It's all about the power of imagination, really.
bet you can remember begging for just "one more story" before bedtime as
a kid. That one last little bit of fantasy before the long and lonely
night of slumber. The idea that you're up later than a kid should be,
but mom or dad or whomever has decided to bend the rules just a bit,
agree to your request, and offer one more story before bedtime.
Hopefully one that's long and exciting and scary...
A few years go by and when you hear the word
"bedtime!" you immediately protest. It doesn't matter what goofy
activity you may be doing; you just want a few more minutes of it. "One
more story" turns into "aw, five more minutes?" which eventually
(hopefully) becomes "Ooh, can I stay up late to watch ... Jaws 2?" The
extra dose of fantasy is what we crave, not the "recommended daily
allowance" of fun, gosh darn it.
And if, by the age of 6 or 7 or 9 or 10, you
can call yourself a movie fanatic, it's probably because your craving
for "one more story" led you to meet Han Solo or Indiana Jones, E.T. or
Starman, Jason Bourne or Captain Jack. These are the films that we
carry forever, and they're the ones that lead a person to love, respect,
and truly appreciate the magic of movies. If Mad Max 2 didn't grab my
11-year-old self by the throat, then I wouldn't have been interested,
five years later, in seeing what sort of weirdness I'd discover in
Raising Arizona. The Ferris wheel in Spielberg's 1941 blew my fragile
little mind, which gave me a passion for older, smarter, and infinitely
more mature movies.
Our earliest movie memories are of King Kong, The
Wizard of Oz, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Independence Day, Batman,
Terminator 2, and Jaws because "popcorn" movies are what strike the
imagination of the movie fans who are still too young to appreciate all
of what cinema has to offer. Popcorn flicks are the gateway drug on the
way to full-blown celluloid addiction, and that's why we keep going
back. We dip a tentative toe into The Prince of Persia because we want
to recapture some of that magical spectacle that flowed so smoothly when
we were young, and then we line up for the Clash of the Titans remake
because we loved the original and maybe our kids will love the new one,
Yes, we (as a nation of bona fide film freaks) often
give way too much money to "summertime tentpoles" that are barely worth
the trip to the multiplex, and unfortunately we do fully "enable" the
production companies to throw out a lot of cheap, lazy junk. but at
least our motives are pure: we're not just Pavlovian dogs who wander
into the latest piece of allegedly adventurous bombast because we're
bored or ignorant or stupid: we're just a bunch of little kids who
desperately crave "one more story," and we'll suffer through a lot of
mediocre tales if it means we can recapture just a taste of that
beautiful giant ape, that horrifying killer shark, or that crazy round
boulder that almost flattens our favorite archaeologist.
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