Yet More Musings
PLAY HARD, WORK HARD
Cinema – An Appreciation
Films are a form of escape – whether you have nothing to escape or everything, it’s a way for us all to stop thinking about our problems and become engrossed in a story. The cinema is a way for film makers to express themselves or make a statement – I suppose I relate to that as that’s essentially what I try to do myself with writing. You see stories being played out and you fall in love with characters – whether they’re real people or not – because if it’s played out properly, a character is someone relatable.
Last year, the Oscar managed to produce a number of incredible and intriguing films. Most notable for me were films such as ‘Room’ (which earned Brie Larson a well-deserved Academy Award, but failed to earn Jacob Tremblay any kind of award) and Spotlight (earning Best Picture at those same awards); my two personal favourites of the year. Room was so powerful and it’s hard to believe anyone could have been in such a situation; yet I was hooked from the first moment. It was fascinating and heart breaking, but made such a statement it was hard to ignore. Although the cast was small, each and every person held an important role; that’s an impressive feat that isn’t too often found in such Hollywood films of recent years.
Spotlight was a film that although I hadn’t ended up watching in 2016 (rather, in early 2017) I thought was so brilliant. Perhaps it’s my secret love for a powerful true story, or maybe it’s because the story depicts a bunch of journalist doing something good (as an aspiring journalist myself, I can argue they don’t often earn a friendly depiction). Stories like the one in Spotlight make it hard to believe I’d never heard of it before the film was made. It surprised me I suppose that such a story had the capacity to be created in film form; people aren’t always as happy to open their arms to a controversial topic.
This year, however the Oscars gain more diversity yet the incredible films continue! Recently I saw Hidden Figures and it shocked me and annoyed me that I had never been taught about these women (despite not being American, one of my History GCSE modules was on America between 1929 and 2000). The same could be argued for Hacksaw Ridge – clearly important people in America’s history forgotten for either the colour of their skin or for being a conscientious objector. History is a topic I’m so intrigued by so these films with such interesting contexts mean so much more to me I suppose (I can’t decide whether it’s weird that a big part of my favourite films include the context?).
La La Land came a surprise – a musical is never something I can walk away from and not remember the words for the next month – but it was just how good it was. A big gamble that managed to pay off. Lion is another I’d love to see honoured at this year’s award shows. Despite being so in love with the cinema, I don’t often cry; not too many stories touch me in such a way I guess. But this was different – so far all of the films of 2017 have had me on the brink of tears, yet Lion managed to push me over the edge to the point of only seeing a blurry screen through tear-filled eyes.
I’ll reiterate: the cinema is my escape. If you manage to make it into my room – unfortunately, I have a terrible lack of tidiness – you will see that I have almost a memorabilia wall. The wall is a pin-board filled to the brim with items I have accumulated over the years, including a bag from Bubba Gump and tickets to the Capital Building and Empire State building and even a booklet from the Smithsonian from my trip to America two years ago; numerous Taylor Swift polaroids; a couple of my numbers and certificates for various sports; a souvenir booklet from when I was in Les Misèrables; some Marvel cards and even tickets from trips to London. On a whole – these are (as the song says) ‘a few of my favourite things’. Yet, scattered amongst the memorabilia are cinema tickets, the tickets I’ve managed to save from being thrown away. Because these count as memories.
Films have been a part of my life since forever; the stories and characters manage to stay with me. I doubt that’ll change, but being in higher education it’s important to get the chance to escape every once in a while. In that case, I think I’ll stick with the cinema – a platform to express yourself is always incredible.