One of my favorite lines from my one of my favorite films of all time is spoken in Oh, God: “God is a comedian who’s playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh.”Actually, I think Voltaire originally said that line in some form or other but the point is that we never lose our need to be able to laugh and just enjoy ourselves, even during daunting times such as these, maybe even particularly during times like these.
In my 64 years of life, I don’t remember a time when so many people seem as sad and even depressed as we are today.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 1962 and the aftermath to 9/11, we were probably more afraid than we are today, but there seems to be a deeper sadness and anxiety in our hearts today than I have ever encountered.
The economy, personal finances and security, jobs, philosophical differences, the polarization of politics, the coarseness of so much social interaction, anger, and other issues seem to have collectively wrapped many if not most of us in a tightly woven tapestry of worry and stress.
I’m no Pollyanna nor do I subscribe to the ostrich theory of life that suggests we just stick our heads in the ground and pretend that everything is fine. Everything is very definitely not fine. We face daunting personal and societal challenges.
But every once in a while, just to keep our humanity and sanity, we need to take a break from our worries and just try to enjoy ourselves, our family, our friends, our pets, our lives.
That’s always been one of the great gifts that movies give us. Movies transport us to an alternate reality where the “rules” are more definitive and the course of a particular story plays out in less than 2 hours, rather than the several decades of our own lives. Just getting outside our own mindset and heartset for a couple of hours can provide our hearts and minds a welcome respite from the worrying and anxiety we so often feel in our everyday lives.
The ability to immerse ourselves in a film can sometimes be just the break we need. Our lives will still be there when we come back and our souls will be lifted simply by taking the journey.
And that’s yet another reason why I am so passionately committed to saving new movies from extinction.