Monday, April 19, 2010

How films are better than your life

So one day chances of chances happen and as you stand sipping your glass of champagne your eyes meet with a beautiful girl. Was she beautiful, or was she beautiful. You talk to her and you hit it off, you're in heaven now. Great. Now years later you find yourself still with her and your love has flourished quite a bit since that first time. You tell the story over and over again, and every time you get the 'Awwwws' and the 'thats so cuuutes'. The most romantic thing that could have happened. Sounds like the plot of quite a few romantic films out there. Life imitates art imitates life. So you being the romantic you are, tell this story always leaving out the few significant details.

First and foremost the first time you met her, while thinking she was beautiful you were actually eyeing her friend for a good part of the night. She doesn't need to know that. And than when you walked up to her, you were nervous and your words slurred. Did she notice that. Probably did. Yet, she was probably nervous as well. So yes everything went haywire in just the right way. You ended up together and her friend that you liked for months afterwards ended up fading away in your memory as she bought out more and more real estate.

Cut to:

A film with the same premise:
Andy a young lad from Philadelphia meets Adriana, the love of his life. He swoops in and tells her that her eyes remind him of the stars and the places beyond. Romance is in the air. They see no one but one another. They fall into each others arms, and it's like they have fallen in love for the first time. They belong together and you know it as soon as you look at them. It's beautiful and perfect. He doesn't like her friend more. He doesn't think of anyone else. By the same token she never thought about her exes or anyone like that. They constantly think about how much they love one another.

In the hustle bustle of the film world we often forget why we watch films to begin with, and what are films for that matter. What are they? Are they mere depictions of reality? Are they more? Are they obscure and unreal? Films lie and make things look magical?

If you think I was going to make the point for escapism, you are wrong. Yes films help you escape into another world. That is a fact of a good film. But a great film is where you don't escape to another world, rather you escape to a version of yourself that you might have not experienced for a little bit or never fully experience at a similar level as the couple in the film. A great film forces you to relive the most treacherous and the most beautiful aspects of your past. So no, its not necessarily escapism that we create with the film scenario being perfect. Not at all. It is a version of your own life story as best you can remember it.

You pop in the film in your high tech blue ray player. You see these two people unite on a beautiful eve. You are not wishing that you were them. No you think you are them. Why is that? Well that could be attributed to this beautiful thing called human memory. After a while you only remember certain aspects of the situation when you recall it. There might have been those moments where you didn't want her and a million other things, but you don't focus on that. You focus on the beauty of your unison and how she was meant to be yours, and you hers.

So the film didn't take you anywhere you hadn't been. It didn't even take you to a better version of your own story. It quoted the story as you most likely remember. And for those outside the picture, people that don't share your story, it showed them how you felt. No art can capture the wide array of human emotions and thoughts in any given moment let alone an extended period of time. So films capture the essence of your emotions at a given time. You look at the couple and you think about your current love or the one you have lost, and you know feel what the character is feeling. Or you see them feel what you have felt. Either way you have formed a bond that is significant and emotional enough to drive the following pathos.

Films are magical and they try to catch those butterflies that were mingling in your stomach when you met her. Or at least thats how you remember it. So the silver screen is not as imaginative as you might think. it captures human imagination and human emotions and at its best tries to find the perfect way to display it so you may feel that moment of pathos. Real life is not perfect but in retrospect everything looks so much different. Quoted with your fading memory for details, everything seems like a film.

In essence a good film captures those moments perfectly, as they should be captured. So if you hear a person say 'it's never like it's in the movies'. Yes, it is never like its in the movies. But after a while it becomes like that. And as a matter of face it might be like that to an outsider regardless. You might be more self conscious and think about the details that were uninteresting or boring, but to an outsider your story might be beautiful and romantic. Yes, you might not connect with every little instance of the film, but if you can somehow relate to what they are feeling on the screen at key moments, than the team of dedicated individuals behind the camera have done their job. So the magic of film is the magic of your life.

The age old saying: LIfe imitates art, imitates life.

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