My love for the cinema began at a very young age. Since I was a child, I have been obsessed and fascinated with cinema and its’ images. According to my parents, the first film that I ever saw at a movie theatre was the Disney version of Aladdin. Truth be told, I don’t have any recollection of actually seeing Aladdin at the movie theatre, but I do have fond memories of seeing the film many numerous times during my childhood. The film that I do, however, have the earliest memories of seeing at the movie theatre as a child is The Flintstones, directed by Brian Levant and starring John Goodman. As with Aladdin, I also have very fond memories of seeing The Flintstones numerous times as a child. Even though those two films played a major role in my exposure to the cinema at a young age, the films didn’t necessarily shape and determine my outlook and views of cinema. As I contemplate upon both of the films, however, I look at both films as being an introduction or gateway as to what the cinema is and what it can be. As a child, though, how could I know any better?
Cinema is an art form. To the most traditional film, the most experimental, to the most trashiest and sleaziest, to the most commercial, to me the cinema is the highest and most superior form of artistic expression. The cinema is full of senses, feelings and emotions conveyed through the use of image and sound. The cinema is sound and image. Through the use of sound and imagery, the human condition and experience, emotion and psyche is conveyed and displayed through flashes of imagery. The cinema can and should encompass all of the elements with which create a living, human experience for us all. The cinema revolves around life and life revolves around cinema.
To some, the cinema is just mere entertainment, but the cinema is much more than that. Why must the cinema be subjected to only being mere entertainment? The cinema is much more deep and complex and has a much greater purpose and meaning. As civilization has progressed, so to has the cinema. A question that can be asked, however, is has the cinema progressed as a result of the advancements and progression of our society and civilization or has our society and civilization progressed as a result of cinema? The cinema is a representation of who we once were, who we are now and what we can and may become.
The cinema, as Andre Bazin once said, is more in tune with our desires. The cinema, more than any other artistic medium and mode of expression can release and fulfill those desires not only to the creator, but also the viewer. The cinema, unlike any other artistic medium has the ability to create social awareness, transport us into worlds both known and unknown. The cinema can introduce us to different cultures, to different languages, to different ways and modes of thought and living. The possibilities of cinema are endless. One of the most beautiful qualities, if not the most beautiful quality of the cinema is that no matter what film any given viewer is watching, each and every single viewer can come up with their own interpretation of what they have seen on screen. No matter what the film is or what the viewer has seen, each individual viewer can create their own meaning and interpretations and analysis. For this to take place, of course, we cannot have an elitist attitude of what is right and what is wrong. By that I mean that every individual interpretation and analysis is worthy of discussion and examination.
By the cinema being more in tune with our desires, the cinema in turn is a reflection of ourselves, either who we are or who we want to be. Through the cinema we can become more aware of who we are, discover answers and meanings about ourselves and reach out to our soul.