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Are you crazy about movies? No, I don’t mean Harold Lloyd comedy crazy crazy movie from 1932 about a young man with little or no acting ability, desperately trying to be in movies. I mean, are you crazy about period movies? I must admit that I am a cracker for movies. So, anyone who considers themselves a movie freak raises your hand. Yes, that’s almost everyone. Why are we crazy about movies? Why do we live in a cinema crazy society? Hey, what are the movies anyway?
Films are ideas and/or stories brought to an audience through sound emotions and a sequence of seamless images. Thanks to Google search.
How popular are the movies? Well, the keyword “movies” boasts a staggering 1.1 billion and a growing number of searches on Google’s search engine alone. And the keyword “movie trailers” garnered over 127 million searches. Watching movie trailers on the internet has become a popular pastime for many. I know my husband is one of them. He loves watching his movie trailers.
This past year alone brought in an astonishing $29.2 billion in box office revenue worldwide in 2009 alone. Movies are watched and made all over the world. The language gap was resolved with the addition of subtitles. Now we can all share the universal cinematic experience. In addition to being universal, the films are made for everyone, young and old. Why you can even see generations in most Disney or children’s movie screenings. There is something for everyone, whatever your age.
We celebrate movies and we celebrate the stars in our movies. We bring them into our homes through star-studded TV shows like ET, ET Canada, Access Hollywood and TMZ to name a few. We catch supermarket tabloids like The National Enquirer and Star scanning the latest celebrity gossip and stuffing it into our baskets when no one is watching.
We host Oscar parties like we host Superbowl parties and even bet or at least announce our opinions on who will be the winners of the Oscars, Golden Globes, MTV Awards, etc. Then there are the classic TV shows like ‘Lifestyles of the rich and famous’ that we faithfully oohing and aahing on the content like it was fine wine. The show ran for over 10 years (March 1984 – September 1995). What a race! What a concept! In fact, we got to follow and drool over the stars’ extravagant homes, lifestyles and dream vacation spots. Today you can watch similar shows like MTV’Cradles’ and the VH1′The fabulous life of….”
If you’re more of a homebody, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home to catch a movie. You can literally stream movies through your TV’s regular cable or specialty movie channels like Thrill, The Movie Network, HBO, Movie Central, Showtime, Turner Classic Movies, and more. And that’s after you’ve clicked on TV movies of the week, recorded movies on your PVR, or sent your kids to the video store to rent one of this week’s new releases. Oh, and don’t forget that you can buy movies from your brick-and-mortar video store down the street or even online on eBay or Amazon.
How to get our golden tickets for these great palaces? We buy cereal boxes and cut up cardboard coupons, we use our Air Miles points or redeem rewards points to turn cash into movie tickets. We fill out contest forms in hopes of being chosen among the lucky few to attend pre-screenings of our favorite films before they even hit theaters. We also carpet red carpets around the world and listen to celebrity interviews on our favorite daytime and nighttime shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Oprah and Regis & Kelly.
What beats the cinematic experience? Nothing. We pack our tickets, buy our favorite treats, grab the latest Famous or Tribute magazine for a light, casual read before our movie (while devouring our real buttered popcorn or licorice bag). The lights go out, the screen widens and the image and sound arrive simultaneously. We anticipate movie premieres while watching annoying commercials, and then there they are. These big and beautiful attractions ahead in all their glory. We whisper yes or no or give a thumbs up to our friends sitting next to us for the next cinematic adventure we’re planning. Then, if we’re lucky, that is, the guys will be able to hear the THX sound effect bellows roaring around the theater. (Hey guys, you can hear it on YouTube or download it as a free mp3 or ringtone). Then the wait is over. Whoops ! And the adventure begins…
Once again, why are we crazy about cinema? Could it be because the films are not expensive? a cheap date; or an economical family outing. Can the encounter be further heightened through the Imax or 3-D experience. Or does it go further. A chance to escape from the real world if only for a few hours. Films evoke emotion, be it excitement, laughter, terror, sadness, inspiration, faith, love, etc. Maybe you’re on an unpredictable adventure, uncovering a mystery, or watching a family deal with loss. The films take us away; wherever we want to go. Even the theater itself is an experience as we discovered. The lights, the sound, the feel, the big screen, the comfy oversized fabric chairs, the handy cup holders, the popcorn and nibbles from the snack stand, and more. The cinematic experience truly touches all of our senses. What movies have moved you emotionally lately?
Movies are a place where you can choose what you want to see and feel. If I want to be happy, I’ll go see a light comedy. If I feel like shivering, I’ll go see a thriller or a horror movie. And if I want to entertain my little niece and my little nephew, I’ll go see the latest animated film, etc. Then there are the rest of the genres that complete the cinematic experience: action and adventure, crime and gangster, drama, epic/historical, musicals/dance, sci-fi, war, documentaries, westerns, biopics, chick-flicks , detective and mystery, disaster, fantasy, film noir, guy movies, melodramas/mourners, road movies, romance, sports, supernatural, etc.
Movies bring people together. It’s something to talk about at your 9-to-5 job watering hole, chat with your Facebook friends, or chat on forums. We can talk about the worst movies we’ve seen or our favorite movies of all time. We can wonder about movie trivia, quotes and songs. We can read or write movie reviews, search movie ratings, and buy books about movies. We can even get the latest Hollywood gossip delivered to our inboxes or go online to browse blogs such as Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy blog.
Is there any other benefit of movies other than the whole entertainment experience? In fact, there are. Many professional therapists use films to help people in crisis. There is a therapeutic movement using — you guessed it — movies. This is called cinema therapy. Film therapy is used because it is readily available (there is a movie theater in almost every city) and the subject of most films is familiar to everyone. It also improves the relationship between the client and the therapist. Who does not want to talk about cinema.
Other benefits include the release of emotions, such as when we laugh during a comedy, our laughter releases stress, tension and/or pain. A teardrop that makes us cry releases accumulated/blocked emotions. How about movies that deal with relationships or parenthood. These observations and/or lessons can bring us closer to people, make us analyze our current situations/relationships, or make us realize that we have work to do.
And if there’s one last thing that solidifies our movie-crazed mentality, it’s our urge or desire to be in a movie and/or meet a movie star. Well, that’s just in — you can do both. Have you heard the term television or film More? If you want a better bird’s eye view of the making of a movie and meet a movie star or two, sign up to be an extra. You’ll get paid, fed, be on set, and maybe bump elbows with your favorite movie star.
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