How significant is a book or movie for our personal lives? I’ve chosen to talk about the relationship between books and movies with some international students from English Literature and Media.



What does a good movie or book mean to you, and how significant is it to your personal life?

Vera: For me, a good book is usually a book by my favourite writer, which I know I will always enjoy because I like his style of writing and the genre he writes in. It is also a book that I´ll remember afterwards for a long time and that leaves me with a special feeling.

Kevin: For me a good movie is a combination of several artistic and technical things that work well together: good screenplay, good filming, directing, acting, emotions, music etc. Whereas I usually judge a book on how it relates to me, on if it makes me escape or not. Both a movie or a book can influence my personal life, wether it is because of their subject, their values, their artistic style etc.

Kristin: For me, the quality of a book or a movie comes with the plot. It’s very important for me to learn something new from a book or a movie. Whether it is the insight of a persons mind or revealing society issues.


Many books like «Harry Potter» and «Lord of The Rings» are adapted into movies. What do you prefer to do first, see the movie or read the book?

Vera: I usually prefer to read the book first, if it’s an interesting one for me, because it’s the original idea of how the story should be. I haven’t read the «Harry Potter»-books though. I’ve only seen the films, which I quite liked, but not so much that I would want to read the books.

Kevin: I tend to prefer to read the book first, to get my own vision of the universe depicted in it. Yet I think a visionary adaptation can be more exciting than the original book itself. For instance «The Lord of the Rings»-movies have this epic and spectacular aspect that I didn’t find by reading part of the first book.

Some movies like «The Godfather», «The Shining» or «Bridges of Madison County» are aknowledged as excellent movies and their virtuosity almost eclipsed the original books. In these cases, I might be curious to read the book after watching the film if I really liked it.

Kristin: It has become a nerds favourite quote to say that the book is always better than the movie. As it is completely different, I think one can not prefer one to another. A book can give more insight in the protagonists mind and is therefore very subjective. A movie, on the other hand, can have more objective meaning and show different perspectives, because we have different ways of reading images.


Have you ever watched a movie in another country? Describe your experience.

Vera: Yes, several times. For example when I was at a workcamp in France we went to the cinema. The film was in French and they spoke very fast so I didn’t understand much. It was a comedy as well, which isn’t my favorite genre, so I didn’t really enjoy myself.

Kevin: I’ve watched the last «Harry Potter»-movie in the United States. I was very surprised with the audiences reaction. People applauded and cheered for one of the scenes, where a villain got beaten! It was funny to note this cultural difference.

Kristin: I saw «The Great Gatsby» in Spain. Apart from the fact that they eat salty popcorn instead of sweet, it was fun. I understand Spanish, so the language wasn’t a problem, and the movie worked well with images. What bothered me was the fact that the dubbed voices were high pitch and sounded so exaggerated and dramatic that everything became super pathetic.