Students debate merits of books versus movies


Eva Perez-Greene

Senior Grace Owens-Kurtz reads The Bluest Eye, a book by Toni Morrison for her Gender and Literature English class. “Watching a movie just isn’t the same as reading a book,” she said.

While it’s certainly not uncommon to hear “the book was so much better than the movie,” both books and movies can make a convincing argument in favor of their medium. “Watching a movie just isn’t the same as reading a book,” senior Grace Owens-Kurtz said. “Movies are great, but you can’t become engaged in a movie the same way you can with a book.”

Sophomore Willa Grinsfelder, an avid reader, agreed that films encourage a passive nature of viewing, rather than an active one. “You don’t have to understand the deeper emotions behind the film to understand the story. The director’s interpretation of the film is all that the viewer sees,” Grinsfelder said.

Senior Kaia Findlay, a student film enthusiast whose drama Clementine won the SPA Student Movie Award last year, provided a different perspective. Findlay proposed that the director’s influence on the viewer’s interpretation of the film can be a positive aspect of the genre. “The ways the audience can see the film—they’re different. You can physically change their view with a camera angle. With film, it’s easy to tell a complex story,” Findlay said.