Why I use movies as an escape and what I’m a scaping from or what I’m escaping towards

Movies. Films. Cinema. It really doesn’t matter which word you use to describe the motion picture as a phenomenon I just want to talk about my love of movies.

Like most Americans I love television and one of the things I love watching on television are movies. I love movies. And even though I do tend to lean towards horror and Sci-Fi movies for the most part I have a broad range of experiences and tastes that I enjoy.

In fact while my top five favorite films of all time list is pretty heavily sci-fi / horror once you expand that out to my top 10 or top 20 it’s far more diverse. You start to see comedies, action movies, fantasy films even love stories in some cases. I just love movies I love everything about them.

Some of my favorite memories are of watching movies. Many of those memories are by myself going on a journey in my mind as I watch a movie Take Me Away to a Faraway place. But I also have several memories of movies that are associated with other people in one way or another. Watching a movie can be a social experience. The best part is it doesn’t have to be and that’s why I like movies it’s an activity you can enjoy on your own. I still feel like you’re a part of something bigger than you.

I watch a movie like Dumb and Dumber and I’m thoroughly amused by The Whimsy of it the innocence of those two idiots. I watch a movie like RoboCop and I’m taken to a dystopian place where crime is so bad the cops have to create an unkillable robot specifically to murder criminals just to survive. I can watch a movie like The Muppet Movie and just smile throughout as the puppets entertain me. I can dig into my childhood favorites and I can revisit Adventures of Pippi Longstocking and remember what it was like to see the world as a Fantastical Place full of wonder.

A lot of my favorite movies have one thing in common and that’s pretty much they present a world that is not completely compatible with reality or at least our perception of reality. And that’s what I love about movies each film is a story a self-contained alternate reality where the rules of time and physics and Society are altered ever-so-slightly to make that film possible. Whenever you watch The Three Stooges film short the first thing you have to accept is a bowling ball can land on a person’s head without crushing their skull. In real life that’s not at all possible but in the imaginary world of the Stooges it works.

Whenever I pick movies that I enjoy I usually find something that is either different enough from the world around me that I can experience something I’m not familiar with or it’s something that is familiar and believable but that I am not capable of experiencing myself for whatever reason.

Whenever I watch a superhero movie I get immersed in a world where people have magical powers fighting monsters who look like humans that have their own magical powers. Whenever I watch a Star Wars movie I’m absorbed in the concepts of this mystical energy field that has a light side and a dark side that is manipulating the events of people’s lives around it. I’m also fascinated by the intricacies of the political layers in the Star Wars universe.

Some of my favorite movies are abstract distractions. They might have a plot following certain characters but usually it’s the Fantastical elements that I’m drawn to not so much the human characters who are usually there to justify the existence of whatever fairy tale device it is that’s being used.

I’m also using movies as a way to feel things that I don’t get experience. Due to a variety of reasons including social anxiety, transgenderism, social awkwardness, and even a fear of rejection I live a fairly isolated and alone World a life all my own. So I use movies as a way to experience love and compassion and intimacy and all the human emotions that I don’t feel on a day-to-day basis.

I watch a movie like American Pie or Can’t Hardly Wait or even America’s Sweethearts so that I can put myself in the place of the hero on a quest to win the heart of a girl. Or I can reverse it watch a movie where the girl is chasing the guy and as a member of the lgbtq community I’m not opposed to watching a movie where it’s two people of that lifestyle finding love. It doesn’t matter to me what love looks like in the film just as long as it feels real and then I can share in that feeling as I experience the film.

While I do tend to lean toward horror movies and Sci-Fi movies for the most part that’s primarily because they offer me superficial Escape in other words there’s less appealing or less emotions in those movies it’s more like just an experience turning all feeling off and enjoying something that is complete escapism. That’s not to say only those types of movies offer escapism far from it.

I find that the only movies I often come across that I will say I didn’t enjoy are the ones that either didn’t make me feel good at the end of the day or they were done in a way that I couldn’t relate to. Whether it’s an obnoxious character that is too obnoxious or it’s an interpretation of a nerdy character that’s too offensive or it’s just really bad acting that I can’t get past but for the most part I’m fairly easy to please to be honest I enjoy most movies I watch.

But I guess to be fair that’s because I know what I don’t like and I avoid the movies that I know I won’t enjoy.

I’ve never been one to utter the phrase that’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back after viewing an unsatisfying movie because for me every experience is worth having. As they say life is short. Pain makes us better it makes us stronger. So I watch a movie that I don’t enjoy it’s an opportunity for me to learn what not to do next. If it was the actor then I avoid movies with that actor.

Not ranking but just listing or even rambling some of my favorite movies of all time include: Star Wars, RoboCop, Weird Science, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, The Matrix, The Terminator, Dumb and Dumber, Austin Powers, American Pie, Caddyshack, Police Academy, Twister, Tremors, The Breakfast Club, X-Men, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Stephen King’s It, 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, The Faculty, Last House on the Left, The NeverEnding Story, Who framed Roger Rabbit, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Home Alone, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, the Quick and the Dead, and so so many others.

Yeah my range of personal favorites is pretty broad even if there is a pretty heavy representation by sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I just love movies. I love watching movies that’s why I have over 800 movies on DVD. It’s why I subscribe to multiple streaming services. Hell it’s why I even own movies on VHS and LaserDisc.

Yes I use Cinema as escapism ironically I’m attempting to escape a lonely life and yet I enjoy watching movies while I’m isolated and alone.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos.