gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: movies

Life as a movie

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What would our lives look like if we could watch them in a movie?

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This picture is from one of my favorite movies, Amelie, where she’s watching a movie in a theater and she looks behind her because she likes to watch other people watching a movie. My love for movies makes me wonder what our lives would look like if we could watch them as a movie. Movies are such a condensed, simplified, hyper emotional version of real life, so I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like in the form of a 2 hour long movie. What would I wear in different scenes, would my hair always be perfect, how would my relationships with others play out, how would my feelings and sensitivities for things fluctuate, how would other people feel watching me, etc…these are some of the questions that come to mind. Anyone else ever think of their lives like this?

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Kitchen backslashes

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I recently saw the movie, Mother’s Day, and while not a great movie, it was at least entertaining. What did hold my attention though were the kitchens! As a lover of all things related to Interiors, I was so distracted during the scenes that took place in kitchens because all I could focus on was the backsplash or the light fixtures. What also sparked my interest was the fact that one of the characters is an Interior Designer and lands an awesome project, pictured below (interior designer on the right and awesome client on the left). If only it was that easy! Unfortunately I can’t find any pictures of the kitchens, but I guess you’ll just have to see the movie to know what I’m talking about!

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Love/Movies

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You may not be able to stop thinking about someone, but the reality is, he/she may not be thinking of you at all. Rarely do people feel the same way about each other, and rarer still is it that people fall in love quickly, as is portrayed in the movies. Why do the movies give us such false hope when it comes to the nature of love and relationships?  Then again, the movies are fairly unrealistic about their portrayal of most things simply because they are edited and typically condense a profound amount of time into two hours – thus resulting in an idealized vignette that we like to take as true and real. While relishing in such filmic vignettes brings us joy, we have to remember that they are what they are: fictionalized, idealized scenarios that seldom match up to reality.

Theory vs. Emotion in Film

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When we say we like a movie, what are we really saying? Sure we can appreciate and admire  films for their form or content and we can like them for the ideas they convey or for their beautiful cinematography, but what is it that leads us to say we like a certain film? It’s the feeling they evoke in us. There are film theorists who will go great lengths to describe what signs are present in films that cause us to like them, or the ways in which certain films connote or denote things that make them ‘good’ films. But I don’t think that all that theorizing gets to the heart of what makes us like films. I think the power of film really lies in how they make us feel, rather than certain qualities that might be inherent in the film. How often do we like films solely because of their form or content and cast aside the emotions they evoke in us? Perhaps there are truly genuine film connoisseurs who can look at a film only for the ways in which it excels in terms of its medium (and I’m sure there are), but I find it virtually impossible to separate my emotions from my appreciation for a film while I am watching it. If this makes me an average film spectator, then so be it. I would rather remain an emotional film spectator than take the emotion out of the film-vieweing experience and look at films purely from an intellectual standpoint.

Machines

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Do you ever think to yourself – I wish I knew how my computer worked? It might sound like a silly question, but truly most of us have no idea how our computers actually work, and yet we use them everyday with incredible ease. What happens when we hit the command key? How does hitting that key correspond with some little chip in the computer’s innards to make something happen on the screen? It’s an incredible thing when you think about it, and we take it for granted.

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This question popped into my head last night as I finally got to see The Imitation Game (which is an excellent movie, by the way), and it occurred to me that not only do we not understand how our own computers work, but we don’t really know how many machines work. Surely, mechanics, engineers, and mathematicians understand how machines work since they are the ones inventing them, but the average person really has no idea and simply reaps the benefits of these machines. I’m thinking of machines such as cars, medical equipment like an MRI machine, machines in factories, etc. What marvelous inventions they are that can do work beyond the comprehension of most people. The device created by Alan Turing in The Imitation Game was the birth of computers, and not only was the film extremely well-done, it evokes themes that are really important such as technological advances, the treatment of homosexuals, and the common social handicaps inherent in geniuses.

