Film and the Present

March 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love film for a variety of reasons. It offers me a glimpse into other cultures that I may never visit, a portal into times long past and a window into experiences to be learned from that I never hope to personally be involved in. Film also gives me a way to escape from life sometimes, for better or for worse.

Recently, however, I was having a conversation with my roommate about how often I live in the future, always planning for what’s next. I miss out on the present and the wonderful life I could be living in the instant. And perhaps, for now, this is why I identify with film. It gives me a chance for two hours to sit still and be immersed in the present of the film world.

I just watched Bird (Eastwood, 1988) and for two hours and forty minutes I was immersed into the life of Charlie “Bird” Parker, famous jazz musician who died at age thirty-four after years of drug and alcohol addiction. I was there in some sense, living in those moments, taking in New York back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. No one was taking me out of the present, unlike right now, as even as I am writing I’m thinking about how this blog will finish and what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

It’s a vicious malady, always thinking about what’s to come. Movies help me reclaim the present and I am thankful for that.

Never looking back or too far in front of me, the present is a gift and I just wanna be.”-Common


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