Have you ever thought about why we get so much pleasure from watching movies? Or reading books come to that? It’s a question that comes up so often at the start of relationships isn’t it? What’s your favourite movie or your favourite book? Why do they hold such significance for us?
Is it purely escapism? In movies or books we can lose ourselves in another life, one that we’d prefer or one we’re glad we don’t have. Maybe it’s a way to better define our own realities? We see characters develop and watch the paths that they follow; does that give us a way to better forge our own paths – learning from their successes or mistakes?
Do we learn more about life from reality or from films and literature and are we ruined by what we see or read? Great love stories can leave us feeling inadequate because our own relationships don’t live up to the passionate maelstroms depicted but can also uplift and inspire us to seek out such a love. Do we feel defeated because we are not the handsome hero or the beautiful heroine or are we encouraged to improve ourselves physically? War films are rarely made without depicting heroism on one side and depravity on the other; does this give us a distorted view of a terrible tragedy or does it promote patriotism?
Do we like movies and books that make us laugh, that take us back to our childhoods in some way? To a time when we believed in magic and other worlds hidden behind a wardrobe door? Does a glimpse into the World of fantasy take us away from the mundane in our own lives? Are we looking for confirmation that good will always really triumph over evil? Do we look to our super-heroes to carry us away to a place where there will always be someone standing by to give us protection when we need it most?
I had all these questions running though my mind this morning so I decided to look up which books and films we love the most according to sales; the list might surprise you:
- Avatar (Fantasy)
- Titanic (Love Story)
- Starwars: The Force Awakens (Fantasy)
- Avengers: Infinity War (Fantasy/Super Heroes)
- Jurassic Park (Fantasy)
- Furious 7 (Action/Adventure)
- The Avengers (Fantasy/Super heroes)
- Avengers Age of Ultron (Fantasy/Super Heroes)
- Black Panther (Fantasy/Super Heroes)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Fantasy)
8 of the top 10 grossing films of all time are stories that take us completely away from reality and into another world. Is that what we are looking for?
The same can be said of books. There is not much from real life in the top selling books of all time (in the western world); Don Quixote tops the list, followed by a Tale of Two Cities but then we have Lord of the Rings. The Little Prince, Harry Potter , the Hobbit and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The fantasy stories somehow cross the line between adulthood and childhood, meaning that they can be read and appreciated by both so what’s they key? Why are they so popular to so many people?
I honestly don’t know the answer, what do you think? Why do you read what you read and watch what you watch? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.