JG Ballard writes in the Guardian about turning his childhood experiences and memories into Empire of the Sun, and then watching as Spielberg and co. turned his novel into a movie, and then watching as the movie and the book and the memories intermingle years later:Actors of another kind play out our memories, performing on a stage inside our heads whenever we think of childhood, our first day at school, courtship and marriage. The longer we live – and it’s now 60 years since I reluctantly walked out of Lunghua camp – the more our repertory company emerges from the shadows and moves to the front of the stage. Spielberg’s film seems more truthful as the years pass. Christian Bale and John Malkovich join hands by the footlights with my real parents and my younger self, with the Japanese soldiers and American pilots, as a boy runs forever across a peaceful lawn towards the coming war. But perhaps, in the end, it’s all only a movie.
Look back at Empire [guardian.co.uk]