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Sunday, January 26, 2014

What's the Point of Fictional Pain?

I don't like movies. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and have never fine to the movies together. People are generally shocked at these revelations but I don't find them too strange - what's the point of going to sit in a cold dark room that probably smells not very good to watch something designed entirely to evoke specific feelings out of you and manipulate your psyche?

Yes, I know there are non fiction movies as well so please don't email me to point out my error. Here's what I say to that - read the damn Wikipedia. I promise you you will have a more thorough story if what happened with absolutely no fiction for the sake of sensationalizing a story. And you can do it in the comfort of your own home. 

I guess my main feeling is that there's enough tragedy in my own life and in non fiction that I don't see the value in watching someone else's stylized take on tragedy that they put out there to make you feel something strongly enough that you'll consider it a worthwhile experience. 

'The Place Beyond the Pines' was good and it was powerful and to be totally honest a picture of a shirtless tatted up Ryan Gosling from the movie is now my lock screen. 

Let's add some serious visual interest here, shall we?

But despite all of this, if I want to feel the pain of losing someone (which, to be clear, I don't and I don't understand why someone would), then I can relive parts of my own life in my head. I don't need to see Bradley Cooper's (adorable) facial expressions to know and understand how it feels to have life altering regrets - I've been through it more times than I would have liked. 

So why do we enjoy this? Why do we want to feel terrible? I always joke with my boyfriend that if he wants to see a serious movie with me he needs to be prepared for me to break up with him right after as a direct result of my realization of the bleakness of life but it's not a joke, this is something I've done (notably after 'The Wackness', thanks Josh Peck for the reminded everything sucks).

I don't want to feel hopeless. I want to be distracted from the knowledge that life is awful that weighs heavy on my brain all the fine. How will watching someone go through familiar and unbearable pain help achieve that?

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