>Why we ‘see’ movies and ‘watch’ TV

>Watching the Emmys last night (and was Sally Field cut off because she spoke out against the war or because she said “goddamn”?) I idly queried why the Oscars have more prestige and glamor when more people watch more TV than they do movies. Richard had a ready, comprehensive answer: in an impulse hearkening back even unto the Greeks, film is public ceremony that demands respectful attention, and it’s bigger than we are. While we may eat during a movie (Twizzlers for me, thanks) we may not talk and the film cannot be paused by the audience or the sponsors. We watch it in the dark, all eyes on the screen.

The way we read is practically the opposite: we do it alone, in the light, and hold a book in our hands. But the status of the act of reading is greater than either seeing movies or watching TV, both despite and because of the fact that books have the smallest audience of the three. This may explain why censors go after books: they’re both bigger than us and easier to bully.

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Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

Comments

  1. >The Emmys/Oscars always remind me of so-called mass market books and trade books.

    Your fave Little Golden Book will never win a Caldecott or a Newbery, but a million kids will have it and love it just the same. No respect, but lots o’ love.

  2. >Too few people are aware of how strong is the smell of even a single Twizzler. Somebody five seats down can be eating one and there I am trying to watch, say, The Sweet Hereafter, and all I can think is: Twizzler.

  3. david elzey says:

    >Another reason why we “see” one and “watch” the other is purely physical. Film relies on retinal after-imagery that the mind has to actively make sense of frame-by-frame; in video the screen is pulsating in a way that stimulates the brains passive alpha waves, a pre-hypnotic state. We see the images in film and piece the information together, we watch the pulses of the cathode/LED/plasma screen and passively accept them.

  4. >It’s simply about numbers. They give out Emmys in, like, 250 categories every year. At the Oscars, it’s only 24, and you only have one shot to win for a particular performance or film (whereas at the Emmys, you can win every year your series is eligible). There’s no question which award “means” more.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >翻译联盟和中国翻译协会深圳翻译公司|联合主办,主题“翻译与多元文化”。这是国际翻译同声传译在亚洲举行的第一次盛会,是促进亚洲翻译界与国际翻译界交流与合作的大好时机。
    广州翻译公司今年广交会不允许外商自带翻译入场,但还是有很多翻译公司|已有生意合作意向的外商,在全国翻译公司中找外语导游当翻译,进行“场外商贸洽谈”。
    同声传译现在上海翻译公司英语、日语、法语等语种导游储备充足,深圳翻译公司|也是随着参加广交会的巴西、西班牙等西班牙语系以及阿拉伯语国家的客商提供深圳翻译大幅增多,使小语种导游产生巨大缺口,其中来自巴西的外商比去年多了一倍翻译公司

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