Why Film Matters

by Jeremy Maron on March 21, 2011

That’s part of your problem: you haven’t seen enough movies. All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.”

–Davis, from the film Grand Canyon

I love that quote. The problem is…it’s not true. All of life’s riddles are not solved in the movies. More interestingly, the reverse is true. The real purpose of cinema is to allow artists to explore the riddles of life. And the questions that artists ask in their exploration fascinate me.

The role of the artist is to create a reflection of life based on his perception. As all perceptions are unique, so are the reflections they create. The great directors — Kurosawa, Welles, Scorcese, Eastwood, the Coen Brothers — all infuse their art not only with questions, but with ideas that challenge society’s core values. In some cases, the ideas are so controversial they are labeled by some as blasphemy.

For me, examining the artists’ perception, and any chance to argue my opinion of their vision with others, is my contribution to the artistic process.

I invite you to join the discussion.

About once a month or so I host a film and discussion series here at ThinkHouse Collective called CinemaSpeak. It’s an informal get together of people who not only like movies, but also enjoy talking about them. Although the films vary in subject and tone, I try to show films that have themes worth discussing.

On Thursday, April 7, CinemaSpeak will present P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia. Through chance, human action, past history and divine intervention, an eclectic cast of characters weaves and warps through each others’ lives on a random day in San Fernando Valley, building to an unforgettable climax. Anderson writes and directs this thought-provoking mosaic of American life through a series of comedic and poignant vignettes. Starring Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Philip Seymore Hoffman, William H. Macy, John C. Riley, Phillip Baker Hall, Melora Walters and Jason Robards (in his last film).

Film begins around 6:30 p.m.; discussion immediately following. Oh, and sometimes we have popcorn.

Please RSVP here.

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