Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Can You Feel It?

Why do we do this? Those of this that love film, that devour it, wrap ourselves in it and let it seep into every fiber of our being? Those of us that make movies, write about and discuss movies or just plain sneak away to huddle in a darkened theatre with total strangers every chance we get, why do we do it?

It is because we care. I don’t mean movies hold a much more prominent place of relevance for us than most… although that’s very true, no I mean we care deep down in that one thing that can not be fooled, that one thing that for better or worse drives almost everything we do, our heart.

You’ll have to excuse me but I just did something I don’t do very often, I cried. To make this rarity even more... rare, water emitted from my eyes because of something I was watching. Now, I must admit that this thing I was watching actually happened to be a TV show, and since this site is devoted to movies, the mention of such a thing borders on blasphemy but bear with me.

Big or small screen, nine times out of ten I watch what I watch because of how it hits my heart, not my head. Now don’t get me wrong, the old noggin’s working all the time as well but unless my heart feels it my head could care less.

I love movies that make me second guess every thought I have with each new plot twist and turn. I love razor sharp wit fired backed and forth through fork-tongued dialogue. There are few greater joys in life than discovering a movie, or any piece of art for that matter, that make the mind spin endlessly as it mulls the great truths of our existence. But you know what? If there aren’t characters I connect with, heroes I root for, heroines I swoon for (I know it’s not really manly for a guy to swoon but go with me here), comedic relief to chuckle at and heart strings to be pulled whichever way a talented storyteller wants then at the end of the day it’s all for not.

The purpose of this post isn’t to get too deep or wax all poetic. This is me thinking out loud. I love movies, I love movies more than almost anything in life (Save for God, family, friends, you know the REAL good stuff). There are very few things on earth that give me more pleasure, more peace even than sitting down and watching a well told story unfold in front of my eyes. I love anything that can truly engage me and sitting here watching this stupid little half hour of television (OK, it was SCRUBS which is pretty much one of the most brilliant half hours of television, ever) I couldn’t help but think that no matter how all of us high fluting, subtext peeling, psychobabble talking film geeks love to talk about the beauty of the craft and the brilliance of the writer, directors, actors and everyone else in between, Mel Brooks is brilliant because he had a dude punch a horse.

Seriously when you have a few moments to yourself think about why you love the movies you love? Sure THE USUAL SUSPECTS is one of the smartest films ever made, but the reason you first fell in love with it is because the moment they revealed who Keyzer Soze was you FELT just like everyone that had been duped by the greatest criminal to ever grace the silver screen. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is my favorite movie of all time. It’s smart, it’s witty, it’s action packed but most of all it is just flat out fun. As much as I love every word of Lawrence Kadsdan’s script and Steven Spielberg’s direction, watching Harrison Ford punch a Nazi in the face (And hearing that oh so beautiful Ben Burtt sound design blare from the speakers) makes me as giddy as a 10 year old boy because by God, it’s a blast!

“I’ll have what she’s having.” “As you wish.” “Yippee-ki-yay Mother#%(!@^.” “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” “It’s the stuff dreams are made of .” “Bond, James Bond.” “Use the Force Luke.” “Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.” Those are all great lines who’s mere mention evoke a litany of responses, not because of the brilliance of word play, but the thrill of emotion each one made you feel!

I love writing about movies. I love talking about them, thinking about them and even better yet, making them but above all else I love feeling them. It’s what got me hooked on their heady elixir all those years ago and if some day, something that I write can make some grown man weep or jump out of his chair and cheer not because his brain told him to, but because his heart did, well then that will be a fine day indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like to think of films as human beings in that no matter how awful some of they may appear to be, there is always something deep down redeemable and worthwhile about them. Even if its harder to find in some than in others.