Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roger Ebert and Why He Just Made My Day and Reminded Me About Why I Love the Cinema

Here’s the quote first from an article Ebert wrote about the question "What's your favorite movie?":

“Movies do not change, but their viewers do. When I saw "La Dolce Vita" in 1962, I was an adolescent for whom "the sweet life" represented everything I dreamed of: Exotic European glamour, sin, the weary romance of the cynical newspaperman. When I saw it again, around 1970, I was living in a version of Marcello's world. Chicago's North Avenue was not the Via Veneto, but at 3 a.m. the denizens were just as colorful, and I was about Marcello's age. When I saw the movie around 1980, Marcello was the same age, but I was 10 years older, had stopped drinking, and saw him not as a role model but as a victim, condemned to an endless search for happiness that could never be found, not that way. By 1991, Marcello seemed younger still, and while I had once admired and then criticized him, now I pitied and loved him. And when I saw the movie right after Mastroianni died, I thought that Fellini and Marcello had taken a moment of discovery and made it immortal. There may be no such thing as the sweet life. But it is necessary to find that out for yourself.”

How marvelous a sentiment as the one above, this is why I love the cinema. Movies provide us with a rich language for discussing and describing the world around us as I’ve said before. But what most tend to forget is that it allows this in regard to ourselves also and it’s nice to see that this type of experience continues today. I grew up with the cinema in my life; I don’t remember a time without it, when I couldn’t reference it, what I liked at what time or watching at whatever time. Cinema has become a part of who I am, my religion of sorts. I considered myself to be a part of an artistic community who both relish the works of others and hopes for a cinema that balances great substance for the mind and sustenance for the eyes.

I am searching for a job right now, and with not much luck this paragraph here has made me completely happy and reminded me about why I love the cinema. Something that I completely rethink over and over again when it comes to why I do love the cinema was said most perfectly in a great movie called The History Boys. It is that some of the best moments are when you come across something, it could be a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things, that you’d thought special, particular to you. And there it is in front of you said by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours. Just writing that now makes me so emotional because I know this is how the cinema affects me and why I find it so special and I hope that more and more people are affected in such a manner. I think that a cinema of great personal nature or that comes from a very human place, or authentic place gets this type of affect and I think this is what we’re lacking in the cinema today, something profoundly genuine. Like Ebert says: “it’s necessary to find that out for yourself.” I just hope more people do and take the time to be affected by it and inspire by it.

*the man in the picture above is the one and only Federico Fellini. Side note: I feel that about any of the directors that one might have ever said that about Fellini is the one I can say that and it actually be true.


liza101 said...

you always find the most beautiful photographs

Amanda Ondretti said...

Thanks :D