“Isn’t Everything We Do In Life A Way To Be Loved A Little More?”
Your presence in my life has become overwhelming, the love you share and empathy you encourage has seeped through my skin and into my bones. I’m no longer able to look at the world in the same way, no longer able to function with such distance and ignorance from the things that matter most both personally and culturally.
You came to me when I was just a child and whispered into my ear that you had found a reason to hope, to dream, to believe. As I grew older, you gently patted me on the shoulder to reassure me that things would be okay, that I wasn’t the only one who felt how I felt, that my all-encompassing anxieties were both unique and shared by all, telling me sweetly how I was both special and in this game we call life with billions of other people. As I grew to cherish you, I began to realise how you’d always cherished me, your stories nourishing me, developing me as a person, shaping my thoughts and helping me to explore my feelings.
I still remember way back in 2009 when I shared so many laughs with dozens of other people for the latest Sacha Baron Cohen comedy – I don’t think I’ve laughed so endlessly in public ever since – and I remember how in 2010 you introduced me to the latest Scorsese picture and I walked home in the rain crying tears that were both happy and sad. I remember how in 2012 I saw my childhood dreams of seeing The Avengers come to life happen in front of my eyes, and how in the years that followed I could track my personal development by how little I began to care about them. I remember feeling so alone and fragile in 2015 when I first set my eyes on Interstellar, and how it reassured me that there was a reason to exist, that there was a purpose for my presence. I remember how in 2018 I laid in bed watching Call Me By Your Name and I witnessed my entire self unravel before me, the tears I cried being a release of all the baggage, expectations and sadness that I had carried around with me for so many years before, the nature of the piece helping to deconstruct societal norms and expectations, the sexuality helping to shape and develop my own thoughts.
But mostly… I remember how you brought me and my friends together through watching the silly action movie parody Tropic Thunder. For years, we’ve been bonded by our shared love and appreciation for the laughs it brought us – we’ve even assigned one another specific lines we describe as “our lines” – and the tens of times we’ve sat down to gauge on food and have a good laugh have become some of my greatest memories.
Cinema, I love you because you taught me that love and kindness can exist even in the darkest of places. You taught me that there is good even in the most mean spirited of people, that evil never truly reigns and that the bad doesn’t always prosper. You’ve shaped my beliefs, reassured me of my purpose, christened me into new schools of thought, challenged me out of my comfort zone and moulded me into who I am today. I remain astounded by your capabilities to shock me, to make me cry, to continue to shape me.
Cinema, in all your forms, through all of your history and the history we share together, I love you.
Happy Valentine’s Day.