Nine Movies You Didn’t Know Had Literary Origins

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1. The Lion King (and its sequels)

Don’t be fooled by the fur—Disney only superficially disguised Shakespeare’s Hamlet with adorable lion cubs. Scar, a.k.a. Claudius, murders his brother on the sly and takes his throne, leaving young Hamlet—er, Simba—to travel the circle of life alone and conflicted. Fortunately for Simba, Walt apparently didn’t make it to the end of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

The tensions lingering on Pride Rock in The Lion King 2 make an excellent stage for a furry version of Romeo and Juliet. And in the oddly delightful Lion King 1½, Timon and Pumbaa star in something a lot like Tom Stoppard’s absurd existentialist play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (minus the dead part). Continue Reading ›

7 Wintery Novels To Cozy Up To

eNoters! We are so close to springtime!

Birds, bees, apple trees, and sunscreen. It’s almost in our reach. But when the sun comes back, we lose our (completely viable) excuse to stay in after school/work… with our fuzzy slippers & snowflake jammies, bingeing on Netflix or absorbed in a book all night.

Let’s be clear: coming from an introvert, I never condemn these practices any time of year. But the other people of the world expect, yah know, some sort of human contact every now and then. *sigh*

So, let’s take advantage of the coming months’ gift of socially acceptable pajama-donning YOU time. Here’s some great winter-themed reads to keep you cozied up inside:

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10 Bookish Costume Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a costume idea, we’ve collected our top 10 literature-inspired outfits here by level of difficulty, so you can look bookishly awesome no matter how much time you have on your hands.

1. Ishmael, from Moby Dick

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You’re just one name tag away from “Call me Ishmael.”

2. Fifty Shades of Grey

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Witty and racy. Head to your local hardware store for some free color sheets and you’re done!  Continue Reading ›

Sanitizing “The Giver”

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On August 11, 2014, thousands of teens and their parents eagerly purchased tickets for the long-awaited film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Award-winning novel The Giver.  My teenaged son read it in junior high and loved it. I loved it too. Like Madelyn L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Lowry’s The Giver has a subterranean angst that readers can feel bubbling under their fingertips as pages are turned, a sense that no matter how calm this world is on the outside, something is irreparably wrong.

Everyone complains when a beloved novel is turned into a film. This may be especially true of science fiction works, as  entirely new worlds depend on an individual’s imagination formed from an author’s words. When one person, a director, substitutes his own vision for that of countless personal interpretations, tempers flare. While most moviegoers understand the necessity of divergences from the original text, other alterations are harder to accept.

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The New Harry Potter Story from J.K. Rowling

Hear more about the latest update on The Boy Who Lived, published on Rowling’s Pottermore website yesterday.

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HP superfans will be delighted to hear that author JK Rowling, despite insisting that she won’t return to write another addition to her popular series, has released a short update on the adult lives of her beloved characters. The 1,500 word story appears in the form of a gossip column on Rowling’s Pottermore website, written from the perspective of her tabloid journalist character Rita Skeeter.

In it Skeeter reports from the grounds of the current Quidditch World Cup in Patagonia. As usual, nobody is safe from the sharp-quilled busybody, as Skeeter kicks up dirt on Dumbledore’s Army members Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and more. Among the most scandalous “discoveries” Skeeter shares with her Daily Prophet readers are the Longbottoms’ penchant for a tad too much firewhisky and Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley’s steamy snog sessions (“The good news is both of them seem to have invented a method of breathing through their ears”).

If you, too, are nostalgic for a time when we could all look forward to another Harry Potter adventure, read Rowling’s latest tidbit, “Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final” here, and let us know what you think!

First Look at the New Mac… Scottish Play Adaptation

Mere hours ago the world got its first look at the latest feature film to be adapted from Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. And oh what a first look it was…

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That’s right, peel your eyes away from that murderous gaze and you’ll find that it belongs to none other than the current Hollywood darling Michael Fassbender. Chills… I have chills! I know what you’re thinking: he seems to be saying,

I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er

Right? (By the way, you can find the explanation for that quote here.)

And if Fassbender gives you goosebumps in this poster, just wait til you find out who’s playing Lady M…

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Have You Seen the Gone Girl Trailer Yet?

Most readers would agree that adapted films are almost never as good as the books that inspire them. But with David Fincher casting his creepy spell over Gillian Flynn’s breakaway thriller, it looks like Gone Girl might just defy the odds.

Check it out below:

The cast includes Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, Rosamund Pike as his missing wife Amy, Tyler Perry as the lawyer Tanner Bolt, and Neil Patrick Harris as the waspy Desi Collings. The movie is directed by David Fincher, of “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “House of Cards” fame. (He’s also directed some Nine Inch Nails music videos, and if that’s not a pedigree for eerie film making, I don’t know what is.)

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