Film appeals to people differently

Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Joey Harinsky, Former Deputy Culture Editor

This previously ran in our February 2023 print issue.

Art is one of the primary driving forces behind culture; it allows people to express themselves and to find a connection with both each other and the world around them. Art also evolves, from primitive cave paintings 10 thousand years ago, to the works of Shakespeare, and now with the modern forms of art we have today. Paintings, music, and literature have existed for thousands of years. They’re not new; however, in the last 150 years a new form of art was born out of the industrial revolution: film. 

Movies consist of hundreds of people, both creative and technical, working together to create something. And that’s the difference between film and other forms of art. It’s such a collaborative effort. Painting, composing, and writing are generally done largely in solitude, though you may have a few people help here or there. Music can be played in bands, and plays are performed by actors. However, movies take such a large team of people to create that they’re generally not just a singular vision. This can create tension or controversy, but when every puzzle piece fits together, a beautiful picture is formed. 

I’m sure if you were to ask around, the majority of people would say that they enjoy watching a good movie. Some movies leave such a lasting impact on us and tend to stick with us. A film can be so much more than just a series of moving images. 

So what is it about movies that truly appeals to people? Is it the stories? The actors? Maybe the visual effects? The question is especially interesting for teenagers whose interests can range so widely. 

The answers, as you would expect, vary person to person. Junior Kayla DiGiacomo says. 

“When I watch a movie I look for relatable characters and an interesting plot.” 

Both of these contribute very heavily to a film.  You want to enjoy the characters and be engaged in what you’re watching, not bored

On the other hand, senior Owen Meitzler has a different take on what he looks for in a movie.

“I try to look for the mistakes in the movie…it’s fun to see million dollar movies mess up,” Meitzler says. 

An interesting take, yet mistakes in art can help ground what you’re looking at. It can make it feel more human. Mistakes can also be funny, whether or not that’s the tone and intention of the film you’re viewing. 

The tone of a movie is one of the most important elements; darker tones elicit very different emotions then lighter tones do.

  “I watch a comedy to feel happy.” DiGiacomo says. Comedies also happen to be her favorite type of movies, “because they’re funny. My least favorite is inspiring sports movies.”

Perhaps that’s why films are so engaging and appealing to the mass public: the immense variety they can offer. There’s a different type of movie for everyone, from sports movies, to military movies, to superhero movies – even dramas of people just sitting around talking. It’s a medium where for every Jurassic Park there’s a The Notebook, for every Hereditary, a La La Land

The film industry is difficult to break into; however, some people have such a passion or interest in it that it becomes their career.

 “I definitely thought about going into filmmakingI enjoy filmmaking,” DiGiacomo says. “However, I don’t like the temporary part about it. You build the set, film the thing, then tear it down. I don’t like that,”  

For the most part, movies, like all art, have one objective: to entertain. Both Meitzler and DiGiacomo have similar views about why they love movies.

“Because they’re fun. They’re entertainment,” DiGiacomo says. 

“For entertainment, and sometimes to learn things,” Meitzler says. 

While entertainment is not necessarily the primary motivation, it does play a large part in engaging an audience, which is really what art is all about.