The last post was so sordid and depressing, I was determined to write something bright and cheerful, to make up for all that grouchy complaining. So I thought about the first thing that elevates my mood : movies.
I am not exactly an exception here; I guess everyone enjoys escaping into a different world, if only for a few hours. Then, it doesn’t matter if I have a pile of papers to work on or a house to clean or a garden to mow or an angry neighbour to confront, because for those few hours, I’m sucked into that vortex of fantasies so different from my world. The one’s on screen become part of me and I cry with them, laugh with them, join them in prayer, wait for miracles to spout even in the most impossible situations. And then suddenly the lights are back. I realize people shifting in their seats around me, a growing buzz of conversation and my fingers sticky from the leftover butter of an empty popcorn bucket.
Till my secondary boards, this was more or less my idea about cinema on the whole. My route of escape, three hours of unadulterated fun.
I guess I was born under a lucky star, because one afternoon, one very special afternoon, changed my life forever. Thanks to someone very generous I had been enrolled at a film appreciation course organized by Seagull Media and Arts Research Centre. I was quite eager, wanting to utilize my post exam holidays to the hilt. The course was illuminating, with regular classes pushing us further into the world of films, meandering into the technicalities of film making and all the sweat that goes into it. I was duly impressed, absorbing everything, thirsty for more, an ideal student. And then the magic afternoon happened.
One day, after the lesson was over, our teacher showed the class a movie. He said it was an old french gangster movie. I wasn’t exactly excited, because it didn’t sound very engaging to me. The name of the movie was “Breathless”. It had been made by Jean Luc Godard. I had never heard of the person or the movie. The movie started. I remember feeling different. And I remember wanting to watch the movie again. And again. I couldn’t follow half the movie. But I knew something was unusual. Somewhere, my preconceived notions about cinema were changing. I had never known that a mere movie could make me feel like this. It was more than a film, much more. Then I came to know that “Breathless” was just one. I couldn’t wait for the others. In the next month I saw “Battleship Potemkin” by Sergei Eisenstein, “Stagecoach” by John Ford, “Citizen Kane” by Orson Welles. Each one was different. All were amazing. I was like a kid who had been gifted a free lifetime access to the candy store. Cinema became this new craze for me. I recall my mother commenting one day, that this new passion for movies would soon wane; this was just a passing phase. Strangely enough, it has been almost four years and I’m still going through that “phase”, as my mother put it.
At the end of the day, every single one of us need that one little corner to ourselves where we can wash away the troubles that plague us throughout day. That’s the fuel which drives us the next day and all other days to come. For some it’s playing video games, for some it’s reading story books, for some it’s cooking, for some it’s collecting stamps or orchids and for some, it’s movies. It’s our very own magic hole.