Friday, July 11, 2008

Perceptions

image I was first exposed to Les Miserables from the musical. (Another lost tape I need to download at some point! I have decided to not go anywhere and not drive so I have money for iTunes. I wish. :-)

The musical led to the book, although I don't think I picked up the book until college. I remember enjoying it, but that's about it.

I'm pretty sure I still loved the musical more.

Then last night, I joined the free trial of Netflix, since I'm canceling my cable service. And I'd missed the 1998 movie version of Les Miserables (Oh. My. God. Awesome movie!), so I watched it instantly for free.

(Netflix rocks. I was addicted after five minutes.)

What stunned me most about watching it was how much it spoke to me. It's as if it's a completely different experience, even though the story is variably the same (I watched the movie last night, didn't read the book--although it's next on my list.)

I can't wait to read it again!

Ever have a story seem to drastically change when you read it again, even though it's the same story? Les Miserables the movie should've come out this year or next. Talk about a story for our times.

15 bonus scribbles:

conley730 7/11/2008 02:59:00 PM  

Liam Neeson is enough to get me to watch it! I've seen the musical, but I've never read the book or seen this movie. Maybe I need to get back on Netflix.

spyscribbler 7/11/2008 03:56:00 PM  

I haven't turned on my TV since May, swear to God. So cable is a huge waste. During the writer's strike, I totally stopped watching TV. I watch episodes online now for free, for the few shows I follow.

Netflix is only $8.99 a month, in comparison to cable. I'm hoping it will be enough to hold DH's attention when he gets back, so we don't have to get cable again.

Zoe Winters 7/11/2008 04:16:00 PM  

I think I've run this record into the ground but my understanding of what Story of O is even ABOUT, changes drastically every time I read it. On the surface it's just a "dirty story" that's in it's way a cult classic, but I think there is a lot more going on psychologically under the surface. And that's probably why I pushed through and read it more than once until it stopped pissing me off.

spyscribbler 7/11/2008 05:37:00 PM  

LOL, Zoe. That's okay. I'll never forget when our German literature professor asked us who'd read it. I was the only one. And I raised my hand. I think I blushed for the rest of the class. It never did piss me off, though. I remember the prologue or introduction (I forget) stunned me, haunted me.

Zoe Winters 7/11/2008 05:55:00 PM  

hehe Spy, it just pissed me so much that Rene would do these things and tell her he loved her. It was like he didn't have the right to say he loved her and I was sure he was lying and it just made the whole thing worse.

Though I think Story of O is one of those things where, unless you've read it, you don't really know exactly what's in it...so no one should feel embarrassed about raising their hand, cause they only way they know why you're blushing is if they read it too. :P

writtenwyrdd 7/12/2008 11:15:00 AM  

I'd be willing to try the movie, especially with Liam Neeson in it, but I found the play irredeemably tiresome. The first act was (if memory serves) nearly 2 hours long! Interminable, at any rate. It put me off reading the book, which is a huge tome. (But I love the Phantom of the Opera sound track and the play and the movie versions.) Goes to show that taste is indeed individual.

Where do you watch free tv online?

Barrie 7/12/2008 11:21:00 AM  

I am seriously underusing my Netflix.

StarvingWriteNow 7/12/2008 12:44:00 PM  

Did Liam Neeson actually sing?

I have certain books that I read over and over because each time I gain something new from them... I'm not sure yet about a book's meaning totally changing for me. I'll have to think on that some more.

Robin 7/12/2008 12:44:00 PM  

Thanks for the tip! I'm going to Boston to visit my parents next week, and I'm going to rent Les Mis then. I hope the boys don't hate me.

spyscribbler 7/13/2008 01:33:00 PM  

LOL, Zoe. I hated Renee, that's true. I loved that it was mentioned later that he got involved in something bad. I forgot what happened to him, but I remember thinking he deserved it. Did you read the sequel?

spyscribbler 7/13/2008 01:37:00 PM  

Writtenwyrdd, all the networks have free shows online now. So if you go to abc.com, and click around you'll find they have free episodes online. Some networks put the newest show on the day after, some a week after. Some leave the whole season up, some just leave a couple episodes up at a time. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and a bunch of the cable ones, too, like (I just learned) USA, etc.

The movie is great; not slow at all. There are several "abridged" versions of Les Miserables out there (Pocket or Random House puts out a fast-reading one), and even the unabridged translations admit they tweak out a little here and there.

After looking at them all, I realized I wanted to read every word. I want the political and societal context and ramblings. That's the part that speaks to me right now, mostly because of our economy right now.

spyscribbler 7/13/2008 01:38:00 PM  

Definitely, Barrie! I'm loving it. And all the free movies online they offer, too! Did you know they now make a box to hook up to your TV, where all those free movies and episodes will stream right into your TV?

spyscribbler 7/13/2008 01:41:00 PM  

Writenow, LOL, no, it was based on the novel, not the musical.

This is the first time a book has drastically changed from underneath me. Or maybe it's just the poverty thing. I fear tipping over the edge at the moment; I see our problems today and I'm not sure I see a way out. I'm not seeing much hope, and I'm seeing many more people dying without health insurance, more people just unable to live on their wages.

So the backdrop of Les Mis has completely come alive for me, whereas before, it was just a setting for the characters. Now I see it was a huge part of the novel, and now it's the part that speaks to me most.

spyscribbler 7/13/2008 01:42:00 PM  

Awww, Robin. Make sure it's the 1998 version. It won't be so bad. There's boys fighting in there. Boys like to play soldiers, no?

Zoe Winters 7/14/2008 05:48:00 PM  

Hey Spy, I found the sequel about a year ago in a used bookstore. I have it on my shelf but haven't read it yet. I'm too afraid to be disappointed. Have you read it?