Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Is John Carey right ...

...when he states in his book 'What Good are the Arts?" that in his opinion, literature is the greatest of all the art forms?  He argues that, amongst other things, only literature can create such an impact as to effect a change on a reader.

Quite a controversial book it seems; I read it recently and wasn't convinced he's right.  Some people are enraptured by a piece of music, overawed by a sculpture, or deeply moved by a painting - I cried the first time I saw Ansel Adams' "Oak Tree, Snowstorm" I was so overcome by its (unexpected) intimacy and beauty.


And having just returned from seeing Lars von Trier's latest movie 'Melancholia' at the film theatre this evening, I'm even less convinced. I understand Carey's argument; I am a great lover of books (and the power of books), but I think there are also films which can create a 'shift/change' in your mind, your perception, your attitude etc; that can have just as much of an impact as a piece of literature.

There were aspects of the film which I wasn't so keen on, but without doubt it was visually astounding - cinematography at its best, put together with a soundtrack that left me (and several others in the theatre) stunned.

Of course, that's only my opinion!



Kirsten Dunst in '
Melancholia'


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