Lockdown and the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges for everyone, along with so many issues. Personally for me the cinema being closed has been one of the toughest adjustments, while many people may not actually understand this and see the cinema as somewhat of a luxury and somewhere they only go every so often, maybe even every couple of months to see the latest big blockbuster films. That is not the case for myself, I go two/three times a week and sometimes even more depending on what is being released. Managing to balance this in with work and occasionally being able to have a double feature with two films straight in a row.
Why do I like going so often?
Well, this is not an easy answer really and it is for quite a lot of reasons. I see the cinema as my biggest switch off time, especially from my phone. We all know how obsessed we have become with social media and constantly sending messages on this handheld device we suddenly cannot live without. I love having those few hours where I no longer look at it. It is much easier to do that in a dark room where it will annoy people if you use it. Also while I am on this point, don’t be that idiot who sits on your phone at the cinema please leave and wait for the film to become available on a streaming service! Get lost in the film and story unfolding on that big screen, switch off from reality and life. Films will never look or sound better than they do at the cinema, on the huge screen with the amazing surround sound. No matter how good your home entertainment system is this is something that really cannot be compared to.
Don’t get me wrong though I certainly do not love each and every film that I go and watch. Over the years though I have managed to make better choices and avoid the films that I just think are not going to be for me and that I will not enjoy. Which for whatever reason is usually the comedy films! But the excitement really comes from the films that you don’t really know too much about and end up finding some true hidden gems that you truly adore.
In some way I actually feel really sorry for people that do not understand the magic of the cinema and watching films on that big screen. So many films are made for that experience and not to watch on your iPad or phone (this has then made me think of Martin Scorsese). Visually at times you need that big screen to full appreciate the vivid colours and every single tiny detail within the scenes, along with the sound – that amazing surround sound! When you take this into considering it certainly pushes action films with fantastic sequences to another level.
I’m going to talk a little bit about a film that I was blown away by at the cinema but on viewings over the years since I am not really that fussed by it and I think a lot of other people feel the same way. The film Avatar, that really took that 3D phase and world and made it something truly spectacular to watch at the cinema. Everyone was blown away by the special effects for this 3D factor, hence it going on to become the highest grossing film of all time, something that was only beaten last year. Something I must add is that I have never been a big lover of the 3D gimmick and don’t really like it in general and I am quite frankly pleased it is something that has pretty much been phased out now. If you think about Avatar now and the comments surrounding it you don’t really hear anything positive, I probably agree with that as it does feel more like a gimmick for the big screen. So this is a prime example of why seeing films on the big screen can truly mean something different to years later.
During our lockdown period I have managed to catch up and watch some truly outstanding and amazing films. Mainly films with extremely long running times because basically I could fit them in! The one that impacted me the most was Cinema Paradiso which reminded me how much I love the cinema. I found the film to be utterly breathtaking and outstanding from start to finish. I cried many times for all different reasons with the engaging story and characters. It manages to capture the magic of watching a film in the dark and on a massive screen. My only thoughts about this are if only I could have watched Cinema Paradiso at the cinema and how outstanding that must be. A true love in for the cinema while also managing to highlight changes over the years. From that one theatre with one screen to the multiplexes we have now. Then it makes you truly wonder how this global lockdown will change everything going forward.
Sitting in the dark with those vivid colours and amazing scenes, the performances as well, adoring the actors and actresses that you have watched for many years now and the joy of finding new talent to enjoy. Some of this just is not the same she you watch films at home, recreating the noise from the surround sound that is well and truly packed within the cinema screens. Not forgetting now the different types of ways we have to watch films now it has gone much further than the 3D effect wearing the glasses! We have IMAX, 4DX, SuperScreen, ScreenX and DBOX. Who knows what else will be created in the coming years, these aren’t ways that I will constantly use to watch each and every film I try to make a choice based on whether it will enhance the film and not just a gimmick.
Can you even begin to imagine not loving the cinema and being able to sit back, relax and enjoy what is about to unfold?