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The difficulty of filming Swallows and Amazons

From Captain JP’s Log

Recently I saw the new film of Swallows and Amazons, but before a review, a few comments about the difficulty of the task.

Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons must be a hard book to convert into a film – or at least hard in 2016, the era of Harry Potter and, god-help-us-all, the endless re-hashed superheros and battling robots. Books are often defined by the promise from the earliest chapters – i.e. how is the book framed for the reader, what expectations can they have for the story to come?

An excellent example of this is Chapter 1 of Book 1 of the Harry Potter series in which we learn that our hero has a mortal enemy who is the evil wizard that killed his parents. So that’s the peril, the difficulty to overcome and the necessary resolution all made clear – plus major characters like Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid and the Dursleys all introduced.

But in chapter 1 of Swallows and Amazons they learn they are to be allowed to camp on an island, with no sign of the primary plots of Amazons or Captain Flint which evolve later.

Continue reading the original story…