film v books

On my iPad (iGor), the most oft used app by me (it is mine, someone please tell my family) is the Kindle app.  And then Kindle. I don't watch a lot of YouTube, just like I don't watch a lot of film and TV. 

I recently read a pretty damned creepy, scary book--borrowed in hardback, if we're keeping track of format. Desperate people doing pretty horrible stuff. It's called ABANDON and one of the better crafted stories I've read in a long time.

If it had been a film, I never would have made it through.

Film is so utterly passive; I often feel at the mercy of the filmmaker. I guess it speaks to the power of the medium, though sometimes being at the mercy of a filmmaker is not such a good thing. Actually, for me, most times I can't stand it, which is why I watch so few films compared to a lot of other people.

Take the film Sophie's Choice.  I know it's a great film, I've heard all about it. But I know what her choice is, and I know I can't handle it. It's just too real to actually watch.  I actually can imagine the scene pretty well and it has actually kept me up nights. (Anything to do genocide and especially families and children keeps me up nights.)  I also was advised not to see Shutter Island for similar reasons. It's just too strong of stuff for me to watch.

I think I could read those stories, though. Books rarely stick with me like film does, and I think it's why I prefer reading. Since I can control the speed at which I read (from re-reading to skipping pages), I'm able to control how much I bring to the table. That enables me to endure more difficult topics than I can on film.

How do you feel about film verses books? 

1 comment:

Erica Orloff said...

Great topic. I saw Sophie's Choice, and YEARS later, I can still occasionally have a nightmare about it. This is Meryl Streep, after all! She was brilliant. But it STAYS with me.

On the flip side, I read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. It is one of the few books in my lifetime that I ever cried in (whereas I cry in film all the pathetic time!). Then I saw the movie. I SOBBED. Multiple times. And those images overtook the book, in a way.

I have a few books that really stay with me, but you're right, the intensity is different.