Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 19th June

There is something about a good movie that speaks to us – in different ways. Partly, it’s about escapism and believing in that world for the short two hours. Or it may be about seeing your favourite movie stars in any role, really. It may also be about a good script, or interesting premise, or anything actually.

What constitutes a ‘good’ film can be so individual.

The girls and Mike have been looking forward to the arrival on screen of Jurassic World (and the Xbox game) and it has sparked a wave of watching the other movies. Well, the first two, anyway. I watched with them and, having seen the original films on their release, was not blown away by the robotronics as we may have been then. The kids, coming from a generation of the most sophisticated CGI effects in basically any film they watch, were also not blown away. Poor old Spielberg.

My lasting impression of seeing the first film again is that it is so violent.

It actually isn’t, though, given that there are these huge beasts rushing around and quite a few human targets for them to consume. There are quite a few body parts that emerge every-so-often. I think, though, that my tolerance of violent death has reached an even lower low than it ever was at.

Tonight we saw Jurassic World. It is a good film, in that the effects are fantastic, the storyline is plausible at least, the acting is not bad and the nods to the other three films are great. It moves at a fast rate and there are lots of dinosaurs to see. Whether they are robotronics or just CGI, I’m not sure, but they really do look real and interact with the humans very convincingly (or the other way round).

What I found got to me was the loud and violent death (mainly of humans) – which is inevitable, given that there is a really large, vicious dinosaur rushing around. I think I have completely lost my appetite for any form of senseless (and often graphic) death on screen.

For me, this seems to be the product of the last year. Mum used to dislike going to movies that were about problems, because she said there are so many problems in the world, why do we have to relive them onscreen. She preferred movies that were life-affirming and uplifting, I think. Well, I suppose that I am in the space of really knowing first hand what death actually means to those associated with the one who has gone. I don’t really like to sit and watch death occur, where the people killed are not really individuals with lives and loved ones, but just fodder for the body count of the film.

That is not how life works.

The opposite argument is, of course, that movies are not real and are about suspending disbelief (and any real emotions, I suppose) for that short time. I get that (Hell, I work in that area, actually), but, right now, I think I don’t need any form of death shoved in my face. Especially in spadefulls.

I think that this is one of the things that makes us so interesting as people: the capacity for change that we display all the time. This can be a change in taste, or emotion, or tolerance (among many others).

Isn’t that just something to celebrate? Isn’t that what keeps making life (and people) so interesting?




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