Truths & Film

The Importance of Watching Movies

Catch a flick and figure out life.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that almost every single one of you, at some point in your life, have watched a movie and connected with it on an emotional level. And you didn’t simply connect with it, you were engulfed by it. The world around you ceased to exist. You no longer heard the crunching of popcorn, or the rustling of the children in the front row. Any thoughts of kissing your date completely left your mind and the only thing that existed for the next two hours or so was the story unfolding before you on the silver screen. (Well, maybe you sneak in a quick kiss as the trailers start, but full on tongue wrestling in the middle of a movie? One: you aren’t in high school anymore; and two: this is a theater, not a Motel Six. If you’re going to pay money to mess around in the dark at least respect the cinema enough to not taint it)

At some point you laughed, or you cried, or your jaw dropped in complete awe. No matter the exact response, as the credits began to roll and the concluding music kicked in, you were snapped back to reality as a more fulfilled person. Maybe it reminded you of the innocent adventures of your youth, helped you come to terms with a breakup, reignited your desire to follow your dreams, or allowed healing to begin over the loss of a loved one. Either way, the movie in question acted in a transcendental way that allowed you to become a more realized “you,” if only for a brief moment in time.

A rough equivalent of how you may feel after a particularly great film. Beach not guaranteed.

Now, I don’t know what movie connected with you in such a way, maybe it was a handful of different movies or an entire series that was able to speak to you again and again, but once in your life, some film probably did.

However, there may be some of you who never have watched a movie that has caused you to experience something similar to what I described above. And there is probably an even  larger number of you who have had such an experience in the past but are in desperate need of a new film to watch (or an old film to re-watch) and connect with in the present. Honestly, I’d say that if you don’t watch at least one movie a year that you resonate with on a deeper level, you are doing something wrong in your life.

And there are plenty of films to choose from! According to the MPAA, around 600 films are released, on average, every year in North America. That leaves you with 600 opportunities to find a film that speaks to you in a way that perhaps nothing else can. But, hey, maybe Hollywood isn’t your thing! Maybe you prefer some good old fashion Bollywood nonsense instead! Well in that case, you’re in luck because Bollywood tends to release anywhere between 1,000 to 1,200 films a year. So, if by some unholy miracle you are still unable to find a film to watch, please email me or contact me through social media and I will throw one your way.

Within this year alone I have watched three films that have moved me and consumed my thoughts for a few days after watching them. Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some reminded me of the joyous camaraderie of brotherhood, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One brought me back to the imaginary adventures of childhood, and Damien Chazelle’s La La Land showed me the beautiful pain of adulthood. (I use the term “adulthood” loosely. I’m only 22 years old and I still mess up making boxed macaroni and cheese)

Made me cry. Twice.

Maybe you have also seen one of these films and have similarly felt moved by them, or I would hope that if you haven’t seen any of the three that you would feel encouraged to see them now. Regardless, I point out these three movies because they just happen to be three movies out of 600 or so released in 2016 that managed to speak to me at multiple moments in my life where I needed help of some sort–

(That is not to say that I exclusively received life advice from the movies, or else I would be completely hammered at a frat house while dancing with Emma Stone and trying to steal the plans to a super-weapon instead of posting to this blog. In fact, no one should take exactly what they gleam from movies and immediately apply it to their everyday lives. I need to make it clear that I am not encouraging stupid behavior in the odd chance that I get a call from a lawyer saying that someone who read my blog recently got shot and killed while trying to get into Area 51 because they said they finally knew how to speak to aliens after seeing Arrival. You still need to seek Godly counsel above all else and socialize with family and friends in order to get through life’s many hurdles, but movies can serve as a great complement to whatever you are going through.)

–and that ultimately is why movies are so important. No matter what may be happening in your life, the proper movie can serve as an ultimate form of escapism in which you can be exposed to new ideas or be given the opportunity to reflect on old ones. So, dear readers, sit down and watch a movie.

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