Obviously, I can’t speak for anyone else … but for me, movies are a very visceral experience.
Case in Point:
I just finished watching The Hurricane starring Denzel Washington. If you don't know the story it's the true story of Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter who was wrongfully convicted of the murder of three people in Paterson, N.J. (which just happens to be the town where I was born) in 1967 and retried in 1976. He spent 18 years in prison.
I had seen the movie before … I knew how it ended … and yet when the judge issued his opinion and announced Rubin’s release … the entire courtroom exploded and I felt a rush of energy down my arms and tears came to my eyes!
|Denzel Washington as Rubin Carter moments before judge issued opinion|
Movies on the other hand seem to be for the specific purpose of causing a visceral response in the audience. The darkness of the movie theater … the huge screen … being engulfed in sound … are all designed with the singular purpose of touching something deep within the viewer.
Having said that, it's interesting to me that it can even happen when watching movies at home … without the darkness, screen or surround sound … that’s how powerful a movie can be. I’ve watched tons of interviews of directors, producers and actors and it seems that ultimately that is their primary intent.
The Hurricane is a great example of determination, tenacity, conviction, faith … but more than that the indomitability of the human spirit and the power of love.
Maybe that’s the answer … maybe when a film is crafted in such a way that even though it is basically an electronic signal traveling across time and space … if a story or an idea can touch the heart … it can't help but create an emotional response.
What do you think?