When I tell my friends that I am going to watch a movie, their expectation is that I am going to take out my laptop, open Netflix, and find a quiet spot where I can watch my movie in solitude. This new standard of personal screening consists of sitting alone and staring at the unremarkable screen of my laptop until the film concludes and I continue on with my day.
There is a widely held misconception that film is exclusively a method of conquering boredom. When I want to see a movie, I want more than an empty room and a laptop. I want to see a movie — I want to feel the collective anticipation that stems from taking my seat in a theater, surrounded by strangers and shrouded in darkness. I want to marvel at a blank screen as it flashes to life, taking me into the world of film with my fellow moviegoers. Seeing a movie is a collective experience where I can laugh, scream, and cry with no shame, knowing that everyone around me is feeling similar emotions. At the end of the run time, I can look around and feel a special connection with everyone I see. It doesn’t matter if we knew each other going into the theater—by the time the movie has ended, we have shared an experience.
Film is supposed to be seen in the company of others; going to the movies is an occasion that relies on the medium of film to spark unity among viewers. Though Netflix is a more convenient option for students, it turns a social activity into an isolating practice. Going to a theater with a group and seeing a film is a unique experience that can’t be replicated with a laptop and a dark room.
Fortunately, there are other options for Wheaton film lovers who seek to escape the confines of their dorm rooms. On Tuesday nights from 7–10 p.m., film screenings are held in Ellison Lecture Hall (Watson Fine Arts). In addition, BACCHUS organizes movie screenings every Friday and Saturday starting at 9 p.m. in Hindle Auditorium. Break free from the solitude of Netflix and join your peers for a beautiful and communal experience through a powerful medium.
Categories: Arts and Culture