Thursday, August 12, 2010

Doing a Double

At the time of this writing I've finished (re)reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from 1969 and just (re)watched the film made three years later by George Roy Hill.

Both are good, in my opinion, with the book holding an edge in terms of just how good. The story is an idea or concept driven piece with a huge moral (but cynical) undertone. If you are looking for something character or even plot-driven really you'd need to look elsewhere.

But the book was short, so even if you found the jumpy non-linear aspect to be annoying it doesn't go on for very long. The film is pretty true to the book including a lot of lines lifted straight. About the only 'era' the movie doesn't track is the time/impressions for Billy after he dies.

Given all the jumpy time-frame stories that have come after Slaughterhouse-Five, both literary and cinematic, it might not seem so unique or even interesting, but put in perspective it can be seen to be hugely influential.

I'm writing this mostly because I haven't posted for awhile and want everyone to know I'm still alive, but also it is not all that common for me to read a book and watch the film at the same exact time. Thought maybe that moment should be marked somehow.

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