Movies Can Reveal Great Reads
March 07, 2011
Sometimes, the best part of going to the movies is finding something new to read.
This weekend, I saw The Adjustment Bureau, the new Matt Damon movie loosely based on Philip K Dick’s short story, The Adjustment Team.
Dick’s science fiction novels and short stories have long been a favorite story source for Hollywood screenwriters.
In the new film, Matt Damon is a candidate for U.S. Senate who discovers that his chance meeting with a beautiful dancer was anything but chance, and that his life must be "adjusted" to make sure he never sees her again. The actual Adjustment Bureau is made up of men in gray flannel suits and fedoras who watch and wait to make sure everyone’s life goes according to plan.
As is often the case, the original short story isn’t quite as complicated as all that, but that's not a bad thing. Quite the contrary, in its simplicity, the original story still raises some interesting questions about chance, free will and the existence of a divine hand guiding the universe. I’ve often found that I enjoy the original, less fussed-up works to the Hollywood adaptations. Dare I mention The Lightning Thief and The Polar Express?
The Mid-Continent Public Library has plenty of Philip K. Dick’s works on the shelf, as well as their big screen counterparts. So judge for yourself. Compare his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to the 1982 cult classic film Blade Runner; the short story We Can Remember That for You Wholesale and the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster Total Recall, as well the short stories and novel that inspired Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003) and A Scanner Darkly (2006).
Visit our online catalog for more.