Last week I went to the cinema, for the first time in ages, to see Blade Runner 2049 .

I’d enjoyed the first Blade Runner film so was looking forward to the sequel. At the end I found myself asking: “What was all that about?”

The friend I went with pointed out that the ending of the first Blade Runner had also been “ambiguous”. This time, however, the beginning and middle were equally ambiguous, to the point of incomprehension.

It annoyed me in the same way that the 2001 movie Mulholland Drive had annoyed me. I’ve struggled with David Lynch before so was determined to follow that one, and during the first half-hour I understood what was going on, more or less. Then I sat through almost two more hours of complete bewilderment. It seemed like a waste of time and money.

I don’t argue that all films, plays, TV dramas and books should be dumbed down and easily digestible. But nor do I see the point in anything that can’t be understood, at face value at least, on a first attempt.

Perhaps it comes from spending the last 21 years in journalism, but I have little patience with unreadable or unwatchable obscurity. Anything that isn’t made clear and accessible is either pretentious or just lazy, and a bit of an insult to at least some members of the audience.

If writing isn’t clear and accessible it wouldn’t make it into a newspaper. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be great literature.

When I was first considering this career I read a quote from the writer Cyril Connolly. He said: “Literature is the art of writing what will be read twice, journalism what will be grasped at once.”

My view is that the best writing embodies both those qualities. Its face-value meaning should be grasped at once. If you have to read a sentence twice to grasp its meaning then it’s a badly written sentence. The fault lies with the writer, not the reader.

But it should be interesting enough, or pleasing enough, or thought-provoking, moving or funny enough to be read again. And you should be able to get more out of it the second time.

The same goes for films. The day after I tried to watch Blade Runner 2049 , I saw The Remains Of The Day on TV, 24 years after I’d first seen it in the cinema.

At the end of the film the old lord of the manor has died and his grand house has a new American owner.

A pigeon gets in via a chimney and the new owner captures it and throws it out of the window. We see it fly up into the sky and the last shots are a bird’s eye view of the house far below.

It occurred to me this time that perhaps the bird represented the spirit of the old house, flying away as new owners moved in. The film was perfectly clear and understandable first time, but this was something that came with a second watching.

That’s the way it should be, and that’s why I’ve got a problem with TS Eliot. He’s supposed to be a major 20th century poet, and maybe he is if you scrutinise him long enough to figure out what he means.

But how many of us have the time or inclination to do that? Can you make head or tail of it first time?

I’d sooner have someone I understand like Seamus Heaney or Philip Larkin. And when it comes to clarity, or to laughs, Eliot is no match for Pam Ayres.