Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jeff Bridges Talks Libraries

Newsmaker: Jeff Bridges
American Libraries: 6.06.2014 by Phil Morehart

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges returns to the big screen this summer in The Giver, an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s classic dystopian young adult novel. He spoke with American Libraries about turning the book into a film, its themes, and the future of libraries. Bridges and Lowry will appear at Barbara Stripling's President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29.

You’ve been working on adapting The Giver into a movie for almost two decades. Why do you think this book has such potential as a film?
Well, I was looking for a project to do with my father, Lloyd Bridges, and I wanted to make a children’s movie. So I started to look through some children’s books in a catalog and I saw the picture of this old grizzled guy on the cover and thought, “My dad could play that part. And it’s got the Newbery Award stamp on it, so I should check that out.” I got the book, expecting to read a children’s story, and it certainly was that, but so much more. I enjoyed it on an adult level and found it so poetic. Somewhere in my garage I have a video of my father playing the title role, and I got my nephew to play Jonas, and we shot the whole book. So that was the beginning of it: a project for my father.

How can libraries help impart the themes in The Giver, such as the importance of passing information from one generation to the next?

It’s interesting that you ask that question. What comes to my mind is how long are we going to have libraries? Will they go the way of the record store? It's sort of the theme of The Giver. Maybe it’s just a part of humanity that we’re so hooked on comfort and needing gratification and speed that we miss some of the finer things in life. I remember visiting Larry McMurtry’s wonderful bookstore [in Archer City, Texas] and just wandering aisles with all these amazing books. I think it’s wonderful to get support for libraries and encourage kids to take part in that. I hope they stick around.  READ MORE !

No comments: