For as long as I can remember, I have loved movies. At the very least, I have them to thank for the countless posters that have colored my walls over the years, and for all of the references and quotes that make up my sense of humor. As I’ve grown older, my education has even become rooted in cinema; as a film studies minor, I have engaged in many classes that dissect the filmmaking process. But it goes deeper than that. Most of my family traditions revolve around movies. Time and time again, it has been a new blockbuster release that brings me and my friends together. Like many others, the movie theater was the setting of my first date. For every high and low I’ve endured in my life, I have been able to find a film that reflects my experience.
And this confuses a lot of people. Sometimes it even garners a laugh. “Well, it’s just a movie, isn’t it?”
I couldn’t disagree more.
Sure, any particular film could act as nothing more than a means of escapism. Something to occupy your mind for a short period of time to relieve you of some stress. But even then, in this role, the film must be commended. I don’t think any other art form has the ability to truly and fully immerse an audience member.
On that particular note, the film encompasses a more profound capacity in my eyes. Immersing oneself into a cinematic world is an experience unlike any other. As you willingly let go of your immediate surroundings, you can see, hear, feel and think new things through film. So, while it is a comforting form of escapism, it can also be a thought-provoking process that allows you to grow. If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know this is nothing new. The intensity of immersion and empathy in cinema is something that I have discussed tenfold. Including those thoughts once more here might make my discussion feel slightly disjointed. But I think that’s okay; it’s hard to talk about why I love film without turning it into a seemingly sprawling conversation. Because something else I love about the film? There’s just so much to love.
Personally, one of my favorite things to do is track entertainment news. I keep up with recent castings, behind-the-scenes stories, and production schedules. The inner workings of the industry and how it is evolving is one of the most fascinating aspects for me. Beyond that, I also love learning about the technical side of filmmaking and analyzing what I see. The discussion that occurs on the way home from a movie theater is one of the best parts of the experience.
Those are just some of the things that have fostered my appreciation for the film. But for you, it might be something entirely different. Whatever that reason may be, there is always a compelling connection to be made between anyone sitting in an audience and the events on-screen. In my opinion, it’s a type of connection that you really can’t find elsewhere; at least not in a manner that is so entertaining.
That’s what films are when you boil it down to the surface level: entertainment. But as I have hoped to convince you today, there is the potential for so much more
My writing will have to be cut short now, as the smell of popcorn is filling my room. What better way to celebrate my last blog post than with a movie? So, before I go, let me conclude my thoughts:
Cinema is an insightful art, and it has earned the need to be preserved and celebrated. I hope that through my time authoring blog posts here for The Shenandoah Film Collaborative, I have made my contribution to do just that.