For a long time, film has been an escape. When life gets tangled or messy or slow as it often does, film allows us to escape into someone else's. For two hours you can forget about what you've got ahead and just focus on the story that is being told. A story with a beginning and an end.
And for a long time this was all that they were to me: stories. Stories that, no matter how effective they are in the moment, will fade over time. The words we are told will be largely forgotten and all that sticks with us will be how we felt when we were told them.
And so we move onto the next one. And the next. And the one after that. Constantly looking through others' eyes and being told stories we will not fully retain. It's only when you stop to think, I mean really think, not about what you were told or even how you felt, but what you were taught that you let a film truly impact your life.
If you only allow films to be an escape then that's all they'll be. Many see films as windows into others lives, but they forget that windows go both ways. While you can look through the window at what's happening on the other side, the other side can look through and see you.
Films can teach you about anything but only if you let them. If you're only looking for throw away stories then that's all you'll get. And you'll forget. The memory of the films you love will fade because you didn't let them teach you anything. But when you get past this, when you allow yourself, no, when you choose to be challenged and lectured from your own sofa, that's when you'll change.
Don't just let films steal you away to another life, let them impact your own.