Ever since the first moving picture of a train pulling into a station, Hollywood has been obsessed with movies. The beauty of the images that came out of classical Hollywood was astounding. Rich black and white captured on spinning film reels. As we’ve evolved to digital cinema, the mechanisms may have changed, but the determination to show audiences images that make them feel is still there today.
It’s easy to be cynical about Hollywood and its personalities and hierarchies, but at the heart of all this is the magic of movies.
Check out this video from All the Right Movies, and let’s talk after.
Cinema has been called “an empathy machine.” It’s our only art form that takes the moving image and sucks us into a story where we get to identify with characters we see on a journey. It has the power to introduce us to people unlike ourselves and give us a window into new worlds and even universal conflicts.
It was famed film critic Roger Ebert who said:
“We are all born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We are kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people, find out what makes them tick, what they care about. For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. And that, to me, is the most noble thing that good movies can do and it’s a reason to encourage them and to support them and to go to them.”
Watching that video and traveling through cinema, I have to say that the beauty is really exciting and encouraging. I look forward to the images we haven’t seen in the movies coming out this year, and I’m excited to sit down and write, to imagine things that could grace screens one day.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
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