Ufford PUNCH April 2019

Page 26, Ufford PUNCH, April 2019 Film or books? Ufford PUNCH welcomes two new columnists to its pages to discuss the pros and cons of imagination and information, being fed a story or creating it. Books or films? To me it’s no contest. Can you sit in the dark eating popcorn and kissing a girl while reading a book? No you can’t. Case closed. Not that I kiss girls any more, but I still have fond memories. Books just remind me of school. A film has music and special effects. A book? It just sits there. Maybe if you’re lucky it has a few pictures. You don’t have to read a film. Unless it has subtitles, but who watches that kind of film anyway? I’ll tell you who - the same smart people who read books and p r o b a b l y r a b b i t o n a b o u t unemployment and social justice. But answer me this; how many people does it take to create a film? Hundreds. How many to write a book? One. Yet the film is often cheaper than the book! So do you want to keep those hundreds of people employed or just give all the money to some millionaire writer so he can swan off on his private jet? It makes no sense. Here’s the sort of rubbish you get in a typical book: “The moment she walked into the room, his heart skipped a beat. Dressed in a scarlet full-length gown, her fine neck bedecked with Cartier diamonds, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen”. Absolute nonsense. First off, if my heart skipped a beat I’d be straight off down the A&E, not sitting there staring fish eyed at some girl. Unless she was a nurse. Second, “the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen” - it’s meaningless. Maybe this bloke had spent his life surrounded by ugly women. I have no idea. Third, why do I need a fashion report? Now in a film, all you need is an attractive posh actress and a man raising an eyebrow or maybe saying “I could fancy her”. Bang, sorted, and you’re straight on to the next car chase. Me? I’ll take the film every time. When I was young we were lucky enough to have almost limitless access to books; at home, at school and in the library. We spent hours captured by a story and losing ourselves in it. What stream of consciousness had been tapped to create such beautiful and fascinating worlds for children and adults alike, time and time again. How can any film recreate that relationship our own imagination has with just the words on the authors page? We learnt to explore, discover options and to listen to other opinions. I decided early on that when I had my own home it would have books in every room, and I would read four at once if I so wanted. (I didn’t realise that I would be living next door to a Neanderthal, whose television was always so loud one couldn’t think.) But I don’t see this love of books shared by many others. Instead no house (or seemingly no room) is free of the ubiquitous screen pouring out both the fantastical and violent up close 24/7. The films are all seemingly American low brow romant ic ‘comedies’ with pregnant women ‘finding’ a love match that is not the father of her child or moving on anoth- er woman’s boyfriend at a wedding. Or as a choice you could watch a feral alien ripping apart all he meets until it dies when it encounters tapioca or some such ridiculous nonsense. I was very sad to find out that access to the mobile library has been limited as it no longer stops in our village, it was not used enough. Certainly, peo- ple could instead be using reading de- vices, and these are very convenient when travelling, I have been known to use one myself, but what intimate joy can be taken from an app? I vote books every time. ...lets keep hundreds of people employed - not just some millionaire writer. ..where are the books - all I see is the ubiquitous TV 24/7 pouring out violence and nonsense.

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