So the other day I drove past the Hollywood Universalist Church on Franklin Blvd. in Hollywood and saw a sign describing upcoming sermons based on movies. I wish I could have slowed down to write down all the titles but we like me alive and with all limbs, right? The only one I remember is THE VISITOR. What a wonderful, appropriate idea.
I have read before that there are some therapists who use films as a form of therapy - an add-on if you will. A way for viewers/patients to connect with their deepest feelings through the emotionally and sensually immersive, transformative medium of film.
Recently, I (re)watched NORMA RAE and sure enough found myself reveling in the feeling that I was watching something important, something substantial, something that made me feel like a better person for having experienced it. I wanted to retroactively thank the DP, the writers and the director (Martin Ritt, who directed another favorite film of mine, THE FRONT, about the blacklist).
And Sally Field. I like her, I really like her. Jokes aside. It's a great performance. When the petite spitfire wrenches herself from the grasp of her burly escorts marching her out of the textile factory and instead climbs up on a machine and holds up the famous UNION sign, eyes round with determination, fear and an elegant sort of hopeful defeat...well...that's a movie moment you want to see, Wavers. It's transformative and beautiful and wrenching and glorious. And it makes you wish you had that much courage. And it reminds you that you do.
Not all movies hit that deep vein of emotion and catharsis for us and thank god, right? That would be a bit exhausting. Recently, I watched CLOVERFIELD and was thoroughly entertained (engrossed, really) and then promptly forgot about it until someone told me about the mysterious splash in the end. Movies are populist entertainment and the impact of film on a viewer can be anything from enormously cathartic to simple, gut-busting entertainment. But once in awhile, you see a movie that taps into that part of yourself that forgets anybody else is in the theater. Movies in which the main character is the person you wish you could be or someone you once were. Movies that tighten our throats with joy and appreciation and impact.
So I'm curious - what movies have you seen, Wavers, which left you flat on the seat, a puddle of cinemagasm and filmic adoration, wanting to write fan letters to every single name that flies by in the credits? What movie do you wish you had written that gave an audience member that same feeling?