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Why I Love Movies

I love it when a movie makes me feel better about my own life.  A movie should bring hope for a better tomorrow to it’s audience.  Even if we disagree with the way the hero achieve it, we should still  at least be thinking about a different or more realistic way of reaching a better tomorrow, which in turn means we are visualizing a better tomorrow.  So we now, if not before, believe in a better tomorrow.  And that, to me, is the magic of movies.

That is why I do not watch foreign (or most independent) films.  They are too depressing.  They would have us believe that life is misery, death and torment, for no reason at all (unless it’s to intentionally/comically torture us) and that we are powerless to do anything about it.  That we should just be grateful for our meager and unhappy conditions because it could be far worse.  They tell us happiness is an illusion or a silly childish dream only a fool would aspire to possess.  Or that happiness is like an eclipse that comes for a day then leaves for years and we must enjoy it, but not get attached.  And they sell it to us by calling it “art,” art to complex for the “simple-minded” to comprehend, as if their film is a glimpse into the thoughts of an intellectual.  Though really it is art much in the same way my two-year-old empties his toy box all over the floor when he’s upset.  Or art in the same way my ten-year-old draws WANTED posters of the authority figures who punish him.  Individual truth is completely different from the truth.

And I’m not here to debate what is truth and what’s not, but what is truth is that if these “artist” really believed life is misery, death and torment and that they are powerless to do anything about it, then they are cowards — though most of them choose the cowards synonym: “realist” — for two reasons.  Either a) they are afraid to try, to be vulnerable while attempting to change their situation and the “real life is inevitably miserable” excuse is a cop out or b) they genuinely believe life is misery, that they’d be better off dead, but they are too frightened of death to kill themselves.  Again, to cowardly to be “better.”

But here’s the rub, if they really did believe life is misery, nothing more than a cruel joke, and they did decide to off themselves, that would be doing something about it, which would just undermine their whole premise and prove we are not fated to misery (and therefore suicide is unnecessary and once more…cowardly).  We are not fated to do anything.

Well, that’s not true.  Everyone does have a fate or destiny — whichever you choose to call it — people just misunderstand what that means.  Fate is not some book of life with the final chapter already written, no matter what we do.  Again, that’s the cowards view (and quite frankly, lazy).  The truth is that fate is more of a certain destination we will inevitably arrive at if we continue down a particular road.  That is our fate.  But what a lot of people don’t understand is that at ANY point in our lives, we can choose to stop traveling that road and turn off onto a new road (the phrase “turn the corner” comes to mind), thus creating a new inevitable destination that may be better, or may be worse, that’s for us to find out for ourselves.  This is what a good movie should show us.  This is life.

When I watch movies — good movies — I either identify with the protagonists deep-seeded fears of exploring that new road (after-all, we are all cowards about something) as he or she tip-toes into the unknown or I admire the heroes reckless abandon as he or she jumps onto the new path before truly analysising where it goes.  And it doesn’t matter how things turns out for either of them.  That’s right, allow me to add, that it doesn’t always work out for the lead in a good movie.  You win some, you lose some, right?  But it’s always a choice and the good movie’s hero will always try.

Or not try.  That’s a choice too.  A choice that the hero will have to live with when the credits roll and his story is over.  As do we all.  I love movies because, the good ones, always remind me that everyday I wake up I can make a choice that will make today better than yesterday.  That we are never “trapped” anywhere, in any situation or on any road, we only need to rebel against our doubts, stand up to our fears and turn the corner and there is hope for a better tomorrow.  And no matter how it all ends, no matter the outcome, there was a choice.

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