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The Fault In Our Stars


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Just surprised there wasn't a thread for this. I guess it's aimed strongly at the teen demographic, and so maybe isn't of much interest to this forum. Still, it's based on a multi-million bestseller, so it could be quite a success. It seems to be somewhere between Now Is Good and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

 

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I like the novel. It's a nice antidote to all of the post-apocalyptic dystopia adventures out there. It is about kids with cancer, though, so it's not exactly happy times. Wallflower is a decent comparison, although the characters in Fault are less eccentric.

 

The author of the novel, John Green, also has a popular (1.7 million subscribers) YouTube channel.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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By the way, John Green is an Indiana author (my home state) and The Fault in Our Stars is set in Indianapolis. I recognize, or have even been to, several of the locations in the book. Although the movie keeps the Indianapolis setting, it was shot in Pittsburgh and on location in Amsterdam . The other location is legitimately a spoiler, in my opinion.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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  • 3 months later...

Take the Episcopalian youth group:

 

Although he chose to remain a layperson, Green’s work is infused with an indelible sense of grace that speaks to who he is as a person – and who we are as the Episcopal Church. Without pandering, his voice channels a teenager’s brutal honesty: the hope and despair, the angst and humor. His story embraces the dual nature of faith and futility providing redemption without resorting to easy answers. Teenagers love his work and crave his message. ...

 

So how do we use this beautiful story to help young people connect to who we? Take your youth group to see the movie. It is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and brief strong language (See the link for the trailer below to get a sense of it). For more in-depth consideration, consider a discussion series around the book reflecting on how faith manifests in the book and the reality the characters face.

 

Whether you focus on the movie or the book, take this opportunity to engage your own youth and encourage them to bring their friends. Help them understand that while the characters are fictitious, the love, relationships and support that the characters find are a true representation of who we are as Episcopalians. Okay? Okay.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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: It is rated PG-13 for thematic elements . . .

 

Hmmm. Usually the warning of "thematic elements" is attached to PG-rated films with political or religious content (Facing the Giants, Moms' Night Out, An Inconvenient Truth, etc.). Not sure I've ever seen it attached to a PG-13 film before.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The novel is very good, teen demographic or not, and I'm looking forward to the film.

 

 

 

Same here. Location is such a key part of the book there are certain scenes I am very much looking forward to.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 2 weeks later...

My daughter and I are very much looking forward to this film - she finished the book over the weekend, and I've nearly finished it.  Very well-written, charming, affecting, and thought-provoking - I can easily see going back to re-read this and dig in more deeply.  Making this even more enticing, the writers of this screenplay also wrote (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now - they seem perfect for this material.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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I, too, read the book in audio form within the last year. I can't say it made a huge impression on me, although the stuff with the church-group leader leading the group in singalongs (right?) was pretty funny.

 

Based on my memories of the book, I think the preview captures the tone of the novel well, including those awkward group scenes with the gregarious group leader. I sense that this could be the current teen generation's Say Anything, although I was never a huge fan of Say Anything. Come to think of it, isn't Peter Gabriel music used in the trailer? It's been a while since I've seen it.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I just finished reading Margaret Talbot's profile of John Green in the latest New Yorker.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Truthfully, I wish EDGE OF TOMORROW was getting the coverage TFIOS is currently receiving.  I just wasn't that impressed with it as a book. 

Yeah, Chris, I wasn't the biggest fan of the book, although I didn't dislike it.

 

I'm heartened by the box-office response because it means every YA relationship book will now be optioned for the movies. I'll get to see an adaptation of my favorite Sara Zarr book, Sweethearts. smile.png (Assuming that one hasn't already been optioned. I know Sara's Story of a Girl is being developed by Kyra Sedgwick's production company, if memory serves.)

 

EDIT: Yup.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The movie is significantly less literary than the novel. In the movie, it seems like An Imperial Affliction is the only book Hazel reads, but the novel has a number of references, including Waiting for Godot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and Julius Caesar (which is where the title comes from):

 

 

CASSIUS

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

 

Literary gripes aside, I thought the movie was a good translation of the book overall.

 

Also, I've totally been to the skeleton statue/playground thing.

Edited by Tyler

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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I liked it for the most part.
  

The upshot is a flawed but empathic, fairly honest movie about flawed but empathic, honest characters. There are a few missteps, notably a scene involving a supporting character whose behavior doesn’t come across as credible here. But the big emotions of love and grief work. I wouldn’t say it left me satisfied, but it left me appreciative.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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My wife and eldest daughter (14yrs) went last night with a few other mothers and daughters. They luuuvvvved it. Cried and cried they said. Daughter said it followed the book really close, which was important to her. I asked, then why make a movie of it? Sometimes it is my duty to play the role of the snarky father.

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My almost 15 year old daughter, fiancée, and I enjoyed this very much.  I don't think it will win any grand points for cinematography or editing style, both of which seemed fairly conventional, but it told a good story quite well.  The actors playing Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac did a solid job, and goodness, it's nice to have a film in which parents aren't either non-entities or idiots.

 

It also warmed my heart that there was a line at the cinema to get in and see this film; what a refreshing sight for a film that didn't involve lots of shit getting blown up.  I also rejoice at a film/book that doesn't shy away from big concepts and ideas:  Zeno's Achilles and the tortoise made applicable, mortality, meaning, the intrinsic unfairness of life, quality vs. quantity of life, the importance vs. emptiness of ritual, grieving well, and so forth. 

 

To go on a bit of a personal tangent:  last Friday I presented a 50 minute lecture to the local university's psychiatry department on the challenges of aging as depicted in Ozu's films.  Afterwards, a 50-something former chair of the dept came up and told me that she'd found my presentation depressing.  Well, um, aging is difficult and is suffused with loss, yet offers hope for continued meaning and growth (so my presentation had made clear), yet that was apparently too much for at least one lecture attendee.  Where this ties into The Fault in our Stars:  I welcome a film that introduces young people to concepts of mortality and meaning, since the denial of death and time's passing is not solely a phenomenon of the young and inexperienced.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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The Dissolve podcast this week touched on TFioS and "feel-bad" cinema, and why some viewers avoid sad movies.

 

I thought TFioS was sad, sure, but it wasn't depressing. It showed characters facing mortality in a way that allowed them to work through and even transcend their fears. Depressing is when people aren't willing to deal with those questions or find meaning in their lives.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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One theory as to how TFIOS will impact Hollywood.

 

I am happy to see a non-spectacle, non-animated summer movie about human beings top the summer box office.

 

And it's interesting to see female-driven movies take the top two box office slots, with the second weekend of Maleficent topping the opening weekend of Edge of Tomorrow

 

Unfortunately, here's another angle: Movies based on popular books with a built-in U.S. audience will continue to be privileged over riskier movies based on an unfamiliar premise or source material, such as a Japanese sci-fi novel. 

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Ah, but SDG: Does anyone actually expect TFiOS to outgross Edge of Tomorrow *worldwide*? It didn't this weekend. And Hollywood thinks globally these days, even if American journalists don't.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 6 months later...

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