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Why do we watch movies?

KeromeKerome Lovingness is the wayThe Continent Veteran

Is it...

  • Excitement (while being safe on the sofa)
  • The feeling of being in love again
  • A sense of wonder
  • Vicariously experiencing someone else’s life
  • Exploring worlds, time and space away from our own

Movies have a wonderful way of absorbing you in a story, of allowing you for a few hours to live an experience that might be impossible in your ordinary life. I have tremendous admiration for the art of film making, and I will watch 4-5 films a week regularly. It’s a guilty pleasure, sometimes.

But one thing I want to explore is movies as a teaching medium, what do we really learn from movies? It’s been very entertaining, watching all those films, and there have been many moving moments. So I suppose we can say that from watching the right films one learns a certain emotional maturity.

What do you think? What have the movies meant for your life?

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I don’t like movies as a general rule.
    I think fiction gives people expectations that people will and should behave in a certain way in a certain situation.
    A lot of people forget it’s a written script and life is far messier and unpredictable than anything someone can dream up.
    The notion of romantic love is a classic example.

    lobsterfederica
  • I learnt everything I know about the three jewels from kung fu movies. :3

    It is very difficult to be mindful during a mindless activity which engages and captures our dream mode mind. Do we need breaks from reality? Depends ...

    As a wer-lobster I am watching films to:

    • simulate
    • experience
    • join the human realm
    • understand the dream world
    • appreciate the real
    • explain dharma through popular culture
    • watch for mindfulness on film

    https://www.shamashalidina.com/blog/spiritual-movies-mindfulness

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I learnt everything I know about the three jewels from kung fu movies. :3

    Well and this is what I mean, that in spite of movies being unreal as @how pointed out, they do seem to have the capacity to teach us things.

    It is very difficult to be mindful during a mindless activity which engages and captures our dream mode mind. Do we need breaks from reality? Depends ...

    But I think we do. It’s like play, sometimes we need to engage in a way away from the real, and then I always come away from a good movie reinvigorated and inspired.

    lobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    The first written story was a work of fiction, a tale that taught people something about life. I imagine people were telling each other stories foremost as Longacre could talk.

    Some stories are junk food and some are nourishing and most are some combination. I like movies and serial TV shows too. I do limit my consumption, as pleasant as they can be in the moment long term they do bring down my mood and cause stress as well as a craving for more.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    Well and this is what I mean, that in spite of movies being unreal as @how pointed out, they do seem to have the capacity to teach us things.

    Must be age.
    While it sounds like something I'd say, which thread & when?

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran
    edited December 2020

    Oh apologies @how it was @bunks ... I got confused between two bald-headed forum members, as you say, it must be age.

    Bunks
  • Why do we watch movies?

    To remind the self of how the mind is at times a projector, projecting mental images/movies/dramas onto life's panoramic screen...and how (if one is not careful) can be taken in hook line & sinker becoming a reluctant actress or actor forced to play a part.. participating in life's self fulfilling drama, sometimes as an extra, but most times taking the lead role, centre stage....

    On a personal note I see my self as the dramatist and lead actress...

    The movie itself but a screen within a screen, a play within a play...

    "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

    ~Willy Shakespeare~

    lobster
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Movies can provide some food for thought, but I view the undigested underlying message of the film - if any - with great suspicion.

    I actively seek only to learn about visual imaging from movies, and about how images can be manipulated to produce particular emotional or descriptive effects. If a movie has strong, competent visuals, I try to learn from that.

    Bunkslobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:

    Why do we watch movies?

    To remind the self of how the mind is at times a projector, projecting mental images/movies/dramas onto life's panoramic screen...and how (if one is not careful) can be taken in hook line & sinker becoming a reluctant actress or actor forced to play a part.. participating in life's self fulfilling drama, sometimes as an extra, but most times taking the lead role, centre stage....

    On a personal note I see my self as the dramatist and lead actress...

    The movie itself but a screen within a screen, a play within a play...

    "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

    ~Willy Shakespeare~

    If only everyone shared your wisdom when watching movies @Shoshin1

  • @Bunks said:

    @Shoshin1 said:

    Why do we watch movies?

    To remind the self of how the mind is at times a projector, projecting mental images/movies/dramas onto life's panoramic screen...and how (if one is not careful) can be taken in hook line & sinker becoming a reluctant actress or actor forced to play a part.. participating in life's self fulfilling drama, sometimes as an extra, but most times taking the lead role, centre stage....

    On a personal note I see my self as the dramatist and lead actress...

    The movie itself but a screen within a screen, a play within a play...

    "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

    ~Willy Shakespeare~

    If only everyone shared your wisdom when watching movies @Shoshin1

    What I really meant to say @Bunks... is for entertainment, but "I" got somewhat carried away ;);)

    lobsterBunksKerome
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Absolutely hate "chickflicks". Unrealistic schmaltz gift-wrapped in indigestible treacle.
    Love the Jason Bourne series. Please don't ask me why, as I just can't put my finger on any one definitive reason.
    Enjoyed the live-action Mulan, much better than the cartoon version.
    Why do we watch movies?
    Why do we do anything for no reason?

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    Another reason that occurred to me is that watching a movie allows you to disconnect from feeling the self, you can lose yourself in just watching and disengage from the ‘I’.

    Bunks
  • Why do we watch movies?

    The clinging/grasping aggregates which make up the self (interest)

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:

    Why do we watch movies?

    The clinging/grasping aggregates which make up the self (interest)

    Yes that’s it... you can lose yourself in the movie, just relax with the flow, and forget all about worries and tension, even the existential being yourself. You can just get carried away in the story powered by wonder and imagination.

    lobsterShoshin1
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    I don’t like movies as a general rule.
    I think fiction gives people expectations that people will and should behave in a certain way in a certain situation.
    A lot of people forget it’s a written script and life is far messier and unpredictable than anything someone can dream up.
    The notion of romantic love is a classic example.

    Romantic love is a complicated combination of the drive to reproduce combined with the desire to collaboratively go through life in a partnership. The feelings that one experiences during the process are varied, ebbing and flowing, changing as people mature and grow. It's not a notion. It's a real, non-magical thing, driven by brain chemistry, societal norms, and our species' evolved need for collaborative processing of emotions and experiences.

    At least, that's how I see it.

    Regarding the value of fiction - aren't there examples of fiction in the Pali Canon itself? A parable is fiction. The Buddha and other spiritual leaders aren't the only people in history who can communicate useful ideas through fiction. Again, just my take on it.

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2020

    @ScottPen

    Whispers from a zafu.
    All forms of love, are simply a lessoning of our innate sense of separation from the rest of existence. Undress any love far enough and this heart can be seen unfolding at it's core.

    Of course, some say that entertainment is just a mimicry of this truth.

  • GuiGui Veteran

    It's fun.

  • It can be an easy and good way to have a shared experience with someone/s. You can enjoy and talk about afterwards.

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