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Director Peter Jackson discusses film adaptation of The Lovely Bones

Reem Azem

Issue date: 12/4/09 Section: Focus
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Film director Peter Jackson, who began his career making bizarre cult horror films like Meet the Feebles and Dead Alive finished production on the film adaptation of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Young actress Saoirse Ronan (playing Susie Salmon) stands in the background.
Media Credit: Matt Mueller
Film director Peter Jackson, who began his career making bizarre cult horror films like Meet the Feebles and Dead Alive finished production on the film adaptation of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Young actress Saoirse Ronan (playing Susie Salmon) stands in the background.
[Click to enlarge]
No human being really understands death. While there are endless biological explanations for why a body may no longer function, not much can be said about the soul. What happens to us after we die? This question transcends the idea of science, judgment and religion.

It's safe to say that many of us have wondered if we'll still be able to think or even laugh after we die, or if we can watch the ones we love who are still alive. Some could virtually think themselves into insanity while reflecting on such a subject while others like author Alice Sebold, would write a book about it. Sebold's bestselling novel The Lovely Bones follows the tragedy of Susie Salmon, a young rape and murder victim who reflects on her death as she watches her family and friends. While the book is almost eight years old, the film adaptation directed by Academy Award-winning Peter Jackson will open in theaters this month.

Many moviegoers will recognize Peter Jackson as the director of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong or District 9. The same crowd might also wonder why Jackson is making a film that strays so far from the genres of his past work. When discussing why he chose to adapt The Lovely Bones to film, Jackson said, "There's no doubt that the way that you stay interested in what you're doing is to keep trying new things." This project is certainly fresh for Jackson, and fans will be interested in hearing about as well as viewing his version of this tragic, deeply emotional story.

When discussing The Lovely Bones, Jackson makes sure to assert that this film is not a "ghost story." Fans of the book will attest to the fact that Sebold meant for the novel to be much more. "As you read a well-written book," said Jackson, "you start imagining what these people look like, and you imagine the locations and the action. And before too long, you've got this little movie playing in your head." And so the film concept for The Lovely Bones was born. Jackson, who actually has a daughter of his own, was very drawn to the emotional nature of Susie's story, and the connection between the book's themes and humanity. He ardently believes that this story has a message that should be shared.
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In This Issue

Cross Country

  • Women finish 15th in nation; Simpson has best finish in university history

News

  • A conversation with Christina Mastrangelo
  • CWRU students among thousands at SOA protest
  • CWRU's Great Lakes Energy Institute honored as "Center of Excellence"
  • Relay for Life 2010 kicks off with recruitment fair
  • Smart holiday spending tips
  • USG Minutes

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Reid Anderson

Sex and Dating

  • Are you tired?

Sports

  • All-American, UAA honorees back
  • Building starts on Mather Park
  • Dukes, Criss keep grapplers strong in the middle
  • For Spartans, Allegheny is splitsville
  • Revolving door is no good for the Browns
  • So far, it's been so good for women's basketball

Football

  • Early Ending: Spartans eliminated from playoffs by Trine University

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Worst Case Scenario

  • Reading days and salad days

Opinion

  • Column on smoking misinformed
  • Copenhagen summit may not be effective
  • Divisive politics dilute meaningful discourse
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Junior year abroad - wait, a whole year?
  • Take some time to earn your coal
  • What are your plans for winter break?

Focus

  • Director Peter Jackson discusses film adaptation of The Lovely Bones
  • M.U.S.I.C. assembles talented group of musicians for 24-hour recital
  • Surviving the home stretch
  • The Buzz
  • The Observer's choices for the best books of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best films of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best music of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best video games of 2009
  • The Spectrum Drag Ball
  • tUnE-yArDs' debut record merges folk music with noise
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