I believe in movie magic. Whenever I say this to people, they assume that I mean special effects and CGI, but to me, movie magic means something bigger. In my preparations for this paper, I found out that one of the many definitions of the word ‘magic’ is “to produce extraordinary events”. I thought to myself, “What could be more extraordinary than being able to win the battle against good and evil with your bare hands, or giving a stirring dramatic monologue in front of a court room of people without having ever attended law school?” Does that not qualify as magical? The thing that gets me every time isn’t the visual effects in the movies, but the feelings that they can inspire. Movies can make you feel either hopeful, or leave you feeling so painfully rump-sprung that you can barely string a sentence together. Can anyone say, “Black Hawk Down”? I think the reason people go the movies in the first place is to be emotionally provoked. During the Great Depression, going to the movies was the most popular form of entertainment because it allowed people to escape the chaos of their lives, even if it was just for a little while.
When the movie Twilight came out, my mother and I were among the first standing in line waiting to see it at midnight. It had been a hard fought battle to get her to read the books in the first place, but once she did, she fell in love with the story. She was hesitant to see the film, worried that it wouldn’t measure up to the book and that the story would become muddled. She was not disappointed, and neither was I. My mother told me once that when she watched it, it made her feel better about almost anything, as it did for me. After seeing it several more times my friends asked me, “How could I waste all that money?” To which I could only reply, “If going to a movie makes us feel better, then who’s to say that we were wasting our money? It’s cheaper and less destructive than heroin. The only real thing that’s been affected is to raise my personal standard for guys I meet a notch or two.” The movie made us feel warm and fuzzy in the worst possible girlie way, and I saw that every time we would return from one of our trips, we were both happier. To us it was uplifting, while to others it was dorky. In my own defense, one person’s dork-forest is another person’s Field of dreams.
I love the fact that for the two hours that the movie go-er is sitting in the dark auditorium possibilities become endless. I believe in the kind of movie magic that has nothing to do with special effects. Movie magic is all about the emotional experiences that the individual takes with him or her after the screen fades to black and the credits role.
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