Filmmaking has always been a huge part of my life. Ever since I was little, I was making films with my legos or with my friends. One thing that has recently started to get to me is: how important is film? At its core, it’s just making movies for people to watch.
However, it is so much deeper than that.
It’s a distraction from the real world for two hours, it’s a portal to another world to experience something new, but most importantly, it’s a way to communicate ideas to millions of people.
Here is why, to me, film is important.
The Film Experience
For the average moviegoer, movies are a way to get away from their real lives for a while. A way to relax and let their brains wander. This, of course, is why we have so many remakes and sequels coming out. People just want comfort and reliability. Now this is all good and well for the average person, but for filmmakers we know this leads to films with no message or meaning becoming extremely successful.
For example the Lion King remake is currently Disney’s highest grossing non-marvel movie. While the original Lion King is a masterpiece on its own, this film falls flat with most critics. It’s a technological masterpiece in photo-realism but other than that, it’s kind of bland. This is the average persons movie. Nothing new, nothing unexpected, it’s just an escape from real life.
Although this is annoying for creative filmmakers that are racking their brains to come up with an original story, we have to understand the need for these movies. We also should appreciate that people are still going out to the theaters to see movies. So there is a bright side to all of this.
The next reason film is important is inspiration.
For those who pay attention to films and want something out of their experience that isn’t an escape, they look for inspiration. This is where great action movies with heroes comes in. This is also where the great dramas make an appearance. If we need a pep talk to build up the courage to talk to the person we love or need the courage to tackle a problem in our life, these films can help. Films like these inspire us to get through our every day lives with our head held high. These are the movies that the film fanatic is looking for. This is their reason to love movies.
Ideas are the most exciting part of filmmaking in my opinion. Although, this is where most filmmakers fall. Films that present ideas or new ways of thinking are rare and hard to create. Films like “Arrival” tackle the human condition and why we need to communicate and be kind. In the movie, Aliens come to Earth and teach humanity a new language. A new way of communicating with more than just words, but with also feelings and math all corresponding from one common language.
These are the modern works of philosophy that challenge modern perception. Presenting questions as to why things are the way that they are. A step above inspiration, they take it to the next level with presenting solutions or the consequences of a lack of solutions if we continue down the same path.
These movies are few and far between, but when they hit theaters, they’re something to experience. There is nothing better than leaving the theater feeling like a new person, like you’ve learned something new. These films shape our generation and the ones to follow.
People Need An Escape
Film will never go away. It will always be there because ideas will always need to be expressed. Filmmakers will continue to ask questions and offer answers, whether they are right or not is a different story.
More than that, people will always need an escape from the real world and what better way to do so than see a movie. Film on the surface will always be about entertaining, but the important part of film is the power it has to influence people, to inspire and unite groups. This, in my opinion, is why film is important. It is the universal communicator.