Friday, 16 February 2007

FEEDING THE MIND

I am currently writing a book about the making of The Golden Compass: the film currently in production based on Northern Lights, the first volume of the award-winning 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Philip Pullman. Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the film is being produced by New Line Cinema who previously brought The Lord of the Rings to the screen.

In the process of my research, I found the following compelling quote by Pullman on the power of the story...

"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world."

As Pullman has observed elsewhere: "There's fast-food language and there's caviar language..." But whatever the language and regardless of whether those stories are written in book, magazine and newspaper or enacted on stage or screen, he is right --- we do all need our daily bread from the tellers of tales...

[Caricature of Philip Pullman by David Levine]

7 comments:

Good Dog said...

There are occasions where I'd put stories higher on the list.

I hope the film does the book justice. The casting looks perfect - Eva Green as Serafina Pekkala... especially after seeing her at the BAFTAs. Sam Elliott as Lee Scoresby.

Wasn't sure about Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig until I saw the photos of them as Miss Coulter and Lord Asriel.

Hate to sound like a grumpy old goat, but the thing kids seem to be missing these days is a love of story and an active imagination. All I needed as a lad was a book and a chair.

Brian Sibley said...

Well, as one goat to another... I, too, remember curling up in a chair or lying on my stomach on the lawn or hiding out with a torch under the bedclothes and reading, reading, reading...

One long summer: THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN, THE SWORD IN THE STONE, THE PICKWICK PAPERS, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST, OLIVER TWIST and (sorry, Mr Pullman!) THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW...

Scrooge said...

Imagination is the key to the world.
My books were the standards - a very large book of fairy stories, a big book of Disney and the Narnian Chronicles were the staples of childhood. Come to think of it,they have remained so in adulthood also with the addition of a few more...

Brian Sibley said...

Er... Like... er... A CHRISTMAS CAROL?!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL e-mails to say...

"I too read incessantly as a child, and would now given the opportunity!
However, let us 'oldies' not get too smug, we had few alternatives.

"My family had a television for the Coronation [there's a give away on age!], but the tiny screen in the huge box took forever to warm up, and then there was comparitively litttle to watch.

"The radio [actually 'wirelesss'!] provided some entertainment. I don't know how I would have responded to the glamour of Play Stations, the Internet and so on, but I guess I would have been tempted.

"And let us not forget that there are still children for whom the written word is all. I have a 9 year old nephew who caresses new books, and smells them before opening them with huge anticipation, and Brian and I both know a little girl who walks across a crowded taverna with her nose firmly in her book so she can take it to the loo!

"Most of the children I know play imaginative games, they may derive from contemporary sources, but at heart there is no difference between my childhood games of pirates sparked by 'Treasure Island' and their's sparked by Lara Croft.

"In short, the medium may change, the story does not."

Boris Hiestand said...

Hi Brian, thanks for your kind comment on my blog. I haven't been here in a while...

At one point we were going to provide 'The Golden Compass' with polar bears and opening worlds here at MPC, but now Framestore will do the job. Instead we're taking on centaurs, mice and a whole bunch of other creatures in 'Narnia 2'.

I think the market is rather saturated with these 'epic trilogy' films full of creatures, children and battles.

The Pullman novels are quite good, if not a tad overrated. I for one am still battling the last book, which I can't seem to get through..

I hope they do something good with the film, the visuals I've seen so far are stunning and they can't go wrong with the casting...

Have fun with and good luck writing the book!

Brian Sibley said...

Thank, Boris! And good luck to you, too, with all those Narnians!