What is this blog all about?

The main purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the things I do, in my everyday life, in order to improve my English. Since I am a very lazy person, I mostly read, and watch movies, and do things which make it possible for me to improve my vocabulary, my grammar and my accent without getting bored... So this blog is going to be about the books I read, the movies I watch, and some other things which I find relevant (or not)...

I hope you'll like it! Don't hesitate to leave comments if you have any suggestions concerning what I should write about!!

samedi 12 mai 2007


I have not written anything in a while, so I thought, go, Claire, find inspiration. But it did not come. So I went on the stupid TV links website (baaaaad Claire) and watched most of the updates of the American Idol shows. I am ashamed, but some good was bound to come of it, and, in order to soothe my bad conscience, after watching the "Idol gives back" show, I added the www.one.org link to my favourite websites. Please go, have a look around, and just add your name and your e-mail adress on the list, you don't even have to donate! And Bono, the super-hero, will be personally grateful for your efforts. Isn't that wonderful? If he had a chance, I'm sure he'd come swooping through your window in his white cape too, and give you a kiss, but I'm told he's very busy lately, what with saving the world and stuff...

Anyway. Let's focus on something really important, i.e. my opinion about adaptations of books in the movies. My friends and I made a little presentation about that when I was in High School, and I just think it's a fascinating subject, so when my best friend V suggested I should make it a post subject, I thought it was a wonderful idea. Thanks V!

Some think books are always better, some think that the better is always the one you get to know first, but I have mixed feelings about the issue.

-Sometimes, both are just as satisfying, and thus watching the movie can save a little time. That's the case for Jane Austen's adaptations for the screen. Haven't seen any, from Clueless to Sense and Sensibility, which I did not like. And I am working hard on seeing them all.
-Sometimes, I can't read the books, because I think it's too hard and not worth the trouble. That's true only for theatre. Why should I bother reading Shakespeare when Kenneth Branagh will do the whole work for me?

-Sometimes, you read the book, then see the movie, and then get a terrible, murderous impulse. You want to go to the Airport, buy a ticket to L.A., and personally go and terminate the miserable carreer of the director by cutting his head off with a teaspoon. (Doesn't happen too often). The only case I can remember, it was already too late, the director had died of a natural death.

-Sometimes, you see the movie, love it, and then read the book, and you can't believe how it's possible to turn such a lousy, terrible book, into such a wonderful masterpiece. I think I should really mention the incredible Devdas, by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, here. I saw the movie at the cinema, lost 80% of my body water through my eyes, gave birth to a French Ganges at the Albatros cinema in Paris with my sister Françoise, and so I decided I would read the book, and see what would happen. I actually cried. Not for the same reasons. Have any of you seen the movie? No? Well, it's about a young man (Devdas, played by Shahrukh Khan, the one, the only), who is madly in love with a young woman (Parvati, the incredibly beautiful Aishwarya Rai), and blows his chances. She gets married to another man, and he becomes a drunk (now that's to make it short, the movie is actually a bit more than 3 hours long).

At some point in the story, he goes and sees her, on the day of her engagement, and begs her to leave with him. She refuses, because she can't dishonour her family, and he hits her with a pearl necklace, to scar her face forever, leave a mark on her, and punish her for her vanity. He leaves a bleeding cut on her forehead, reminiscent of the red powder that husbands put in their wive's hair on their wedding day in India. Now isn't that incredibly romantic reader?? You crying? No? Well, it's very moving when you actually get to see it. Now you read the same scene in the book: Devdas comes. "Marry me" says he. "No", says she. And then he gets angry, and hits her on the head with... a fishing rod.

A FISHING ROD!!! This is supposed to be the Ultimate Indian Litterature Classic!! The Indian Romeo and Juliet! Can you picture it, reader? Romeo hitting Juliet on the head with a fishing rod? How romantic is that? Not very. Anyway, my point is, some directors really have an incredible imagination, thank God for that.

There should be other categories, such as the cases when both the book and the movie are bad ("The DaVinci Code"), or movies you did not even know were adaptations (such as "The Dead Poet's Society"), but I'm afraid I'm running out of time, now, so I'll just leave it at that for tonight. I'm very proud I can actually classify this entry into both "Books" and "Movies" :)
Here is a little link to the scene of Devdas! Hope you'll like it!
(Please don't watch it if you've never seen the movie before, as it looks very silly, by itself...)
Good night reader! Sweet dreams!

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