Friday, November 20, 2009

King, Cronenberg and New Moon

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Stephen King at the Canon Theatre in conversation with David Cronenberg, and later, at midnight, drove to the depths of the suburbs (Mississauga) to see The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

King, who received a standing ovation the second he stepped out onto the stage, kicked off the night by reading from his new (massive) novel, Under the Dome, about a small town--you guessed it--trapped under a dome (like in The Simpsons movie, but bloodier). After that, David Cronenberg came out and the two of them sprawled out on some leather chairs to talk shop. My favorite part was when King said that it would be awesome if someone wrote a book about getting emails from the dead, to which Cronenberg replied, "I get those all the time--from agents." Ha! They then went on to the discuss trials and tribulations of adapting books for film. One of the major difficulties they found was expressing internal dialogue cinematically. King, rather poignantly, said that writing a novel is like swimming, you're completely submerged in the story and its characters, whereas film is like skating, whizzing about on the surface.

Nothing could be more true of the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's New Moon. I'll start by saying that I was beyond excited to see this movie (like, hyperventilating-into-my-Icee excited); the production's improved tenfold since the last one, and it's heartbreakingly faithful to the book, which I definitely appreciate. That said, this wasn't really a book about action but rather one of pure inner turmoil from start to finish. At the end I could have sworn they cut it to pieces but upon conferring with my friend (who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the text) they really didn't cut out much of the scenes/dialogue/action. What they did cut was all of Bella's inner dialogue, so that we were left with her reactions instead of her thoughts and feelings. Not everything in the movie was affected by this though; the scenes with the CGI wolves were exciting, as was the introduction to the Volturi. But I missed the obsessive, over-wrought narrative during Bella's scenes with Edward... You probably won't read this in any other reviews, but ultimately I felt that New Moon just wasn't angsty enough.

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