What Do Movies Mean To You?

The first movie I remember seeing on the big screen was Walt Disney’s Snow White.  I was 7, maybe 8, years old, and my dad took to to the Liberty Theatre, an older theatre that first opened in the 1930’s, and at the time was doing special matinee’s for children during the day.  I still remember that feeling of excitement when the lights went down, the screen lit up, and being drawn into a beautiful world of color and music, danger and romance.  I was completely captivated…and have been ever since.  Maybe you have a similar experience.  Going to the movies still feels like an event to me, from buying popcorn to picking the perfect seat.  And even with all the options for watching on TV or mobile devices, which I appreciate, there is still nothing like seeing a film on the Big Screen.

The first poster for this year’s Academy Awards was released this week.  Ellen looks just beautiful, and I think she’s going to be a fantastic host!

Ellen Degeneres Oscar Poster

And since this evening we will be celebrating both movies and television at the Golden Globes, it got me thinking about what it is about movies that makes them so special to so many of us.  

As anyone who knows me for any length of time will tell you, I. LOVE. MOVIES.  From the behind the scenes to the final cut, I find the whole film-making process amazing and fascinating. They move me like few things can, and I have the tendency to prattle on and on about character and story and cinematography (many thanks to my friends for putting up with me even when you’re not THAT interested. Lol!).  I go to midnight showings (still one of my favorite experiences and totally worth the next day sleepiness!) and host an annual Oscar party (second favorite day of the year next to Christmas!).  And for some reason movie facts seem to stick in my head better than information I need in, you know, my actual real life.  Yeah, total movie nerd.

For me what it comes down to is the power of storytelling.  From even before the era of film, from the oral traditions to the written word, stories from the real to the mythic have connected us, taught us, and inspired our imaginations.  Stories open us up to new possibilities, new people, new ideas.  They can help heal us or break us our hearts.  Raise awareness and incite us to action.  Even in the most fantastic stories, we find characters that we can relate to and learn from.  And with the medium of film, we are drawn into these stories through performances and visuals and music that touch our emotions in a unique way. Movies connect us all because in them we see ourselves and each other, our common humanity, and through that maybe bring a little more compassion, a little more understanding, a little more grace.  

Plus, movie nights with friends are just plain fun!  How great is is to watch a film and then discuss all the things you loved (or hated) about it?  And we all need an escape from the mundane in our everyday life occasionally.  Movies bring us together, all backgrounds, all walks of life.  Whether it’s escapist fun or thought-provoking drama, movies have the potential to entertain and enrich us.  What do movies mean to me?  Put simply?  Truth and beauty and connectedness.

My favorite quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe feels appropriate here:

“[Everyone] should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture everyday…in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”

I would love to hear about your first movie experience and what they mean to you!  Which ones you love and inspire you.

With awards season now upon us, we will be celebrating a year filled with some amazing and memorable films and performances.  I will post about a few of my favorites as we get closer to the Oscars, and perhaps a post about Oscar party planning.

And if, like me, you will be watching the stars come out for the Golden Globes tonight, have fun and enjoy the show!  It’s been a good year for TV and film, so there’s a lot to celebrate!  

I want to leave you with Tom Cruise’s opening monologue from the 2002 Academy Awards.  It was the first ceremony post-9/11, and at the time a lot of people were asking whether the Oscars should even go forward at all.  An absolutely fair question.  And I always liked this very personal and moving response.  It came back to my mind as I was contemplating this post and provided some inspiration for it.  I hope you’ll agree.  See you at the movies!


2 thoughts on “What Do Movies Mean To You?

  1. My first movie experience that I remember was at the drive in, I was only about 10, and we were going to see Ghostbusters. I just knew it was going to be so scary (I don’t do scary, not even back then), but I could not have been more intrigued! I was so involved in the movie that I never thought about being scared, it was amazing. The smell of popcorn, being with a group of people experiencing the same thing as you, it’s a camaraderie and a feeling that is almost addictive…and a little break from real life once in a while is nice too. 🙂

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