Films provide insight on society

February 16, 2012




News Editor


“What movies do you like?” a friend asked me this past week, and even though he asked the question jokingly, after reading my “The Woman in Black” movie review, it got me thinking.


What movies do I like?


More importantly, why do I like a certain movie?


When I watch a movie, I feel like I get to know myself better.


I start to understand what is important to me, and it gives me a platform to evaluate the world around me.


When I go to a movie, I try not to let any outside interference factor into my opinion or judgment of a movie, whether that is award nominations a movie may receive or if it is a box office bomb.


If I am going to take two hours out of my day to watch a movie, I don’t want to be engaged with it in a passive way, but rather provoked to feel something.


The average American moviegoer, I am afraid, has subjected himself to a form of passivity when it comes to evaluating anything these days.


With so much money going into the Hollywood machine, it surprises me that people would rather expose themselves to anything Hollywood puts on a screen than question a movie and its validity.


With the presidential party primaries going on right now, what would happen if no one questioned the candidates?


Would we just give power to someone without being critical of them and what they stand for?


Don’t answer that question.


I feel the same goes for movies though.


After all, movies represent us.


This also goes for any type of art whether it be music, books or dance.


There is a wedge driven between art and an audience’s expectations.


People settling for saying a movie is “good” or “bad,” and refuse to look deeper.


If escapism is the only goal for seeing a movie, that also bothers me, because if people need to escape for hours at a time, this transforms movies from art into a type of medication.


Movies should function as a type of catalyst for the mind–not Valium for the senses.


If movies are total garbage, it is only because we have allowed them to get that way.


Some may argue that movies are only for entertainment, but what good is entertainment if it dulls the mind?


This year movies like “War Horse,” “Melancholia,” “Moneyball” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” all swept me away, not just because they were entertaining, but because they flexed my intellectual abilities as well.


While I think “Transformers” and “Breaking Dawn” are nothing better than kindling for a fire, there are benefits to horrible movies like “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Woman in Black,” primarily because some of the best conversations I have had recently were about these movies.


By seeing other people’s reactions to these films, I got to know them better and how they view movies and what is acceptable to them.


Good and bad movies can be a cure for passivity, depending on how active you want to be with your thoughts.


I watch movies because I want to understand my society and myself better.


Movies offer a visual blueprint of just that.



Partick Boyd is a senior journalism and English major from Choudrant  who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to gpb009@latech.edu.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *