Finding Escape in Movies

In the 1940s, Broadway became devoted to showing only comedic plays and humorous musicals. The reason for this change was to give the community a relief from the war occurring at this time. Because of the negativity surrounding World War II and everything it affected, people sought after shows that were lighter than their realities and provided them with a temporary escape.

This concept that other people’s lives and stories can provide an escape from our own still remains relevant today. There are a number of reasons why people pay to see movies and plays. Besides, with the prices of the ticket plus the popcorn and large soda, there must be a good reason as to why we spend money on watching other people tell their own stories, right?

“When I go to the movies, I go to see something rare: a great film,” said Dr. Alan Noble, Professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, “In general, I want the film to entertain me and draw me into its story. I don’t care whether or not it helps me escape from reality, but I want it to draw me into its reality.” Movies that really draw us in can almost cause us to forget where we are or who we’re with. Movies like these provide us with the option to escape our own reality and venture into one that may be more exciting.

“Usually when I see a movie it’s because the story line itself is interesting. Sometimes it’s because I particularly like the genre or actors in it,” said Megan Mattke, senior piano major, “I guess it is nice to be put into another world for a little while too.”  It seems as though the escape found in going to a movie is rarely the original intention of the moviegoer. It seems as though our primary desires to seem movies can often lead us to a place of escapism.

However, as previously mentioned, there are a number of reasons why people go to the movies. Kristen Lee, elementary education major said, “I love being able to experience different ways of life, various places around the world, and numerous time periods through the entertainment movies provide.” Here, Lee approaches the idea of movie going as if it is an opportunity to see things you might not see otherwise. Not only do movies provide a simple escape, but they also provide you with the train ticket to a new location.

Others have stated that they prefer to attend movies when it can be a simple and leisurely event. “I typically go to the movies when it involves spending time with friends,” said senior piano major, Mary Crone. Crone stated that she much prefers seeing movies when dinner or a chance for conversation surrounds them. “It is an easy way to find common ground with someone you might not otherwise connect with.”

Lauren Vela, a junior family and community service major said, “I absolutely love going to the movies…Not just for entertainment purposes but I love everything that goes into the making of a movie.” Vela seems appreciative of every aspect of movie going, but got more specific when she said, “I mostly love going to the movies for the experience…I love going to the movies to see the end product of the hard work and imagination that producers, directors, and actors put into a film.”

It seems as though no matter what prompts your decision to go see a movie, the experience you take away from it—whether the film takes you far away, or brings you closer to the people and world around you—is what keeps you coming back.

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