Thursday, August 6, 2009

Memory is a Strange Thing

by Gigi

I've been known to declare that if a character or scene in a book is well crafted, when I think back on it, it'll take me a moment to remember whether I saw it in a movie rather than having read it.

I can almost swear I have seen actor Djmon Hounsou look out over the barren, blistering desert--after the last camel has died, the last drop of water has evaporated, and the dying members of the caravan have realized civilization is a three day walk away--and say stoically: "Only half a day for a running man."

I would swear I had watched this scene on the screen except for the fact that I know I read it in The Last Camed Died at Noon. (It's a dramatic scene. Trust me. You just had to be there.)

That book hasn't actually been made into a movie. Any directors out there reading this? It's a GREAT book.

One of my favorite movies (one that's a real movie outside of my imagination) is a romantic comedy mystery that wonderfully melds the worlds of real and fictional characters.

American Dreamer is the story of an American housewife who loves reading romantic thrillers. She enters a contest to write the best opening chapter for the "Rebecca Ryan" series of novels--and she wins. She's flown to Paris, and an attempted purse snatching leaves her with a bump on the head that makes her think she's the character Rebecca Ryan.

One of the main characters is a writer who writes the Rebecca Ryan novels, so the "real life" mystery of the movie gets mixed up with the plots and characters of the novels.

"I will not be outwitted by a two dimensional character from a cheap romantic thriller!" one of the characters exclaims at one point.

Right before he's proven wrong.

Now THIS is a movie I can also imagine being a damn good book.


Lisa Hughey said...

I used to LOVE Elizabeth Peters :) Amelia Peabody is one of my all time fav characters.

Sophie Littlefield said...

I am totally stealing the name Djmon to steal in a book. And I wish I had watched that movie with you!!

Juliet Blackwell said...

I don't know how I managed to miss that movie...I thought for sure i'd seen every romantic comedy ever made. I'll have to look it up!
And I always credit Elizabeth Peters with my love of mysteries, and reading in general. I especially loved her VIcki Bliss books. She was a true pioneer in the field, funny, smart, and clever. And cinematic!!!

Gigi Pandian said...

Elizabeth Peters is definitely my favorite author of all time, and the one who made me want to write.

For those of you who are EP fans: once my book is out, if you look closely you just might spot a reference to one of her characters...

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