Ever since the invention of motion picture film, the world has watched cinematography grow and evolve. With each technological advance, we step closer and closer to perfecting the art. After World War II, movies would come out about once or twice a week totaling about 75 movies annually. In the past year, 840 movies have hit the big screen. With bluetooth, interactive, IMAX, 3D, and automated movies, people are not only consuming more screen time, they’re also shifting perspectives to see movies as educational as well as entertaining. Many of the best selling blockbusters in the past five years are tackling subject matter that hasn’t been covered or has been ignored throughout history like sexism, racism, and homophobia. Excellent examples include Black Panther (2018), Hidden Figures (2016), and The Imitation Game (2014). Movies like these serve an important role for people to be exposed to both people like and unlike themselves.
In March of 2019, a movie called “5 Feet Apart” was released. This movie eloquently covers the topic of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) which is a genetic disease that causes the lungs to produce excess amounts of mucus. The disease is frequently fatal and all patients suffer from chest pain, lung infections, and shorter lifespans. “5 Feet Apart” is the love story of two teens with CF struggling with their inability to touch one another for fear of infection. This movie shows CF in a way that has not been portrayed in the media before because it neither villanizes nor glorifies the disease. Films like this shed light on topics many feel uncomfortable with, but by doing so kindly, society is given the chance to walk in others shoes and become aware of issues beyond their own.
“Blackkklansman”, released in early August if 2018, tells the true story of two men who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs in the 1970s. Stories like this have been hidden from society for long enough. Humans like Ron who bring horrible people to justice deserve to be recognized by society.
Another such story is “Green Book” The film is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers written by Victor Hugo Green. This book premiered worldwide on September 11, 2018, where it won the People’s Choice Award and the national Board of Review. It follows Dr. Don Shirley, a prominent African American pianist in the 1960’s, in need of a driver to protect him as he tours through the Deep South. He recruited Tony Lip, an Italian bouncer. Disputed their superficial differences, their bond becomes unbreakable.
After reviewing recent movies that have had a large impact on society we looked at students and teachers from EPHS to see if the movies they are watching are for entertainment purposes or feature aspects of education.
In an interview with English teacher Susan Ryder we found she enjoys Documentaries and Dramas the most. She does not go to the movies very often and usually watched movies on Netflix at home. “A Star is Born” is a movie she very much enjoyed this year. However, a recent movie she thought was great was “Moonlight.” Ryder described the movie as “the individual struggle, it can make people realize this is a reality for others.” She said that the acting made her forget that they were just actors, that is was really well directed, and had excellent writers. Ryder said she enjoys to think during movies showing that she is watching movies for entertainment but also for education purposes.
We interviewed a student Ashley Maese, an EPHS freshman about her favorite movies. Her favorite movie genre is horror. She love to go to the movies, but can only convince her parents to go ever so often. She focused on the new movie Aquaman, which premiered December 21st 2018, calling it her favorite movie of all time. She loved Aquaman because it was a remake and she liked to see female leads. When we asked her if the movie met her expectations she said yes and she would love to watch it again. She said the movie made her feel that she needs to spend more time with her family. Through this interview we found that Ashley typically goes to the movies more for entertainment than education. However, some of the movies Ashley has been enjoying have stronger female leads. This shows that younger woman are seeing stronger role models come out of Hollywood.
In an interview with Emily Bocheneck; a teacher at EPHS, we found she enjoys horror movies like Ashley. Bocheneck also enjoys hippy movies and some documentaries. She Likes staying home and watching movies on Netflix more than going to a theater. However, every 3 months or so she goes to the cinema to watch a
movie. The last movie she saw was “Widows.” A movie Bocheneck also enjoys is “500 Days of Summer”. She said it was very real and full of romance. Although some of the movies she is watching have aspects of reality that aren’t often covered Bocheneck typically watches movies for entertainment.
Finally, we interviewed Henry Igel. He likes to watch movies that have action and adventure in them. He goes to movies every other month so he has seen more movie than some of the other we interviewed. His recent favorite movies are Infinity War, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse, and Captain Marvel. He enjoyed Captain Marvel because it was different and it was about a female superhero. He said that this movie exceeded his expectations and he would love to watch it again. He stated that not all heroes need power to be heroes. Similar to other, Henry sees movies for entertainment purposes but is also watching movies that have strong female leads.
In this new age of technology, we are constantly changing, expanding, and advancing what we can do with storytelling. Now more than ever, it’s easier to step into a cinematic world and feel as though you’re part of the story. Characters have come to life, erased history has been recovered, and it’s uses have expanded, all thanks to the development of film. It is our hope that mankind continues down this path of improvement and discovery because there are so many voices that her yet to be heard.