There are several books on my shelf and in my TBR box that will be turning into films coming out in 2016. I must get to them soon. How time flies, one day’s gone already.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Often it’s the cast of an upcoming movie that prods me to read a book. This one has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for years since its publication. No matter how popular it is, I’m motivated only now mainly because of the first rate cast: Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, Rachel Weisz, directed by Derek Cianfrance. Instead of a place beyond the pines (his last work) we have an island off the Australian coast, with the story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife bringing up a baby they found in a boat washed up onshore.
Silence by Shûsaku Endô
This one is just the opposite. I want to read it regardless of whether it will be made into a film or not. But what a bonus it is to know the adaptation is a Martin Scorsese’s work with Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, and Ciarán Hinds. I highly anticipate this film, albeit I expect the viewing experience won’t be pleasant. I’ve read it before but want to reread it before watching. The book is heart-wrenching as Endô describes the persecutions and tortures Christians and Jesuit missionaries suffered in 17th century Japan. How Scorsese, a Catholic himself, handles the subject matter – the choice between apostasy vs. martyrdom – and have these character actors interpret the internal and physical torments will be intriguing to see. Scorsese wrote the forward of this edition of the book (image here).
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
This is a worthy, true story to be made into film. Jan and Antonina Zabinski were keepers of the reputable Warsaw Zoo. During the Holocaust, Jan smuggled Jews out of the Warsaw Ghetto into their facility, saving hundreds. Antonina did the day-to-day chores of protecting them, hiding them in the cages, feeding them and keeping their spirits up. The parallel and irony of men and beasts are obvious. Acclaimed nature writer Diane Ackerman drew from Antonina’s diary to write her non-fiction work, a historical account of a heroic rescue mission. Screenplay by Angela Workerman, a scribe to note. Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl play the altruistic Zabinski couple.
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
This has been in my iBooks for a long while, so long that I’d deleted it and now reloaded it again as the film adaptation is coming out. Entitled Love and Friendship, screenplay is based on Austen’s early novella Lady Susan, with Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan Vernon. It will be interesting to see how the epistle form is translated onto screen. It will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 23. Whether we will actually see it in our movie theatres is another matter. I hope it will be screened in the not too distant future.
Remainder by Tom McCarthy
I bought this book at Harvard Book Store – the independent book store in Harvard Square since 1932 – during my New England Road Trip last fall. I’d read McCarthy’s 2015 Booker shortlisted Satin Island and knew Remainder had been adapted into film before I went on the trip. So it was a title I’d intended to get at that bookstore. Remainder is McCarthy’s debut work (2006). An unnamed Londoner is struck by a falling object and lapse into a coma. As he awakes, he has lost all memory and needs to re-enact his past to find his identity and authenticity of being. The Telegraph had called McCarthy “a Kafka for the Google Age”. Interesting to see how that translates onto screen. The film premiered at the BFI London Film Festival last October. Will screen at Berlin International Film Festival in February, 2016.
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
The film adaptation of Booker short-listed and multiple award winning novel by Irish writer Sebastian Barry has already been completed, but has yet come up with a release date. So, I’ve plenty of time to read the book. The narrator is a 100 year-old mental hospital patient recalling her life. The old and the young are played by Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara respectively. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the Oscar nominated director who introduced us to Daniel Day-Lewis in the excellent productions first in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown and later In the Name of the Father.