Not everybody enjoys reading – reading books I mean. Tabloids, blogs and not-so-witty texts on coffee mugs & toilet walls don’t count. Not (and pardon me for yet another atrocious pun) in my book anyway, it doesn’t.
That’s why people, half-jokingly say, “I will wait for the movie”, when others ask them if they have or will read a certain book.
Now, I wouldn’t wish to come between a non-reader and some lousy movie adaptation but I do prefer books. Not all books. Wild horses or a stable full of nubile virgins could not drag me towards anything written by Dan Brown (but then I would boycot those movies as well, of course.)
Anyway, there are some good movie adaptations of (very good) books. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, for instance, and ‘The Name of the Rose’. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, of course, and even ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
Religious books and stories, however, don’t translate so well into movies. Most are too respectful, too drab and twee. The Bible has some great stories in it but there really are a Hell of a lot of terrible movies out there, that were inspired by the Book.
‘The Ten Commandments’, for instance, with Charlton Heston or, God help us, that truly dreadful movie, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’
Not that the Bible is fun to read as a whole. Most of it is quite boring, in fact – though true believers might find each and every ’smote’ and ‘begat’ endlessly fascinating, of course. As an agnost I can’t really judge that.
Still, when it comes to religion, neither Books nor movies really do it for me.
No, for me, the best medium to discuss (and to truly enjoy) religion is that of the good, old cartoon – like this one…
… or this one…
… though this one ain’t bad either, of course.
I was tempted to end this column with a Jesus Christ Superstar clip but that would be too cruel, so I won’t. There are many more agreeable songs about God.
Like this one,
or this one,
but I just have to leave you with the inimitable, incomparable and mostly incompatible Kinky Friedman: