Film vs. movies and Literature vs. Books: End this war!!

The other day, I went home for the weekend and to catch up on sleep and on Saturday night, catch up with my older sister.  We were sitting on her couch contemplating what to do for the rest of the night when suddenly, she got this mischevious look in her eyes that made her look like a third-grader with a secret to tell.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Oh nothing,” she said, like there was definitely something.  “Just…I feel like watching a really girly, really sappy movie.  Would you be up for it?”

“You bet!” I remember saying.  I was relieved that she didn’t tell me she had cancer or something.  But afterwards I thought about the trepidation she must have felt before asking me about what to do for the night.

And it got me thinking, as an avid cinephile and bibliophile, why are some people so ashamed of watching films or reading books that are in a genre?  What’s so bad about chick-flicks and chick-lit that makes normal people scrunch their faces and avoid asking you to watch them?

Does calling a movie a ‘film’ elevate it to some sort of high status?  Does ‘Literature’ confer a sort of sacredness to texts that ‘Thriller’ does not?

As someone who loves serving up some Austen, Tolstoy, Baudrillard, or Borges from time to time, I will also admit that I have read ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ waaay too many times to count.

And I’ve laughed out loud every time.

Gets me every time.
Gets me every time.

That is something that reading Baudrillard has never made me do (except when I’ve laughed at Baudrillard to avoid crying because I have no idea what he is saying).

This man has never made me laugh.
Never gets anyone laughing, but is lauded for dissing Disney World.

I am not saying that one is better than the other.  From time to time, I NEED challenging literature in order to assure me that my liberal arts brain can still function.  But from time to time, I think even the liberal artsy should get down from their marble column and descend into the pages or film clips of the genre book or movie and not be ashamed of it.

Sarah Ogar

A culture-addict who has dabbled in film production, screen writing, stand-up comedy, theater production, and much more.

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Gil
7 years 4 months ago

After reading this article, I contemplated what you had said and (because I have too much time on my hands) I would like to provide my own sort of convoluted perspective. I tend to make very clear distinctions between what I consider a film and what I consider a movie. While they mean the same thing, I feel that film is connotative of artistic intent while movies are simply entertainment. I have a very hard time calling movies like Avatar and other modern movies “Films” simply because I feel that they lack artistic integrity and thus I do not refer to them as films. For me, the distinction is purely personal and often explicitly reflects my personal beliefs. I consider Requiem for a Dream a film as the intent is clearly artistic and genuine. I feel that movie implies that something was produced for business purposes and film implies artistic merit. The same goes for literature. Welp. I guess that’s about it.