I pulled my mother’s hand anxiously towards the movie theater, eager to make that line and hold the ticket in the small palm of my hand. Almost every year when my birthday neared, a Walt Disney Feature Animation was released. I saw The Lion King when I turned five, Pocahontas when I was six, and the years dwindled by as I looked forward to spending every Birthday in a big screen setting. Even recently watching Toy Story 3 for my 20th Birthday only enhanced my admiration and obsession with movies of the creative imagination.
Can I just say one word? Inspiration. Movies give me the extra tool necessary to unleash my creativity to the greatest of its potential. It is the continuous magnetic pull to glue my eyes to an imaginary world, which is what I enjoy creating with art. Love for fantasy, the whimsical, and the strange are enriched through various films such as one of my favorites, Labyrinth. The excitement of assisting in constructing a world unlike no other where everything is possible is where I am gearing my career towards. Analyzing the works of other visual artists and critique on color and design choices assist in making me a better artist. I would nod pensively after a movie and reason with myself. “Yeah, I can create the same effect with my art.”
Expressing my internal visions and ideas was not only accomplished through my paintings this quarter, but also through writing. With paint smeared against my cheek and brushes put to rest, I would sit at my laptop, starring at an empty document, almost entranced by the blinking indentation of the cursor. It was difficult at first to awaken that dormant part of my mind, the critical and the analytical core, after watching an enjoyable film and then writing about it. Writer’s block crept up on me on several occasions and even at times halted my entire analytical approach. However, after watching and experiencing several movies, the writing process began to flow through my fingers and each paper contained a more scrutinizing eye than before. I was constantly challenged to rethink and reconsider choices made within each film and was allowed to question every purpose.
Writing the nonfiction essay was my favorite. I typed away, motivated by the tapping sound of every keystroke and rekindled my awareness of how movies not only satisfied my craving for entertainment, but enriched my blank canvas boards as well. As an avid reader, it presented me with the opportunity to equal my writing creatively to great authors such as Charles de Lint. Reading a paper should be entertaining and it was exciting to help create an image for the reader and provide a brief glance into my life.
The film Black Swan had to have been my favorite to watch. The melancholy and menacing storyline of an unstable ballerina trapped in a world of competitive ballet instantly engaged me. The clever portrayal of reality versus fiction was entertaining which kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time, palms sweaty with anticipation. As a gymnast, Nina’s stress and pursuit of perfection in ballet was relatable. The intensity of the environment and efforts to please coaches, even if it involved endangering yourself is a constant occurrence in gymnastics and also witnessed in the film.
This class affirmed the idea that a film can possess infinite possibilities of interpretation and analysis. Not only through writing, but also through discussion was my interest further enhanced. It was baffling to observe how differently we all think and react to a film. It was beneficial as well in discussing the plot and climax of the story and provided a simpler transition from talking about a film to writing about it. Different directions and points of view are revealed and other opinions are considered as we all engaged in fun-filled dialogue about each film. I remain impressed of how several thoughts and ideas surfaced in discussion ended up changing my opinion or furthering my research of the topic. Discussion provided essential fuel to my papers and increased a friendly and comfortable atmosphere in the class.
It is always satisfying to sit back and acknowledge how a class becomes a great asset into life. I have observed that films present a versatile subject where you can be entertained and engaged about life’s experiences, educated, and possibly influenced to make a difference. Watching a film now, my eye is more drawn to take note of areas or concepts that I did not take into account. A director’s purpose or intention in camera angles, lighting, choice of actors, and many more circle my mind after the ending credits thunder into my ear.
I appreciate more of what is being shown in a movie. I have a more scrutinizing eye, and am more observant and appreciative of not only the story line but the art itself. How did they do that? What medium did they use? What made them want to use that color? I marvel at the hard work. I take more into consideration all the time and the effort dedicated to each movie. I admire the intention of the movie, whether it is horror or fantasy, the act of confusing or enriching the audience.