Friday, July 31, 2009

Plump Sister (or, Christmas in July)

I keep forgetting to tell you guys about this.

With much thanks to Siskoid - who may not have given me the initial idea, but certainly was a direct influence on its execution - I've started a new blog called Plump Sister.

The purpose of the project is to take an in-depth look at Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with particular attention to the way it’s been interpreted and adapted into film over the years. As you'll discover in the introductory post, A Christmas Carol is my favorite piece of literature, but it falls a bit outside the scope of this blog, so that's why I'm spinning it off into its own thing. I could've waited until the holidays to launch it, but a) I'm impatient, and b) it's going to be a large enough undertaking that I can't cover it in a month or two. I might as well start now.

Again, I cover this in the first post, but:
The way this is going to work is that I’ll be breaking the story down into scenes (or sometimes parts of scenes) and looking at their translation to nine different films:

A Christmas Carol (1910) starring Marc McDermott
Scrooge (1935) starring Seymour Hicks
A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen
Scrooge (1951) starring Alastair Sim
Scrooge (1970) starring Albert Finney
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) starring Scrooge McDuck
A Christmas Carol (1984) starring George C. Scott
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) starring Michael Caine
A Christmas Carol (1999) starring Patrick Stewart

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list. I tried to stick to my favorite versions plus one (the 1970 Scrooge) that I’m seeing for the first time for this project after years of friends' recommending it to me. I’ve also added a couple of curiosities (the 1910 silent version and the 1935 Seymour Hicks version) because they were included on other DVDs I have or programs that I’ve recorded.

We could have some good discussion about the ones I left out, and I’d love to see that happen in the comments if you’re up for it. I will say though that Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol isn’t here because I hate it with a passion. It’s neither a good Christmas Carol nor a good Mister Magoo cartoon. There’s also no Scrooged or An American Christmas Carol or Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. I tried to stick to more-or-less faithful adaptations.
I hope some of you guys are fans of the story and will come over and help me talk about it. I'm really looking forward to it.
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