The best kinds of movies are the movies that make you feel something. This is easier said than done.
It’s possible for films to make us think and to have that thinking translate into feeling. This is true of some of the classic films made around the mid-century by filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman. Those guys made movies that drew on cinematic history, intellectual trends like Freudian psychology, and classic literature. Smart movies.
Rashomon – Akira Kurosawa
This is a film that has been copied many times in many ways. It tells the story of a crime through the eyes of three different witnesses. Every witness tells a different story. This is how truth works (and it’s a bit of a challenge to our absolutist tendencies).
Then there are movies that put emotions up-front and invite us to enter the story with our feelings (and maybe cry a little bit). There have always been films like this, so it’s hard to point to a heyday for emotionally-oriented films, but the Rom-Com revolution of the 1990s has to come close. Some people love romantic comedies and some people don’t like them as much, but whatever your opinion you know you’ve seen a few.
The classics of this genre probably come before Tom Hanks started kissing Meg Ryan in movie after movie (Sleepless in Seattle, anyone?) but even the genre-defining and perhaps stultifying Tom Hanks had some bright moments in romantic comedy before he moved on to heavier dramatic roles.
The Money Pit (1986)
A movie about a young marriage, a broken down house and an attempt to keep it all together.
There is so much more to say about movies, what they do and why we like them. But there is not enough space in this blog post to do it. Here are a few other movie recommendations we’d like to make that highlight our ideas of what films can do in terms of inspirational stories, social commentary and dream-approximation.
- Akeela and the Bee
- Donnie Darko