Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#28: Movies are (Healing) Magic

On a cold, Sunday afternoon back in February of 2010, as my tired body healed from eight vicious rounds of chemo and prepared for the start of brutal radiation, my sister, brother-in-law and I curled up in their cozy downtown condo and watched the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was the chemo-me's version of bliss.

The Hobbit comes
out this week!

In the past few years, movies have become an obsession. I'm not talking about the respectable indie films, or even poignant dramas, the movies that captivate me are the badass summer blockbusters that tell epic stories about fantasy characters in an alternate, impossible universe. And you know what I like best about this genre? I can relate to it.

The universal truths we all know and live are best told by storytellers who emulate and reflect us in a fictional, fairytale universe. There is no clarity like observing yourself, or someone like you, in the most impossible, outlandish and incomprehensible circumstances, and overcome them!

That's what I find so impressive about Lord of the Rings (and Batman, Inception, Prometheus...). I was stunned on that Sunday afternoon back in February how much insight I gained from Frodo's plight, Aragon's longing and Gandalf's resurrection. It helped me understand my own plight, longing and resurrection. The major Hollywood moments ("I am no man!" and every scene with Legolas) only helped pad the message with adventure and entertainment.

Movie night is a regular event for me and my sister. It's no coincidence this post is coming but days before The Hobbit's release, as we re-watched Return of the King just this weekend in preparation for another epic tale from Middle Earth.

Gandalf, aka Sir Ian McKellen, was asked by an interview earlier this week how The Hobbit's story is still relevant and he responded: "It's a reminder to get out into the world and have an adventure!"

And isn't that what life experience is, after all?

1 comment:

  1. It could also be noted that Ian McKellen said he's been battling Prostate cancer for the past 6 years.