Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Do We Love Movies So Much?

Ok loyal readers (both of you), time for a post not filled with fart jokes and dick humor.  As you may have guessed by reading our blog, Savages LOVE the movies.   Watching movies is one of our favorite pastimes, which just happens to coincide with a large portion of the American public.   But why?   Why do we, collectively, enjoy sitting on a couch or theater seat for 2-3 hours with our eyes cemented to one spot and not saying much at all (well, hopefully...movie talkers are a pain in the ass).

Nothing earth-shattering here, but the answer is obviously that movies transport us to a place that we can't go to ourselves.   They give us an "in" into another person's imagination.   What that screenwriter/director chooses to do with us once we're there is what makes movies so spellbinding.   There are so many different avenues to take, only restricted by the non-existent limits of the human mind.   Although admittedly a very short list, for the sake of blog space (and your attention) let's examine a few different types...

The Gritty Drama:   Movies like this allow us to act like we always think we can within the confines of reality, but actually could never do.   They allow us to live out our darker fantasies of not having a normal life, but rather one filled with pretty much a lifetime's worth of coolness crammed into 3 hours.  Nobody truly exists like that, but the gritty dramas take us to a place where it does.  Death happens on a whim. Psychological revelations occur not over years of trial-and-error but after a tense encounter with the barrel of a Glock.  And love affairs happen at a moments notice, being thrown away and discarded just as quickly.   It's here where we see actors stretch their legs, losing themselves just as much into the fantasy of playing the character as the paying customer watching it.

The Epic Historical Piece:  We learn about these times growing up.  We study them.  We read about them.   We get tested on them.   And then, we watch a movie that takes us there.   A movie that makes us feel like like we ourselves are running through the woods of the majestic Adirondacks, our adopted Mohican family close behind, swearing vengeance along the way as we race toward the one who has captured our heart's passion.   Do all historical pieces of this ilk seem to have the same story no matter when/where they take place?  Yeah, no denying that.   But you now what?  It's a good story.  It's one that, especially as a guy, makes you wish that 2011 was not even a thought in our mind.  To go where muskets, swords, and canon ruled the day.  A time long gone.

The Adventure:  What better way to live out childhood dreams then to watch an adventure movie.  Adventure movies aren't deep, we all know that.   But we don't care.   Are you going to be moved to tears by an adventure move?  Nah, probably not.   But you are going to be on a quest to find an ancient treasure.  Or use some of the coolest gadgets or toys around.  Or be stronger than you ever could be in real life.   See, when we're kids, we picture adulthood as so much different.   We picture ourselves actually getting into adventures and going off to faraway lands.   Thankfully life is more rewarding than that, but we still have remnants of those childhood perceptions.  Adventure movies allow that to still blast to the surface.

Movies That Move You:  I struggled for a bit to choose a movie picture on this one, as there's so many ways that movies can move you.  But I think the choice was one of the most touching and emotional movies of all time.  Sometimes we don't want to laugh, we want to feel.   We want to have our heartstrings be tugged on in ways that regular life just can't accomplish.  We sit like a contemplative stone, completely engaged while the story unfolds before our very eyes.   The story of human emotion.   Whether fictional or based on true events, movies of this nature sneak up on us and get to our core.  They show us that life isn't all beaches and soda, but that it also doesn't have to be all suffering either.   I think we crave it. We crave to feel. And we crave to be felt.   

The Intellectual Comedy:  To end this particular post, I thought we'd conclude on a lighter note.   Comedies like The Big Lebowski show us that there's a craft to humor.   An art that only a select few are privileged enough to possess.  "Funny" doesn't have to always be a guy taking a loud nasty dump in public (although that IS funny), but can be the story of a simple pacifist and his uzi-toting ally as they get mixed up in the wrong business.   Why do we like it?   It fulfills the same need that the prior movie satisfied; our need to feel.   But in this case, we want to laugh.  We want to see somebody act like a moron.   Because we can't.   We have the unfortunate problem of having to pay a mortgage.   So we escape with The Dude and see the world how it could be seen:   as one big joke.

Anyways, we'll definitely have some more movie types to come in future posts.   We have to, because Savages just love movies too much.   Life is a great thing, but sometimes seeing it through somebody else's eyes either makes you laugh, cry, or want to go on a quest to find the holy grail.   And as much as Hollywood will try, you can't put a price tag on that.


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