Friday, December 5, 2008

Top Films: Die undendlische Geschichte

There is a special quality to movies like The Never Ending Story. Those few really good fantasy movies released before the technology existed to make them convincingly. Or maybe it should be said that they used to be convincing, before movies like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Narnia movies came along. There is probably someone somewhere who is planning to remake this movie, but that is a dubious proposition.

Sure, the visuals could be improved, but where do you go for material? The movie could be remade as it now is told, but what would be the point. It is already a good story. Returning to the source material would not necessarily work, for it is so different from the movie that the author tried to sue the movie makers.

The secret to this movies special status is that it is a nearly perfect depiction of how the fantasy genre is so valuable. It also shows how real reading stories can be for the reader. There is an irony in using a movie to show kids how exciting reading can be, but that is where the imperfection of the effects in this film are an asset. The movie shows how exciting these stories can be for a reader (not just on a story level.) At the same time it shows how the imagination of the reader is without exception a better technology than anything a movie can provide.

For those fantasy fans that haven’t seen this yet, be warned. The effects are mid eighties. The acting leaves something to be desired as well. Try to watch it for what it is: an independent fantasy film from 1984.

1 comment:

  1. it shows how the imagination of the reader is without exception a better technology than anything a movie can provide.
    Exactly what I, and I'm sure every other English teacher, have always liked about the movie. Hence, that quote I like, "Never judge a book by it's movie" Also why I thought The Tempest, one of my favorite Shakespeare works, could never be done adequately on the stage. Nevermind that he WROTE it for the stage! I think it's one that COULD be a really good movie now with all the new technology.


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