I grew up watching movies. I remember as a child, it was a birthday tradition to go to the theatre with my father to watch the newest Disney cartoon that hit the silver screen. I remember the moment I first saw Scream, sitting in a crowded room with my cousins all huddled up in the corner of a bed because we were too afraid to sit near any closet or door. I remember the moment I first saw Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, and not fully realizing how fantastic a movie I was seeing because I didn’t realize the work that went into a movie of that caliber when it first came out, but still being mesmerized by the final fighter scene where Luke takes out the first Death Star.
I remember watching the White House blow up in Independence Day at a very young age, and then many years later, seeing the World Trade Centres fall on 9/11, and realizing the significance of it only then. I remember watching my first Quentin Tarantino film and being blown away by the script. I remember seeing the finale of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and understanding the importance of such a feat for the future of cinema.
I remember sitting on my couch with my parents and sister debating whether we wanted to watch “The Lion King” or “Pocahontas” on VHS, and then settling on one knowing that we will eventually, sometime in the same week, end up watching the other.
I have learned a lot of things about the world watching movies. I have learned a lot of things about myself when looking back at the movies I have chosen to see.
The power of cinema is a fantastic one. It allows people to experience the challenges of the extraordinary and the ordinary. It allows people to explore their internal mental models and exposes them to their assumptions and challenges their ideas and perspectives. Cinema has the ability to unite continents, cultures, and communities across language, religion, and generations. Cinema has the ability to tell a grand epic that deserves to be told, and the ability to entertain with the very distinct charm of a romantic short. Cinema’s power transcends medium, genre, method, and gravitas.
This is the power of cinema. As much as stories deserve to be told, the power of cinema deserves to be celebrated.
Long live the film.