blockbusters were novels first. Were the books better? Maybe. The following movies are still well worth a watch.

Is Not General Incivility The Very Essence Of Love?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a thrilling flurry of whist parties, corsets, and undead aristocrats. The Shaolin-trained Bennet sisters are no damsels in distress in this apocalypse period piece. There’s a bit more on their minds than marrying well, most of all the swarms of risen dead so well articulated they could run for parliament. Elizabeth (Lily James) and Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) toe the fine line between love and hate as an army of reanimated corpses siege 19th century England. If ballgown combat scenes strike your fancy, you’re missing out. It’s on Hulu.

Unnatural Deeds Do Breed Unnatural Troubles

Certainly not for the lily-livered, A24’s rendition of Macbeth doles out age-old themes of power, greed, and guilt with stark silhouettes in dramatic monochrome. Denzel Washington transforms from a dubious thane to an out-of-touch tyrant in a shadowy maze of sentries and arches. He occasionally breaks the fourth wall as he plummets into a paranoid meltdown through mystic prophecies and hallucinations. Frances McDormand gives a phenomenal performance as the stern lady of Inverness Castle. Ruined by contrition, her poised character is reduced to a disheveled ghost of her former self. Without spoiling the end of the Scottish play, it concludes with two gracefully choreographed sword duels that make the movie. Catch it on Apple TV+.

 

Service Demands Total Commitment On The Corporate Plane

The End of Eternity is a pinnacle of Soviet science fiction based on the novel by Isaac Asimov. Wars, protests, and inventions in this timeline are tailored in retrospect by a KGB-esque organization known as Eternity. The secret society employs time travel to extend their reign on Earth and keep human history civil. A young technician is assigned to train a colleague to open a temporal field in the 24th century and ensure the establishment of the council. His loyalties shift when he meets a woman from the 48th century whose existence would be erased by that action. The End of Eternity (оне вености) is free on YouTube.

Mors Certa, Vita Incerta

In a future where off-planet manual labor is passed off to androids, the world sees an insurgence of discontent replicants that have begun to develop free thought. Law enforcement officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is brought in to “retire” four slaves that escaped to Earth in Blade Runner (1982). The only way to distinguish a replicant from a human is by administering the Voight-Kampff test, a quantitative measure of compassion. The movie is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which imagines 2019 California as a decrepit free-for-all full of smog and flying cars. Hazy bars, abandoned buildings, and makeshift gene editing labs line the crowded streets of Los Angeles in this trademark cyberpunk film. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

All That We See Or Seem Is But A Dream Within A Dream

Extraordinary Tales is a visual collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous works narrated by Hollywood legends Sir Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings), Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Julian Sands (Phantom of the Opera), Roger Corman (Silence of the Lambs), and Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). Each short was illustrated independently, culminating in a very Love, Death, and Robots feel. The stark animation in “The Tell Tale Heart” outshines the rest. “The Pit and the Pendulum” takes the cake for its nail-biting suspense. It’s a real treat to see Poe’s prose through the eyes of different artists in this creative oddity. Stream it on Shudder. Turn on the subtitles for a full-on read-along.

It can be easy to intellectualize great writing. We’re taught to search for clear connections between an author and their work in order to take away some greater message hidden between the lines. Most art is arbitrary. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to understanding what it is or who it’s for. In that spirit, a greater diversity of thought brings further enlightenment. No one can really be right or wrong about anything that’s objective in the first place. This summer, consume and create as much art as possible. Even if it’s terrible. Extraordinary Tales is a tremendous start.

Extraordinary Tales (2015) | GKIDS | Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Avery Pearson has written long-form print pieces, thought leadership articles, and web copy for startups and nonprofits. Her work has been featured in Ocean News & Technology.