What is it about movies? Where does the obsession lie? How is it that we become so drawn to them? Can it turn addictive? Are we already consumed by them?
Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my movie obsession. I collect them. I get caught up in the excitement of a new release. My speech is riddled with movie lines and sometimes the only way that I can describe something is by comparing it to a film I saw once… but why is this? How is it that the majority of us get so wrapped up in the film industry that we could never imagine a world without it? What is it that draws us in? The first motion pictures did not get released until the late 1800’s and I cannot figure out how they existed without something so incredible. I would love to go back and see the first moving pictures during that time. There is just a sense of something magical about it. It makes fairytales real and wars more haunting. They terrify us, overwhelm us, and make us laugh uncontrollably. Where else can you see an animated toy act better than most human beings?
One of the most beautiful images I have ever seen is a shot of Daniel Day Lewis covered in oil staring off in the distance in There Will Be Blood. It is a permanent image in my mind that is the perfect example of why I love movies. In that moment I am completely lost. Who I am does not exist. Everything beyond that moment of my unyielding devotion to what is happening on screen just simply does not matter. I see what he sees. I feel what he feels. I smell, taste, and touch what he does. For the time it takes to watch that movie I am only what that character tells me to be. When done correctly, my soul, my worries, my dreams and aspirations, my faults, mistakes, quirks, everything that builds the essence of me fades away while engrossed in that film.
In that sense, you could describe it as an escape. However, this implies a need to flee. Maybe… but in most cases this becomes false advertising. For a true believer this is not simply an infatuation but an all encompassing passionate love affair. It lives beneath your skin. Clawing at the surface at every second of the day begging for air. It is the need to spend hours watching trailers. The withdrawal pains of being without the fresh smell of a movie theater on a regular basis. To say that it is simply an escape is a cruel insult. Maybe it is not us running from our troubles but approaching someone else’s with open arms. Maybe it is stepping foot in a world beyond our comprehension to view ourselves from a different angle. This is the time for us to be free! To scream and cry and laugh with someone we’ve never met. Or have we?
If each of us interprets things differently then are we really just taking a moment to look at ourselves through an askewed lens? We place our own minds in these scenarios and ask ourselves what we might have done. It is us that we are watching and we are judging it from someone else’s view without prior knowledge. This film was already within us. We just did not know it yet. We are all capable of anything. Why not take a moment to play pretend? It is time to take back our childish side and become the cops and robbers again. We are the characters and the characters are us.
Maybe we just like to see things go boom. The point is exactly this: if you were not having a conversation before, you are now. No matter what the outcome of the film was, you are talking about it and debating it. You love it or you hate it and you will stand your ground on that belief. In the most simplistic form, it is the birth of ideals. Good versus evil, how much of both do you hold within yourself? The next movie you see well help you understand.