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2010 Movie Update

We are three months into 2010 and I have quite the list of movies to share.

Must add to your Netflix NOW: The Prestige, City of God, Inglorious Bastards, Hurt Locker, Serious Man, Amelie, Away We Go, God Grew Tired of Us

Definitely worth seeing: Blue, 12 Angry Men, Heat, Cold Mountain, The Garden, Mystic River, Call & Response, Alice In Wonderland, Blind Side, Children of Men

Great movies, even the 2nd time around: Atonement, Crash, Memento, Hotel Rwanda

Entertaining: The Hangover, 27 Dresses, 500 Days of Summer, Avatar, Valentine’s Day, Shutter Island

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love movies.

For me, movies aren’t really entertainment.  When I first began to really “watch” movies, I think it was to feel something.  I’m not an especially emotional person.  I more often think things and then act, there’s no emotional filter.  When I watched movies, however, I was able to lose myself in the story enough to feel what the characters were feeling and sometimes what I needed to feel in my own life but couldn’t.  Does this make sense?

The first movie I remember this happening with was I Am Sam (ironic because, well, I am Sam…but that’s just a coincidence).  I came home on a Monday night after another Young Life Club turned game night because no one showed up.  I felt like absolute crap and had reached the end of my rope.  I was experiencing so much frustration, fear, insecurity, exhaustion, failure, I didn’t know what to do with it all.  So I grabbed the saddest sounding movie in my apartment, closed the door to my room, and watched I Am Sam on my computer through my headphones.  It (whatever “it” was) worked.  I was hysterical.  Sobbing.  Snot.  Red Eyes.  Heaving breaths.  It was gross.  It is a sad, heart-warming story for sure, but I think more significantly it triggered an emotion inside of me that I couldn’t get to on my own.  This movie unraveled me.

Since then, I’ve never watched a movie the same way.  Movies make me feel.  They allow me to see life and in a mysterious way to experience God.  They make me think and evaluate my own life and story.  They expose truth and reality, sometimes in a haunting way and sometimes through humor.

In  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller says this: “I like movies.  There’s something about a good story that helps me escape.  If it was a good movie, the experience felt like somebody was resetting a compass in my brain so I could feel what was important in life and what wasn’t.  The movies I like best are the slow literary movies that don’t seem to be about anything and yet are about everything at the same time” (10).

I totally resonate with this.

I think it’s been helpful for me to get lost in the stories of good movies.  To see, hear, feel, and experience life and God through creative, moving art.  I think it is also starting to create a certain amount of disquietedness in myself.  A need to enter in and take some serious responsibility for my story.  To hear, see, feel, and experience in the ACTION of my own life.

Ultimately I guess that’s what good movies should do, open our eyes and inspire us to write better stories for ourselves.

I’m beginning to realize that I may be in store for a different kind of unraveling.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


3 thoughts on “2010 Movie Update

  1. Books can do this, also! I have read so many books where I just feel emotionally drained, yet cleansed, somehow!

    Posted by Judy Curley | March 27, 2010, 10:12 PM
  2. have you seen Lars and the Real Girl? If not, add it to your queue–you’ll love it!

    Posted by Kristin | March 29, 2010, 7:58 PM

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