Why It’s Never Silly To Take Inspiration From Movies
Almost all of us had admiration for a Disney character in our childhoods. Perhaps some children jumped from the bed like Buzz Lightyear in the morning, or some rehearsed their wedding with Prince Charming in full costume in front of all their teddy bears. However, as we grow up, we still respect the ideal in those characters – but often don’t use them to direct our actions.
However, it’s important not to take this sense of ‘growing up’ too far. While taking inspiration from a movie character can look silly on the surface – sometimes it can be absolutely fine to do. Sometimes, the written experience of someone crafting a character arc through cinema or television can touch you like no other depiction can. If literature and music has this impact on us – why not movies?
Of course, sometimes things can go awry. We can’t imagine how many young adults jumped around the local forest or how many disillusioned office workers tried to form their own Fight Club. But it can be that depending on your consumption, you find inspiration from healthier sources.To illustrate this point further, and reduce any guilt you might feel for gaining inspiration from select movies – we would like to explore why, how, and when this all might be appropriate:
Why do we go to the movies? To see 100-tonne robots fight and tear each other apart? To see superheroes clash against aliens and one another? To escape into an unknown world of fantasy, dragons and spells? Depending on your tastes, it might be all of these and more. But we’d suggest that while this can provide the guiding context for a movie – it’s often not why we go and watch them. Most of us have seen incredible CGI by now, and while it still doesn’t fail to impress when done right, we hardly go only to see the latest in graphics technology.
We go for emotional stimulus. At the cinema, much like listening to music or reading a well-crafted novel, we experience emotions outside of the current context of our lives. It’s why the danger of a spy mystery can be so alluring, or the tragedy of a thriller can be so enthralling, or why a sad romantic film can leave you in puddles of tears.
It can seem as though the value starts and ends here, but it really doesn’t. A movie can do many things. For example, arguably one of the most brilliant, hardest-to-watch, tragic and well-made movies ever put to the screen, Schindler’s List (2004), gave life to a historical tragedy the likes of which the world has never seen before. While an obvious re-enactment, it helped many connect with the horrors of that time and internalize the history they knew just that little bit more presently. This can only be a good thing.
Cinema Can Be Redemptive
Just like reading a book at the right time has the power to save a life, a great movie can potentially help someone overcome the issues they are experiencing, or soothe a problem they are grappling with. Provided you select your content wisely, you might be able to see virtues you would also like to embody. Screenwriters pour-over characters to make them believable and provided the script is good, there can be real revelations to be had.
For example, consider how films such as Lars & The Real Girl, a film that might first seem comical due to its premise, overcome itself and espouse the true value of community and honesty with yourself. Movies such as A Beautiful Mind or Dead Poets Society can help you connect with life lessons, some through admiring the struggles of those who really lived. In some cases, biopics can help you connect with someone as if they were living and breathing in front of you. The nobility of a professional depicted might give you inspiration for MSN nurse educator programs as a career, or simply to espouse the virtues shown.
If you walk away from one of these experiences having learned something in just the right presented context, you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. You should be happy with the experience.
Outside The Bounds
Life, for most of us, moves much different to that of a film. We have our daily responsibilities, our three-act structures are often elongated over the course of an entire lifetime, with many smaller versions implanted throughout. We are usually bound by logic, society, and the role we play in it. But a movie has the chance to elevate certain lessons outside the bounds of what you consider ‘normal.’ Here, you might have space to think and consider ideas outside the exacting realms of logic. This is why it can be so tiring watching movies with someone who points out every single fallacy or suspension-of-disbelief requiring moment.
For example, most of us aren’t going to train in order to redeem ourselves through a boxing tournament. But ask many middle-aged men what the most inspiring movie they watched in their younger years was – and we’d bet many of them would suggest Rocky. His courage, his willingness to try, to train and to overcome his hurdles lifted him outside the bounds of logic and helped him become a cultural icon.
It can also be worthwhile to know that cinema can break prejudices. Not only are movies both more immediately accessible than books and music, but it can depict, in a form most people can understand, societies, communities, historical events, and struggles faced worldwide. On top of that, it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean human issues need to be depicted as a straight 1:1 of real life. Eternal human struggles such as the connection of family, xenophobia, power, and other problems can be displayed in a form more readily digestible. Does this mean every movie is a political piece? Of course not. But sometimes, it can be that prejudices are broken. And that’s mostly always going to be a good thing.
With these tips – you’re certain to never feel guilty about taking movie inspiration again. Because after all – why should you?