Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Answering Life's Riddles

That's part of your problem: you haven't seen enough movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies. --"Grand Canyon" (1991)

Everyone loves movies. You and everyone you know have seen at least one movie in your lifetime that moved you so much, the earth moves when you think about it. It's almost like a sacred treasure. You can quote lines from it. Images are burned in your heads forever. Hearing the soundtrack on the radio brings back a flood of memories.

Me? I don't have just one. I can think of thousands of movies that make me feel this way. Is this normal? Absolutely not. But normal is overrated, isn't it?

People ask me - "What's your favorite movie?" - and I never give them a straight answer because how can I pick just one? It's like choosing which of your children you love most.

Yes, I just compared movies to my children. Told you I wasn't normal.

Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.  --Walt Disney

I've mentioned on my other blog - Normal is Boring - that I'm embracing my unique self these days. I want my children to express their individuality as they get older, to embrace their sense of self and be their own person. I'm not like other people for a lot of reasons. I have a cochlear implant in one ear, hard of hearing in the other. I'm prematurely bald. I have hair on my body in places that should not have hair.

And I live and breathe film. Why film? Well, why do people love to travel the world? To get a sense of other cultures, to watch people live different lifestyles, to see breathtaking sights. I can do all of that just by watching movies. And it's a helluva lot cheaper.

No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight of the soul. --Ingrid Bergman

But seriously, watching a movie is an experience. It's all about emotions, about transcendance, about losing yourself into another world. People watch movies to laugh, to cry, to engage their intellect, to pass the time. It's also an art form. Making a movie is a collaborative effort. The collective visions of the writer, editor, production designer, cinematographer, musician all come together, under the guidance of a director who must make a cohesive movie, one shared vision. Anyone can make a movie. But not everyone can make a good movie.

Every great film should seem new every time you see it. --Roger Ebert

Now, my obsession does not stop at movies. There is some damned good TV out there. The serialized nature of television allows characters to grow and breathe. To produce a consistently good series from beginning to end is an extremely difficult task, but television is where risks in storytelling are made. TV writers have the luxury of painting a large, expansive canvas to achieve their vision. When a show is working, firing on all cylinders, it's just divine. This is why they invented watercoolers at work.

This blog will delve deep into my passion with the moving images of the world. I'm doing it for myself and for my kids. I hope they will learn to appreciate the joys of entertainment as well as I do. Think of this blog as a diary, if you will, a travel journal that marks all of the extraordinary places I've visited. Maybe I'll see some of you there along the way.

For those who stumble across this page accidentally, I offer you my heartfelt condolences. Viewing the inside of another person's obsession is not always a pretty sight.

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