Monday, 12 September 2011

Just Another Day

I was cogitating on what I'd write about today. The day hasn't been unusual in any way I had supervision this morning - we counsellors need to keep ourselves and our client's safe. I'd then been waiting for a phone call that didn't come for an important appointment - cue frustration - though I did receive two unsolicited sales calls which hiked said frustration. I don't see client's on a Monday and we had already decided we would go to the cinema.  We've been wanting to see Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for ages but we  had decided to wait until the kiddie winkies went back to school. So after lunch I managed to tear myself away from twitter & off we went. No popcorn etc for us it's far too expensive in fact I usually take a can of something non alcoholic with me. It's Yorkshire thrift you know! Anway after 25 minutes of adverts & trailers the film started. I really enjoyed it but this is not a review - there are others for example @filmvsbook who can do that much better that me. What I wanted to share with you were my thoughts on the emotion we experience when watching a film or reading a book. This idea came from a tweet I'd had with @madkentdragon

Now I don't know about you but I've been releasing emotion in this way since childhood. I was young in the fifties so my main entertainment was film, radio & reading and not necessarily in that order. As in many other working class families money was in short supply so I spent lots of time reading. If you have seen the film Distant Voices Still Lives then you will have a fair idea of my growing up. Though in fairness my father was neither a wife or child beater. 

There was an article in The Guardian recently about  reading fiction promoting empathy and I entirely agreed with it because what we do when engaged in this activity and or watching film is put ourselves in someone else's shoes. I think though it also generates echoes of our own experience of love or lack of love, loss, happiness. Each of us watches a different film reads a different book brought to life by our own experience. I was profoundly moved by The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and The Reader. I laughed out loud at Down All The Days. I can't enumerate all of the films that have made me cry like Bambi, Lassie or ET  or laugh like Way Out West or I Love You Philip Morris, though there's more to that particular film than comedy. Then they're the musicals that have moved and kept me in a suspended state of happiness for days like Calamity Jane and Annie Get Your Gun.

I think it would be fair to say that for me not only does watching film or reading a book entertain it helps to release emotion & promotes emotional well being. Of course you could include any form of entertainment & music which enrich our lives & feed the soul. I've simply been considering the emotional impact film & book have had in the context of my day.


  1. Yes, i'm interested though - how did HP make you feel? :) xx

  2. I think as with all the HP stories I felt engaged in a childlike way. The excitement of the fight between good & evil. The element of loss, enduring mother love & friendship. The willingness to sacrifice for friends and the comfort of the happy ever after ending x

  3. Babs what a lovely article. I had a similar debate about why women read chick lit and we concluded that it's comforting as well as escapism. It's like having a good gossip with a pal if you read about somebody going through things you have. And sometimes you feel better after a good cry so what's wrong with a weepy?

    PS - I hated the last Harry Potter film - they RUINED the book! ;-)

  4. Thank you - I'm so pleased you liked it. I enjoyed the film. I think they did what they could with it but in my opinion she wrote them better as young characters?