Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stories unite people; theories divide them.

The Movie Industry

Of all the things to hit in popular culture, none is more recognizable in or mind than the movies. Most Americans instantly recognize images produced by the movies: Charlie Chaplin, the starving prospector inThe Gold Rush, eating his shoe, treating the laces like spaghetti. Recently I watched the documentary “Theses Amazing Shadows,” I was inspired to blog about the film industry and how the industry has changed my life.

These Amazing Shadows is a documentary about the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry. It offered a look inside how films are restored and contains interviews with some of writers and editors of major film industries today. Regarding the importance of film’s societal role as viewed through a cultural and historical lens, I found the quote “Stories unite people; Theories divide them” to be most poignant. Hence, this became the title of my blog. In the documentary, I learned that this registry has copy of almost every film ever made. Needless to say, their collection is very large and the painstaking efforts that must go into restoring those films must be equally as large. It was also sad to hear that before the registry, films would be disposed like common trash because film was not regarded as it is today.

When I think of movie, I personally think how they are cultural artifacts that offer us a chance to see into American cultural and social history. Like a time machine, movies can show us insights into Americans' shifting ideals, fantasies, and preoccupations. The film industry’s history is separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period. While, according to my class book, the Lumiere Brothers are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, but it has to be American cinema that became the most popluar throughout the idustry. Although, throughout those periods, the film industry would change with the American society. Films would be made to focus on a particular area depending on what was happening at the time in the USA. For example, WWII and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, films were made to be more patriotic to gain viewers to help America cope. But nothing could prepare America for the revolutionary space opera film of 70s, “Star Wars.”

Out of all the movies that I have come in contact with from the film industry, the amazing space opera known as Star Wars has truly changed my life. I grew up with Star Wars. I had older brothers that were already in love with the Star Wars universe that I easily followed suit. I remember when was a kid watching Star Wars that when I first heard the music I was taken up into a world of adventure, space travel and imagination. I remember watching Luke Skywalker fly down the Death Star, watching it explode and being so excited that I wanted to jump up and down in joy for the success of the Rebels. The music, the visuals and the action were marked into my soul.

Something about the amazing sets and visuals and imagination continued to interest me as I got older. I got books from the library on the artwork, behind-the-scenes, even novels set around the Star wars worlds. Unfortunately or fortunately for my coolness, I never outgrew it. It stirred in me a joy of creating. George Lucas took my places I wanted to go. I didn't just want to visit, though. I wanted to create those places. I wanted to create magical worlds myself. Places of adventure, imagination and creativity. So I decided to pursue a career in film and hope to one day add and be a part of that universe that George Lucas created.

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