Monday, February 23, 2009

Movies, Books (& Snobbery?)


Considering the Academy Awards were on last night this post is a bit bah-humbug concerning movies. But I’m not anti-movie. I enjoy them. I’ll also watch some of the Academy Awards show – although part-way through my jaw begins to ache from unconsciously mimicking the mega-watt, celebratory smiles of all the winners. It’s exhausting. (And my god, everyone’s teeth are so bloody straight and white.)

I digress.

Back to the point of my post – which is…

Why I Prefer Books to Movies (or, if possible, prefer to read the book first):

“Because there's no arguing with pictures. You simply accept or reject them. What's up there on the screen moves too fast to permit analysis or argument. You can't control the flow of images the way you can control a book - by rereading a chapter, rereading a paragraph, rereading a sentence. A book invites argument, invites reconsideration, invites thought. A moving picture is beyond thought. Like feeling, it simply is.” (107)

The Englishman’s Boy
Guy Vanderhaeghe


This excerpt also explains my aversion to scary and violent movies. Not only can I not “control the flow” of frightening images bombarding me from the big screen but I’m often unable to close my eyes quickly enough to avoid having those images sear my brain.

And I do admit that some movies are thought-provoking – that you can think about them later.


Addendum:

I’d like to thank all the people in my life {BIG SMILE} who made it possible for me to become such a pompous ass when it comes to touting the superiority of books over movies…my parents, my Grade One teacher, all the librarians I ever worked for and with, Bob Morgan (what that man could do with a bit of Shakespeare!) and most of all, my thanks to the thousands of books I’ve read. You made me what I am today.

18 comments:

patricia said...

Hail to all the pompous asses out there! (Me being one of them).

I do like movies very much, but books will always be my first love.

And the Oscars? Meh. I stopped watching that drek years ago...

sherry lee said...

I love to support a good pompous ass!! lmao!!! You are in good spirits this morning!! Oscars? What's that? I gave up on that drivel when I stopped watching beauty pageants (I think I was 15!).

Movies v. books? I'll take a book any day...I love that I imagine the characters and casting never comes close to what I envisioned...so from the word "go" I'm "eh" on a movie of a book I've read.

I enjoy movies for what they are...but the ones I see are generally not anything where I've already had my own film in my head.

Cheryl said...

I agree Beth! Books almost always top movies. I would much rather read a good book than go to a movie. Not that I don't enjoy going to the movies, but books are so much closer to my heart.

I watched the Oscars at the very end. Too busy helping the girls with homework. At least at the end, I get to watch just the major stuff (if I can force my eyes to stay open).
XXXXX

Beth said...

patricia:
I like the company I keep! (From one pompous ass to another...)

sherry lee:
No Oscars for me this year - no aching jaw - just one big body ache!

cheryl:
Remember when staying up for the entire Academy Awards was no problem? Ah, youth...

oreneta said...

If I loved the book, I WON"T see the movie. I have my own images and my own interpretation and I don't want it covered up and maimed. Ugh.

Seraphine said...

i like anything that gives me the option to put it down for the moment, and return to it later. it's what makes books ideal.
i can live in a paragraph.
not that i don't love movies. i do.
but you'll never believe how many times i fall asleep watching them.
also, i'm not the only one who asks during a film "what did he say?"

Seraphine said...

ps. i've never considered you pompous.

Beth said...

oreneta:
I agree - with the exception of Mary Poppins. I loved all those books by P. L. Travers and the movie!

seraphine:
"What did he say?" And then, as you're getting the answer, you miss the next line. (Another reason books are better.)

p.s. that's because you're a book lover, too.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I think all book lovers prefer books over movies, or certainly to read a book before they see the movie. I haven't heard one person say to me yet that they liked a movie over a book. And I'm sorry to hear you and one of your sons is sick. If it's what we have/had, it is wretched. Last night I went to bed at 7:00 p.m. but for the first time in 5 nights without shaking and shivering with the chills. I also had these weird pains in the bones in my face. The virus seems to attack people in different ways - good luck with that and if you don't have to go out anywhwere, don't. So nice to be a work-from-home person.

Minnesota Matron said...

Please. Pompous and ass begat the Matron. Books over movies? Doesn't that operate like gravity?

Beth said...

the bhodi chicklet:
Have you ever bought a book that was based on a movie/screenplay? I have - big mistake!
(Glad you're on the mend - whatever I have isn't as bad as what you had.)

minnesota matron:
To all of us pompous asses, it certainly does!

Trish said...

Watching a movie is just too much of a commitment for me sometimes whereas a book I can put down and pick up whenever I want or have time for.

And there is just something so . . . fabulous? Beautiful? Creative? Spiritual? Well maybe spiritual is a bit of a reach . . . but there is something truly lovely about a well constructed sentence.

And a good book always has a 'voice' doesn't it? I love that.

Beth said...

hey pompous ass!!!! ;)

I too, prefer books over movies. I want to imagine what the character looks like...I don't want someone else to TELL me what he looks like...

and ya, the teeth! oh gawd, the TEETH! Now, I love me some nice white teeth, but even those teeth are too much to take. I think if you ever met them, you'd be blinded bu the whiteness of it all....maybe that's why they all wear sunglasses.

Beth said...

trish:
A comment written by a true (and very literate) book lover.

beth:
Good call on the sunglasses!

Gladys said...

Great Post. I spent so much of my youth in a book and most of my adulthood that it is hard for me to transition a book to a movie. Although when MY book (teehee) is turned into a movie I want Meryl Streep to play Gladys. My daughters will be played by themselves and Kahuna will be played by Kevin Costner. Trooper Bob will of course be played by Wilferd Brimley. The part of my blogger friend Beth will be played by Beth unless of course she is too busy then she will be played by Jennifer Aniston.

Cid said...

Here, here. Books vs. movies. No contest!

Bee said...

Yes, I would give books the edge, but I truly love them both.

You are right, though -- about not being able to control the images.

cipriano said...

You crack me up, Bethgirl.
I'm with you, totally prefer books to movies. It is so coincidental that I just started reading [today] a book by [excellent] Ottawa author Elizabeth Hay. It's called Garbo Laughs and it's about this woman [and her two kids and her neighbor] that are just TOTALLY addicted to watching movies. Not only watching them, but discussing them. The four of them are a Friday-night Movie-Club... much as some people are a part of a weekly book club.
And so as I am reading the book [and it's real good, I must admit, better than her newer Giller-Prize-winning one...] as I'm reading I am thinking, "I am the same as this movie-addicted woman Harriet is, only for me, it's books!"
That's a great Venderheage quote... can I purloin it and place it on my blog as a Splash du Jour thing?