Why is a movie called a movie?
It’s short for moving pictures, bunches of still images moving so, so fast – 24 frames per second, in most cases – that it fools the eye. An illusion. MAGIC.
And it has the power to move us.
Literally moving audiences?
Legend has it that the short 1896 film, L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, or Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, by French filmmakers The Luimiere Brothers, caused a minor panic as an image of an on screen train seemingly rushed at the audience and they moved to get out of the way!
Cool story. Too bad it is likely an urban myth. But even still, amazed viewers would stand in long lines to witness the spectacle. The imagination was sparked.
Much like a good book, an effective movie can transport us to new worlds, outside of ourselves. Movies move us. Its magic moved patrons a century and a quarter ago and it still moves us today. What keeps us spellbound?
“We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds, not simply in the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is an important part of it, but by seeing the world as another person sees it.”– Roger Ebert
Can films move us to rethink things and influence attitudes and behaviors? History says yes! After Bambi (1942) came out, deer hunting was cut in half. Unsurprisingly, Jaws took a bite out of the beach tourism numbers in the aftermath of its run in 1975. The Day After Tomorrow, scientifically flawed and implausible as it was, led to an increased concern about global warming. Moreover, movies like 2018’s BlackKKKlansman have a way of grabbing the public consciousness and pushing social issues of the day to the forefront.
We laugh. We cry. We hurl (Thanks, Wayne’s World)? As the credits start to roll, just like that, we inevitably move back into ourselves again. Then the reflection begins. What did we just experience?
Cinema can also be therapeutic. According to The Best Brain Possible with Debbie Hampton, there are mental health benefits to watching movies. She says:
- Movies encourage emotional release.
- Sad films make you happier.
- Movies can help you make sense of real life.
- Movies can give you a mental break.
- Scary movies can actually calm anxiety.
- Movies bring relief, even if they stress you out at first.
All that brings us to this blog. The mission is to continually highlight a movie – or something from other film mediums like television – and the “Silver Screen Self Care” that can be gleaned from it. We are glad you are here for the journey. Welcome to Movies That Move Us!
Scott is a mental health professional, freelance writer, and movie lover. He has a Masters of Divinity degree, which is not nearly as amazing sounding as Masters of the Universe, but it is what it is. It is here at Movies That Move Us where his powers combine! It is not uncommon to find him pretending to open automatic doors using The Force.