Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Imagination vs. Provided Imagery

Or, put more simply, book vs. movie. I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to watch the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I read the bookand really enjoyed it. it's an exciting adventure with a mystery and lots of over the top IT feats and compelling, interesting characters.But there are [SPOILER ALERT] a couple of really brutal rapes in the book that I don't think I want to see on the screen.  It was one thing to read it, but I really don't want to see it depicted on screen. I'm a very visual person and I'm afraid it will get stuck in my head and be icky. 

As I'm saying this, I'm thinking how odd it is.  I mean, isn't the imagination more powerful than a provided image?  Maybe it's that I didn't try to imagine those parts too much when I read them; I just wanted to get past them to the next part of the story.  But in a movie, I can't gloss over it.  I suppose I could fast forward.  I don't know.

The other night I watched an episode of Hawthorne called "Mother's Day," in which a little baby dies, and I cried and cried! It just blindsided me, I couldn't take it.  I don't do that very often, cry from a TV show or even a good movie.  I'm usually too much the analytical writer, noticing how powerful a scene is and why, to get caught up enough to respond so viscerally as to cry.  But that one really got to me.  And that experience reminded how sometimes imagery has a more powerful effect than my imagination.

The interesting thing is, in this TV episode, they really didn't show much of the baby.  You saw a glimpse of her from the side in a car seat, with her little sunhat, and you saw her little naked toes and her hands.  After that, you really only saw the doctors and nurses working on her, but you didn't see the baby.  Just the faces of the doctors and nurses.  So maybe it actually was my imagination that was so powerful, filling in what wasn't shown!  Or maybe it was a combination of both.  Yeah, I think that's it. 

This reminds me of how in monster movies, it's always scarier when you don't actually see the monster, or only get a glimpse of the monster, until really late in the story.  Perfect example:Jaws.  All you see for 90% of the movie (I just made up that percentage; I'm guessing) is a fin.  Just a fin!  What's so scary about a fin?  Well, it's the characters' reaction to that fin, and to what else they can see and feel (the ouch, it's biting me kind of feeling) that you can't.

Anyway, has anyone seen the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Are the icky scenes really icky? Did they bug you afterward?  Are you scarred for life?

all right, blogger is pissing me off with it's extra line breaks after a link to an amazon product. they just had this great hookup with Amazon, so I thought this stoopid problem would be gone. But no. And I don't feel like trying to fix it right now, not after spending too long on it last night with no success.  I thumb my nose at you, computer!!


Parabolic Muse said...

i hate those extra line breaks.
I couldn't finish the book because I will not sit still for rape scenes because I'm old enough that I've suffered through plenty of gritty realism like babies dying, etc., long enough and I no longer feel I need to. There are lots of other things to do. So, while I enjoyed the beginning of the book, I got rid of it. I won't see the movie.

I'm all about avoiding realistic horror and sticking with dark shadows and jaws and paranormal activity, which was a fun pic.

priti.lisa said...

My daughter and saw the movie.
I always feel movies are more shocking than the need to be.
I saw more than I needed...and my daughter saw it too.
We have seen better foreign films.
The story was good, but the visual brutality was hard to watch.