Beloved Books on the Big Screen

Florida is known for many things, mostly football and horrific news stories that cannot be blamed on heat and illiteracy alone. The Jacksonville Public Library is offering a reprieve from the Floridian madness in the form of a film series. Every Tuesday beginning on June 14th, the Main Library will be hosting films all summer long in the Hicks Auditorium. As with all library programming, these events are free and open to the public. While all the film selections are adaptations of novels, there is still diversity in tone to ensure that at least one offering will be of interest.

Thematically, the films are adaptations of books. Where the Wild Things Are kicks things off in an expansive departure from the bedtime book of your evaporated youth. The Wizard of Oz screens June 21st, the day before Judy Garland died and right in the middle of LGBT month. While L. Frank Baum’s series has been read as a political and economic allegory of the 1890s, the film has a mythology all its own. Post to Post Links II error: No link found for term slug "The Sword and the Stone" is based upon T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, which borrows from Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, but truly, the film is best remembered for the salty talking owl, Archimedes. Fresh off the fireworks of America’s 240th birthday, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 will be showing the abject horror of mutated food raining from the sky, or perhaps a subtle lesson in the danger of getting what you want. Science is fun! The fun continues with Roald Dahl’s beloved chocolate factory. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory exquisitely renders the strange world of greedy adults and horrible children through the lens of Roald Dahl. Few films are as fondly recalled and terrifying as this. If going for the full effect, there is always Sweet Pete’s just across Hemming Park, which seems to draw more than a little inspiration from the film. As we pull into the final summer stretch, we have Hitchcock at last. While several of Hitch’s films were adaptations, Rear Window is a fun exercise in the expansion of Cornell Woolrich’s short story, “It Had to Be Murder”. Being the greatest Hitchcock film is analogous to being called the most fun Kardashian or the least morally reprehensible Kennedy—everyone has an opinion. Closing out the series is The Maltese Falcon. There is something quite wonderful about noir in the dead of summer. The Pacific Northwest has the climate, but the South has the countenance for the mysterious and winding anticlimax of this detective genre.
In between the jaunts to the various springs, backyards, and up-the-coast vacations, consider the public library as a destination for air conditioned entertainment and enrichment. Books are an excellent prop for poolside Instagram albums, though do be careful not to get them wet.


About Erin Tuzuner