Friday, December 16, 2005

death and emotion in movies and life

There's always seems to be a tension in movies and in stories in general between having characters die or tragic and terrible things happen, and keeping the audience in the moment of the story. If I go see a movie and get to know a character that then dies half way through, I am sad for that character and the people he knows. But, if I get to know 5 characters and suddenly 3 of them die tragically and too soon, it will take me out of the moment, then I am no longer merely sad for the characters, I am mad at the writers and directors for killing off a character. I may even want to get up and leave the theater.

This seems to happen in life too, people get taken out of the moments of their lives in the midst of a sudden travesty and shake their fist at the writer/director of their lives, God. Even atheists who don't believe he exist or Christians who say they don't believe he directs our lives do this. To stretch the metaphor, some leave the theater and kill themselves.

But back to movies, we sit there and know in the back of our minds that it is a movie, and we paid 7.50$ to go through an emotional roller coaster ride; we want to feel sad, but we want to understand our sadness and feel happy, we want to know that the characters and us will "live happily ever after".


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