I have to say that I really have been blessed to be surrounded by so many interesting friends! One I meet with to discuss film, literature and life in general. He’s a writer and a good one and it’s my hope that someday his genius will be recognized if only by himself!
The other day we started a debate that still continues. He made the statement that any story could be interesting so long as it was well-written. I demurely disagreed, saying I’m eternally in love with a compelling story, whether or not it’s well-told. To me, it’s really the content that matters. He can’t abide by bad writing and I’m bored with people who have nothing substantive to say. And therein lies our dilemma: Which is more important, style or substance?
This question could be applied to so many other areas as well. For example I like art that says something or is recognizable. However, if it’s just colours and shapes (too modern), I really don’t get the point, no matter how well artfully it’s created.
In the movies I’ve seen, the most memorable were low-budget films that had compelling plots. Well done CGI or special effects don’t really leave much of an impression on me. I appreciate beautiful cinematography, the “art” of filmmaking, but I am impacted more by the story, the content.
I was going over this issue with other friends of mine and one brilliantly used the example of Chinese calligraphy. It can be beautifully executed but without knowledge of the content, it is meaningless.
This brings me to the importance of content in our lives. “Although I speak…and have not love I’m like a gong or a cymbal.” Love is what gives our lives substance, meaning. Our lives ARE the story. In the end, it really is what’s on the inside that counts. And the rest…well that’s just style and that’s fabulous too!