This essay discusses which genre is the "best" - film or literature.

Essay by andrea90High School, 11th grade November 2008

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We live in a society where films and literature are important parts of our everyday life. We read books and watch movies all the time - in school, at work and in our spare time. Literature and film are two genres that can help us learn facts, broaden our horizon or make us fantasize. It is amazing what great impact a film or a piece of literature can have on us. If we think it's bad it can make us irritated, and if we think it's good, it can make us sad, happy or angry. Good movies or good literature is hard to find, but what is the best - literature or film? That is what I will be discussing in this essay.

A really good book or a really good movie is extremely hard to find, but the hardest thing to find is a good movie based upon a good book.

All movies exist as books before they are turned into movies - either as scripts or as books. When you base a movie upon a book you have a time issue - a movie normally don't last for more than 2,5 hours tops, which can be a problem if a book is particularly long. Films are much more limited than books - if you want to tell a long and complicated story, it would be much better to put it all in a book than to film it, and leave important parts out.

However, films seem to have more of an appeal to young audiences, and can be a great way to educate people. Films are often easier to understand, and a great way for people to be entertained, and learn something in one go.

The film industry is a huge industry, earning billions every single year. Actors and film makers get a lot of money and credits from fans and the media. The film industry is driven by companies that only want to make money. In literature you can put more weight on what is good literature, and less on what will be a success with the audience. You can say that authors have more freedom - they don't have to think about how long their novel is, or how long it takes to write it. They have more artistic freedom than most film-makers, who often have a budget and a schedule to keep up with.

When you read a book, you can decide for yourself when, where and how much you want to read of it. When you watch a movie, you normally watch it until it's finished, but with a book, you can read it for weeks. You can read on the train, or if you have only a half hour before you have to leave home. To watch a movie, you need to have two hours of time at home, and not everyone has that.

On the other hand, many people like to watch a movie in one go instead of reading a book over a long period of time. Also, movies reach out to more people, and tell important messages in a simple and entertaining way. When watching a movie, you can make it an even more fun activity by watching it with friends - reading a book with your friends is probably a lot harder. Watching a movie is a social activity.

When reading a book, you can understand it in your own way - it's like nobody else read the book the way you did. You can think for yourself and be creative. You can understand a book in a totally different way than somebody else, and there is no right or wrong answer. Books allow you to be imaginative, and when the book is finished, you can continue the story in your own head for as long as you'd like.

Nonetheless, you could say that an author works with limited means - they can only use words. When we watch a film, we are stimulated both visually and auditory, as they say - a picture tells more than a thousand words. The film-maker is able to tell the viewer exactly what he/she is trying to describe, not having to spend several minutes explaining it. Also, in a movie, you can use other effects, such as music, to make the viewer more "into" the film.

Film and literature are both great genres