Don’t underestimate the movie-going experience


Brian Bauer

A photo of the Art Theatre located on 126 W Church St in Champaign.

By Tyler Panlilio , Columnist

When we want to watch something, binge watching “Game of Thrones” and “The Office” on Netflix or going to a Redbox to pay a buck for a movie seems like the go-to idea. We want what’s convenient to us — something that we can watch in the comfort of our own homes.

And with our laptops and phones with us wherever we go, we’re often occupied with newer forms of entertainment. Going to the movies seems more like a hassle than a pastime for some. It might even seem that modern cinema is in a decline.

But if “It” and “Get Out” have anything to say, it’s that the film industry is still alive and kicking.

2017 is the biggest year in horror film history. These horror films not only had insane box office sales, but also had a significant influence on social media with memes and parodies following their releases. Movies like these are more than just something that should be watched; they should be experienced, in the dark, with a bucket of popcorn, at the movie theater.

And that’s what every actor, director and producer want from us: they want people to go to the movies. Yes, streaming a movie for free is both convenient and saves you money. But going to your local theater to see a movie, even just once or twice a year for those big blockbusters, is an experience that never gets old.

A movie, when done right, is the most humanizing art form there is. The good films are the ones that leave us in awe as the credits roll. They make us laugh and cry, but also go beyond the screen and into our lives. And they stick with us even after we leave the theater, drive home in our cars and wake up the next day.

Movies are a combination of every other art form — they incorporate music, writing, visuals and so much more. When we think of blockbuster movies, we tend to think solely of the actors and actresses. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone rocked their performances in “La La Land,” but the cinematography, screenplay and original soundtrack are equally as important.  

It’s not just the performances these actors and actresses put up that make movies so great. It’s also the lighting and palettes of certain scenes, how the score emphasizes tension or relief and how the camera focuses on a face or widens to set a scene. And I don’t care how big your TV is at home, nothing accentuates these details better than a big ol’ movie screen and booming surround sound speakers.

There’s something about actively making the trip to see a film that makes it special. When the theater is full on a midnight premiere, you’re with your friends and everyone has popcorn and drinks? That’s when seeing the film becomes that much larger of an experience — including the screen itself. Movies are made to be seen at the theater; it’s just not the same anywhere else.

And it’s surprising that, after over a century of filmmaking, there are still films being released that really shock us as moviegoers. It’s why we keep coming back for more. A camera and a perspective can go a long way; they have been for a while now.

Tyler is a sophomore in Media. 

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