I haven’t done a post in so long, I have almost forgotten how to write one of these things! In between reviews, work and screenings, it feels like my creative juices are drained, sieved and distributed to other things. So, with this hearty return, I have decided to get a little personal.
A recent theme on one of the websites I write for struck a chord as it revisited childhood memories, yet I found myself holding back on the one, if not the only, thing I like to talk about the most. Inspired by another article, the question came around in a strange way and I find myself asking, what do I love about film?
Growing up in small-ish towns with next to none BBCs (British Born Chinese) to relate to, I used to lose myself in TV and film. I didn’t really go out, never had many chances to hang with friends outside of school and my folks worked long hours, leaving me and my brothers to watch endless TV and videos.
For me, film allowed me to see the world through other people’s eyes. Through a character’s POV, it opened my eyes to what lay outside the shores of the UK. Whether it be the Manhattan skyline, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow or the Australian outback, it taught me that other cultures can be celebrated not only through the people we know, but the films that feature them. More importantly, the more cultures shown on screen, the more open-minded a viewer can become.
Film is more than visual entertainment. Since I was a kid, it gave me a means of escaping real life. Who didn’t want to be a princess waiting to be rescued, or a hero saving the day? Film made it easy to dream of an alternate, eventful reality that is just unattainable if it wasn’t for a film on video.
Additionally, there is a sense of acceptance. When I watch a film after a long or rough day, I no longer feel negative about the events of the day, no matter how bad they got. I lose myself in the story, the characters, the cinematography…it sounds sappy and almost over-emotional, but when you have been with something for over 30 years, there is no doubt of the emotive connection you share with it.
I used to refer to certain things from films just because they make sense in real life, classic examples include “the new version of the software is being released. It’s full of bugs so people will forced to upgrade for years” (Tomorrow Never Dies) but perhaps, more significantly, “movies teach us what our parents don’t have time to say” (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut).
The majority of things, people, experiences fade with time but a personal connection to films is timeless.
Thanks for reading.
‘I Love Film’ image by MUFFIN-FLUFFY.TUMBLR.COM. ‘Film Heart’ image by Olivia House.