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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why We Love Movies

I have been thinking why people would bother going to a theater just to see a one-and-a-half-hour movie about something whose plot they more or less already know. What drives people to wait in long lines, anticipate for months and even buy tickets for the advanced screening of so and so films? And why do people watch the same movie/s again and again? There must be something to the entire ritual of watching movies other than entertainment or cathartic value they give to audiences. As for me, the following are the reasons why I go and watch movies and share my passion with other folks of similar interest:

1) Movies have their way of mirroring my deepest desires, my greatest fears, my most profound joys and gratitude of and for life. Oftentimes I see myself in the dilemma of one or two characters in the film. I understand how difficult choices are made and the painful but oftentimes liberating consequences they bring. It must have been difficult for Peter Parker of Spider Man to face his mission in life of defending other people when he could not even save his own uncle or for the Hobbit Frodo of The Lord of the Rings trilogy to take the heavy burden of bringing the cursed ring to Mount Doom.

2) Movies have a way of beautifully capturing the deepest of human emotions that probably no other medium of art can do. They speak directly to the heart by way of spoken words, images, vignettes, music or even in silence. Color Purple and Cinema Paradiso stand as two of the movies that have forever influenced my understanding of the value of friendship and the celebration of the human spirit.

3) Dialogues in the films I watch have inspired me to write some of my best poems and short-stories. I have often used my favorite lines from a movie I really like when giving seminars or training to young people. I have often used a metaphor or a parallel story with my own relationship to other people and to God and thus my prayer has been visually and aurally enhanced. I recall how I am Sam summarizes for me the passion of Jesus' love for his people and how A Beautiful Mind tells of a story of sacrifice or how Forrest Gump always reminds me that despite the cruelty and harshness of the world, people are still good deep within them.

4) Stories behind the actual filmmaking and the actors behind the movies fascinate me. I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of the geniuses of the cinema while they are creating their craft. What fear was Alfred Hitchcock fighting against in his movies? What wonder and awe captivated the heart of young George Lucas to create his epic sagas? What kind of world do Spielberg and Mel Gibson want their children to grow up in? Likewise, which of the films I watch reflect my own fears, apprehensions and hopes for the future? ( A Gattaca-like society, a Blade Runner world of androids, The Island of lost desires or Pleasantville of limited possibilities?)

5) Films are a living testament that no matter how movies are made they all point to the most basic of human needs: love, affection, mutual understanding, respect, acceptance, faith, hope. These are the stuff that movies are made of. In short movies are about life, its intricate mysteries, its ordinate attachments to things of this world and its aspirations towards the Divine. Movies are about you and me.


How about you? Why do you love the movies?

4 Comments:

Blogger katimugambalon said...

Movies help you notice the cinematic moments of your life—how the the sunset awashes the lilac sky with gold, how stiriated light bursts through a canopy of trees in a glorious December morning, how your friend accross you is holding back her tears, or how hearing Ella Fitzgerald playing in a lonely café becomes the soundtrack of your soul—these moments, happy or sad, come back alive when you watch films. Films expose the bitersweet glory of life and they capture your very heart.

7:42 AM  
Blogger The Crusty Crone said...

I want to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. It gave me a chance to read your thoughts about movies. Most of my favorites are because I enjoy seeing the environments... the interior shots of apartments and houses. I often find myself trying to do a floor plan to fully understand the setting (and get frustrated when the floor plans do not match up with the film scenes). I enjoyed reading your thoughts about why people watch movies.

10:02 PM  
Blogger yayam said...

simply to entertain the audience. :)

8:55 PM  
Blogger Noel Y. Bava said...

everyone thanks for sharing your ideas on this topic. i will post more interesting subjects on film appreciation and study. unti then!

11:36 PM  

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