The Poet and the Bookkeeper

In his Fresh Air interview regarding Argo, Ben Affleck comments on his role as a director and how when recounting true events, one comes to the controversy of the poet versus the bookkeeper. The bookkeeper would tell things exactly as they occurred, keeping things 100% historically accurate. This, however, is not possible when a movie has to be kept within a certain time limit. Thus, the director must assume the role of the poet. The question arises, asking whether or not the story stayed true or not to reality after a poet has touched it. Affleck believes that a good poet does in fact keep the soul of the story intact, but embellishes to capture emotions and things unseen by the public. I believe this to be just in its reasoning, and in a way, might better reflect the truth of the story. It is because it conveys events and emotions on a more personal level with the audience that, while remaining true to the soul of the story line, can help us to better understand the fullness of the event or story. Merely relaying facts and sticking to dialogue strictly might be more accurate, but people might not be able to grasp or connect with the complexity of the situation that really existed. This can be translated to reading the Gospels for similar reasons.


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