UPDATE: As this site was repurposed from an old school assignment, here lies (I will never understand lay/lie) the remnants of my sophomoric writing style. Enjoy or cringe. Though it’s not the most well written piece, I believe in its sentiments.
I just experienced a cinematic magical moment so I thought, “What better way to share it than here?”
My closest friends always make fun of me because despite not being a very emotional or sentimental person on the outside, I have a definite weakness and it’s movies and television. Put on a quality movie or show and I’ll cry on command every time. The thing is I’m not crying at sappy romcoms or depressing death scenes, I’m crying at random specific moments- beautiful shots, the way an actor’s facial reaction plays in the scene, a certain perfectly phrased line, how a soundtrack can magnificently accompany a character’s walk, or something as small as appreciating how a character’s physical tick shows through at the right moments. These are the things that make cinema magical, that can turn a movie into a well-crafted piece of art.
As we speak I am rewatching the later half of Benny and Joon, which i fell asleep to the other night. Johnny Depp is my favorite actor (I know not the most original selection but I can’t help myself) so naturally I love the movie. The moment which inspired me to write this blog post is when Sam (Johnny Depp) and Joon (Mary Materson) are home alone and finger painting in Joon’s art studio which has now become Sam’s temporary room. They’re about to kiss for the first time when Sam pulls away and instead puts a balloon in his mouth. He fills his cheeks with air and slowly blows up the balloon slightly before filling his cheeks again and pausing. Sam does this several times as the movie’s melodic and recurring score begins in the background. The reason why the moment struck me as perfectly poetic is because as I sat there I found myself entranced by the moment so fully that I was leaning in towards the television with my cheeks puffed out as if I was Sam. The moment was so important to the characters’ relationship and was built with SUCH tension and intensity by the music, the actors, the setting, and the movie up to that point that the audience is rooting for them to kiss and rattled with anxiety when the moment cracks.
These moments when the audience is so wholly invested in the movie are when a filmmaker can congratulate him/herself on a job well done and a scene perfectly constructed. My only dream as a film student is that in the future I can be part of a construction so perfect that an audience physically reacts to my work, albeit hopefully in a positive way.