One of my favourite books is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
As you know, the story takes place during the 1920s. This was a time of great excesses, materialism, changing values and rebellious behavior. The prohibition against alcohol only made drinking and the party lifestyle more attractive to people.
A new Gatsby movie has just been released. This one stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. It is in 3D. Some critics have said it creates a dizziness effect. I am trying to keep an open mind.
I will go see it. Why not? Who could resist seeing any movie version of such a great story? I confess I will have reservations since I do not like seeing a great work turned into a special effects movie - but hopefully that is not the case.
I remember how much hype the 1974 Gatsby movie got. That one starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
I remember that movie as being disappointing. I suppose that given the excellence of the book, the cast and the heightened expectations, that was a lot to live up to in 1974.
This newest release will be the 5th Gatsby movie made. It is very hard to capture on film how you think characters look as you read the novel. I have always felt that Shelley Winters looked exactly like the Myrtle Wilson character when she made the 1949 movie version.
She looks deliciously decadent in this image -- an image I am sure Fitzgerald would have approved for the theme of his story.
Alan Ladd and Betty Field were cast as Jay Gatsby and Daisy. Many have argued Ladd played the best Gatsby. Perhaps the 1949 movie was the truest to the book.
My guess is that the 2013 movie will be fun to watch - lots of visuals and sounds and as fast paced as you can make the story. Certainly the 3D will add a new dimension (bad pun intended).
Here is a photo of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda.
If you are interested in such things, you know about the relationship of Fitzgerald and Zelda and can see how that would have inspired The Great Gatsby novel. The parallels are striking.
In any event, I am looking forward to seeing the new movie. However, no matter how good the movie may be, it can never replace the book.
No movie can compete with the power of the human mind's ability to create images and scenes.