I understand the world through movies. I only understand economics in terms of the film industry and politics in terms of documentary and politically twisted plots. I know which fork to use first from Titanic, and I understand Duke and Duchess culture from The Duchess, 80s fashion from Sixteen Candles, and how to best rob a bank from The Town. My earliest basic understanding of football came from Remember the Titans. I better understand my childhood, and the nostalgia associated with it, when I view anything by Spielberg, or my childhood favorite Free Willy, or when I experience the sadness of Andy giving away his toys in Toy Story 3. My role models are fictional: Andie from Devil Wears Prada, Rachel McAdams in anything besides Mean Girls, Celine in Before Sunset/Sunrise. Not only do films like Juno and Charlie Bartlett influence my own writing style, but the plots influence my life. I know not how to hold a coffee cup from my parents but from an actress. My idealized dream of New York City is entirely based on how it’s depicted in Woody Allen movies; and it is that image of the city, that shot of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton sitting beneath the Queensboro bridge in Manhattan that put dreams of New York City into my head until I obtained a NYC address of my own. I want Clementine’s spunk in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to be loved with the intensity Robby feels in Atonement, to be as adorable as Penelope Cruz is in Vanilla Sky. I want to hear “you had me at hello,” and I want a tiny Jonathan Lipnicki, spiky hair and all, to keep in my pocket at all times spouting things like, “Do you know that my next door neighbor has three rabbits?” My morality, my idealism, my cynicism, my dreams, goals, aspirations, limitations, hairstyles, fashion, thoughts, perceptions, perspectives, and opinions are all shaped by film. It doesn’t hurt that I submerse myself in as many as possible, but apart from a few reality/fantasy boundaries I can’t differentiate, I don’t feel tainted by my cinephile ways. Its variety has shaped me.
I owe it to the movies, then, to give them my two cents. After all, they’ve provided me with an unmatched education.