Saturday, 24 November 2007

Written Word vs Movies

Tonight I get to have a guest blogger. My husband has a theory he would love some feedback on. Enjoy.

"Stephanie and I were out together last night and we had a discussion on the topic of inappropriate things in cinema and books. I shared that I find language and steamy scenes in books much more disturbing than on the screen.

"In response to her question of “why do you think that is?”, I came to the (unscientific) conclusion that having something inappropriate that pops up unawares in a movie is being “thrust upon us” and coming from the outside, where we can to some degree (and at least on the surface) reject it as someone else’s words or actions.

"When the same word or phrase is on the printed page, we read it with our own internal voice. So we are effectively saying the word or phrase, rather than hearing some crude or upset person on the screen say it.

"I think the same goes for steamy scenes (even the PG13 versions). When it is acted out on the screen, we absorb it as an observation of someone doing something and we don’t use our imagination – we take it for what it is. When we read it, we are using our imagination to fill in around the words and paint the picture, as we tend to do as we read any story. It becomes as much or as little as our imaginations choose it to be. At this point I think we are not passively watching, but in some way actively participating through the thought process.

"All of this being said, we of course recognize that watching or listening to inappropriate things is harmful to our souls and we need to be very careful in our selection of entertainment in all of its forms.

"I applaud all who seek to provide quality literature and movies that don’t subject us to the filth of the world."


A. Riley said...

Actually, for me, I find it worse on screen than in books. If on screen, I can't stop from hearing the words or seeing the scenes. (Minus actually leaving.)

But if in a book, and I can see some swearing or steamy love scene, I can skim past it if I choose. For me, though, I can see some words, skim past them, and not feel affected.

If I do read it though, then it does get into my head.

Does that make sense? For me, just seeing certain words doesn't put them in my head. I have to actually read it in my mind for it to stick. I can see something I don't want to read and skim past it.

Marc & Kristi Thomson Family said...

Amen, Brother!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I try to skim past things, but I still have to see it to know that it is there to skim past. And everything I skim or read thoroughly is still in my brain somewhere.

Personally, I just try to avoid anything that I find objectionable. I have had people recommend books to me saying, "You just have to skip a few parts." I feel like the least I can do is not read them at all. If we keep watching movies and reading books that are objectionable, the people producing those products see that there is a demand for them. Maybe my boycotting these things doesn't make that much of a difference, but it is something I can do. I also try to write letters to the producers of clean fiction and movies, thanking them for the quality work they are doing. I figure if I let those kind of things slide in my life and my home, how much harder will it be for my children to find something appropriate to read.

ali said...

I agree that written things have a greater impact on me than visual ones. I think the reason why, for me, is because when I see it, I can allow it to only settle on the surface of my mind. Whereas when I read it, I internalize it, take it into myself where it feels like a greater violation.

Usually I can tell if something is coming up in a book and so I'll skip or skim those parts, which I can't do in a movie - and I have been disturbed by some things for days afterward as a result. However, in a book, I feel it is somehow a much personal insult if the author has managed to draw me in and than is just going to disrespect me by tossing filth at me. I somehow expect it from a movie, but not a book!

Nice to read your thoughts Stephanie's DH!

Annette Lyon said...

Interesting topic. Like many others so far, I agree to a point. A written steamy scene has the potential to be much worse than anything on film, and the reader is a big part of that. The more I really imagine what's going on, the more a text becomes part of me, for good or ill. Some of my favorite books I'll read really slowly for that very reason. That means I have to be careful with what I subject my mind to reading that way.

On the other hand, if I hurriedly read a passage without really absorbing it, I think it's less damaging than an image or sound from a film that will forever be in my head.

You've got me thinking!

Julie Wright said...

I internalize everything and by so doing have to be steadfast in watching what I use for entertainment or amusement. Either way, visual or read, stuff affects me deeply. This is an interesting post and something to consider as I write.

Rick (Stephanie's Guest Blogger) said...

Thanks to all for your comments. It is a fascinating subject, and I imagine we have just scratched the surface of it.

Perhaps we can get a government grant to do some research ..... hmmmm.

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