Another awards season has come to an end – one more reason to remind ourselves why we still love watching movies. (Note to Self: Finish watching all nominated Oscar movies!).
Films are more than just entertainment. And here are some of the reasons we think movies are so attractive.
Films as a combination of art form
In any given film, it’s all about combining different art elements – photography, writing, music, acting, set design, directing, editing and so many more. This is how cinema can often allow us to appreciate sound, costumes, architecture, making culture more accessible.
The increasing online searches for “Oscars nominations” in the last years is just another proof that we’re more and more interested in film culture than we’ve ever been.
Cinematographic works are part of our cultural heritage. On our list, some of the greatest movies of all times are adaptations of books – “Great expectations” (1946), “The Godfather” (1972), “The Shining (1980), “Gone with the wind” (1939), “To kill a mockingbird”(1962). They all pay homage to the book, either remaining faithful to the original story or pursuing original creative paths. Equally brilliant!
The need to escape from reality – every now and then
Have you ever watched a movie and notice your heart race? You know it’s all fiction, but nevertheless, you project yourself into the story, attributing to the characters your own emotions, experiences or needs. The screen opens a window to another world that brings such visceral responses – you cry, flinch, cheer, maybe even feel the texture of a silk dress or smell the blood. You forget about your bad day, relax and escape your own reality.
What about those moments when you relate so much to a movie character and feel like the movie was actually inspired by your life? You have experienced similar emotions as the character did, laughed, cried, felt that you are not alone – and, maybe, you have found solutions to the blocking problems you were facing. In the end … you felt better and more relieved. It’s called catharsis.
Films are pure therapy
Yes, films are, scientifically speaking, therapeutic. Many therapists are using films to help their patients overcome trauma, loss, depression and addiction.
Laughing and having fun while watching a funny film is a perfect pill for your heart – It boosts the flow of blood, releases you from stress and helps you have a more restful sleep. Heart-warming movies are also good for the romantic side of your heart.
Guess what! Although you may be avoiding them, sad films can actually have a positive effect on our brain chemistry too. Research confirms that watching sad, profound or traumatic films can boost the production of endorphins – often called “feel good” neurochemicals, that respond to stress, pain and fear.
Films can make you smarter
Films are part of our growing experience. They act like a powerful “homeschooling” tool: they educate the mind, nurture creativity, develop critical thinking.
Educational movies for kids are aplenty, but here are few that you might like for your kids: “The Lion King” – a story of true love and friendship; “Inside out” – talks about how to control emotions; or “Up!” – describes the adventures of an unusual friendship.
What about the adults? Let’s say movies act like learning vehicles. We learn while being entertained, while feeling a strong emotion, a real connection.
Think about motivational movies – there’s an entire industry that cultivates emotional intelligence, teaching us personal development, emotion management, decision making skills. Such movies can inspire us to dare taking chances, be better, love the others more and judge them less, evolve, follow our dreams and become our best version.
Documentaries and biographies are another great source of knowledge, helping us to expand our horizons. They can be powerful, shocking, heartbreaking: we can learn how the brain works, come into contact with new cultures or help us focus on sensitive topics, on the mundane elements of life that we sometimes take for granted. A great way to change our perspectives and become more understanding and more empathetic.
Relax, watch movies, eat some popcorn, laugh loud, get emotional, learn new things! The opportunities are practically endless.
Enjoy your emotional trip around life!