The human fascination with movies

Posted by Posted by Jay Abstract On 10:59 AM

--Posted By:  Jay Abstract


Our earliest ancestors painted on walls, ancient Greeks acted it out on stages, and present-day actors and actresses are paid obscene amounts to do it in front of cameras.  From as early as we have records, we have people telling tales of myth, legend & adventure.  Some true, some completely fabricated & some in between-  The fact still remains, we have a need inside of us to hear stories and events of completed trials and tribulations of our fellow people.

It's all about relation, and if a movie has your interest, it's because you relate to it in some way.  It may connect with something that happened in your past or something you wish to happen in your future.  Maybe it's your biggest fear and you want to see how the person in the story handles it, or maybe it's just something you never even thought of and you're wondering what you would do if you were placed in that situation.

While certain qualities of how well a movie is structured or written can't be denied, whether a movie is "good" or "bad" is an entirely subjective opinion and is based off of how you are relating to it's events in your subconscious.  Women tend to like love stories more because female brains are hardwired with an overwhelming desire to be loved, accepted and desired while guys tend to gravitate toward stories that satisfy their primal instinct to conquer, dominate and control.  These, of course, are complete opposite ends of a spectrum that most of us are somewhere in between.

Movies are reflections of life, and as you are watching them your mind is constantly figuring out if it relates the order of what's hapening on screen to what it's experienced in the past.  How many times have you been watching a movie and suddenly shouted out "That could NEVER happen!"?  Your brain has recognized an event that completely goes against what it can relate to.

Life is absolute chaos.  It's a mess of successes, disapointments, emotions, confusion and events that bleed together in a seemingly endless and shapeless splatterboard that requires us to organize in our heads, always searching for "true meanings" and "lessons learned", whereas movies organize the chaos for us.  They provide a similar verison of what we experience in a neat little package with a beginning, middle and end that we can understand, follow and sort out.  In real life, the camera does not stop rolling when the guy finally gets the girl and marries her...  He cheats on her 6 years later and leaves her a single parent with 3 children and an overwhelming mortgage payment, fighting for child support in court.

In movies we don't have to deal with this.  It's action-reaction-result and then it ends.  We can even go back and relive it exactly like it happened as many times as we want.  Try doing that with your ex.

This organized chaos also has another advantage over real life (Assuming of course it's a well-made movie):  There's not much down time.  The important times that progress the story are all we see.  We can see every important event in a family over 30 years in 2 hours.  We get to see the dork be a dork for the first 30 minutes and then the cool guy with his dream girl for the next 90, and then it's over.  We don't have to sit through 4 years of his transformation period to see what results from it.

Movies capture our imagination for different reasons, but we all want to see someone win or lose.  And the reasons why are always more personal than we realize.  Whether you root for the good guy or the bad guy, you're hoping for an outcome, and it's going to be delivered to you in a neat presentation.

So just sit back and enjoy the story.  Or if you're like me, go out and create it.

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  1. Anonymous Said,

    that was intense...

    Posted on April 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

  2. Anonymous Said,

    well written and clear article. Social science professionals love movies for just this very reason.

    Posted on May 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

  3. This is a great post... Keep it up!

    Posted on May 24, 2013 at 2:23 AM


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