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Magic

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Because film creates magic…

I’m sorry for the poor image quality. I definitely encourage you watch the real thing…the final scene of Amelie (or even better, watch the whole thing!)

The film-viewing experience

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The movies are about what we’re too scared to do in real life; or perhaps what we can’t do in real life. How else would we do what we can’t in life but absorb it through the movies? As I’m currently studying film and learning more about what film theorists have said about the film-vieweing experience, I’ve been particularly interested in what happens to us as we watch a movie. Theorists like Shobchack and Merleau-Ponty argue that we play an active role as we watch a movie, and experience it with all of our senses and throughout our whole bodies. We can, in a sense, feel what is going on screen and relate to the characters and the narrative in a way that we can’t with other art forms. That is because film is the art form that most closely resembles our reality; not only that, film can recreate reality because of its nature as a moving picture. It can take reality and rearrange it by juxtaposing certain things in side by side shots in ways that reality does not allow. Even in its ability to recreate reality, it is still the art form to display reality most like our own, and in this way, we can place ourselves in a movie for a couple hours ‘do’ what we can’t in real life. We can pause our lives for a couple of hours, fantasize, and then return to our lives, perhaps bringing some of what we absorbed from the movie to our real lives.

“I Follow Rivers”

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A nice little video encapsulating Blue Is The Warmest Color, such a beautifully emotional film, along with the best song in the film, Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers.”

The movies

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It’s interesting how much time people spend talking about movies even though they’re not real. But I suppose this applies to literature and TV shows as well. But there’s something about the movies and how you can hear the rumblings of people sharing their opinions at the end of a film as the credits start rolling and the lights come on. Growing up, I vividly remember my parents and I going out to dinner after the movies and spending a majority of the dinner talking about the movie we just saw. It’s interesting to hear different perspectives from everyone and how thoughts about a movie come to you little by little, so there is always something else to say about it.

Movies represent life. We can see so much of ourselves in them, and not only us but others as well. This is what makes them seem so real to us even though they are completely fictionalized. They are, of course, based upon life as many of them represent true stories, but the way in which those stories are captured and put into a movie format is created and stylized. Movies that are based on true events are not organic, but are thoughtfully produced in every aspect from the sequence of the plot, to the characters, to the soundtrack, to the costumes, etc. Movies, even those based on true events, transport us to a different time and place, but are still connected to reality and that is why we can see ourselves in them so vividly.

What we can’t do in life, we live through the movies

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What we can’t do in life, we live through the movies. This is what came to mind as I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Watching Walter Mitty go on his adventures was inspiring, but also unrealistic. We would all love to undergo a drastic change in our lives by going on adventures of that magnitude, but unfortunately there are a myriad of reasons why we can’t – work, money, family, responsibilities, time, and fear to name a few. But this is what the movies are for and what makes them so remarkable. Even if we can’t do something in our own life, we can watch it on screen and in a small way experience it ourselves. Having adventures like going to Greenland and hopping on a helicopter only to land in the ocean before being rescued onto a boat, or going to Iceland and experiencing a volcano eruption, or going to the Himalayan mountains to witness the sighting of a snow leopard are made possible by the movies, even if only in our imagination. And this is why I love the movies.

Walter Mitty’s transformation throughout the film stood out to me as the focal point and it was apparent in everything from his clothes to his personality to his interactions with those around him, including the woman he was trying to impress by his adventures. The soundtrack, which included David Bowie, Arcade Fire, Of Monsters and Men, and Rogue Wave really made the film. It added so much feel-good sentiment that I don’t know if the adventures would have been quite as exciting and inspiring without the soundtrack or had there been different song choices. It was just perfect. It was definitely fun to watch, although a bit confusing at times because of Walter’s zoned out tendencies, which sometimes made it hard to decipher what was actually happening and what was just in his imagination. It did, however, become more clear after his first couple of zoned out episodes. Ben Stiller, as the main actor and producer of the film, did a great job, and Sean Penn’s small role added just enough oomph. I would say the moral of the film is to embrace the person you would like to be and just go for it. Also, to go on adventures.