It’s quite hard to write about just exactly why I like film so much. Every time I’ve tried to it just sounds like a cheesy love poem you wrote to your crush on a school lunch napkin in fourth grade. I start speaking in hyperboles and then throw in a somewhat related childhood story to appeal to pathos. My love letter to cinema never seems to come out the way I’d like it to.
Maybe it’s hard to write about because it’s such an easy argument. Is there anyone that does not like movies at all? It’s not like I need to convince people that they should try out the new media of film like early filmmaker pioneers had to do to their snobbish upper-class peers and high mannered theater patron friends. Maybe it’d be easier to write a piece about why I love air so much!
Starting a blog about film, and classic films to boot, sounded like a good opportunity to finally sit down and take the time to write about why I love the movies the way I do. I’m not trying to convince anyone to like movies per se but am instead trying to convince those reading to listen to what I have to say about movies. Reading things written by a stranger on the internet is definitely not as well-liked as them moving pictures after all!
The problem with writing this I now realize is there isn’t just one catch-all reason I love film. There is no one childhood memory of going to a movie with my parents or friends, no one single film that converted me, no one single life-changing experience. It’s little moments that made me love film.
Moments like when I spend the entire drive home in our family’s van discussing our opinions about the movie we just saw together on Thanksgiving weekend. When I lie destitute on my bed sick with the flu and have one of my favorite Harold Lloyd pictures playing on my laptop to help me forget my fever and nausea. When I question and explore my previous life experiences and opinions because a film exposes me to a viewpoint and life I have never seen before. When I drive across LA by myself to sit in a small, dark theater to watch a film that hasn’t been screened to a public audience in a hundred years. When I curl up in a ball on my couch crying because a character in that night’s TCM Showcase communicates exactly what I have been feeling like nothing has before. I know of almost nothing that can conjure up such a diverse pallet of emotions and convey such complex and deep ideas as film can and does.
Classic film, in particular, captivates me. I love watching the early pioneers learn on the fly how to harness the power of the newly invented camera to show magical flickers to nickelodeon audiences. I love watching films grow into features just as the industry itself blossomed into a well-oiled machine of billion-dollar studios and million-dollar stars. I love watching saucy dialogue and offbeat quips creep into the movies as filmmakers quickly added a synched soundtrack to their toolbox. I love imagining a frustrated and archaic Breen’s office bursting at the seams in the 50s and 60s as they helplessly try to hold back the floodwater of such profanity as “virgin” and “abortion” from entering the soundtracks of Hollywood pictures.
I love the distance we have from the time these classic films were made. I love knowing that Britain won World War II when watching Mrs. Miniver and tear up knowing that the Great War would repeat itself not too long after the men of the 2nd company went to fight for the Kaiser in All Quiet on the Western Front. I love noticing the outdated fashion trends, technologies, and attitudes of bygone eras and love when some things haven’t changed a bit in over a hundred years. There are so many different types of classic films, some are comfortably nestled in the unofficial must-watch film canon and others lay as hidden gems in paths less traveled.
While classic films definitely are different than many of their modern counterparts, both hold the same power to inspire, comfort, question, and uplift. Unfortunately, classic film is not shown in wide-release in theaters regularly and rarely comes up in everyday conversation like the movies currently playing in first-run theaters. I hope my blog, inspired by my love of film, can be one channel for lovers of classic film to discover new films, perspectives, and opinions. As I have been preparing and writing for this blog, I have sure enjoyed the chance to dissect specific films and revisit the experiences that has brought me to love film so much.
And in short, the reason why I love film, classic or modern, changes every day. And that in and of itself can be a reason why I love it so much.
To find more about the purpose of my blog and to see a schedule of upcoming posts, visit the About page here.