March 7, 2011

The Ultimate Art - Teresa's Introduction

by Teresa Peneguy Paprock

Film is the ultimate art.

Combining the written and spoken word, music, and visual expression in a way that nothing else can, the world of film is a world in which all things are possible. Film isn’t reality; it’s more than reality: bigger, brighter, louder, faster. In films you can go anywhere, or to any time; you can meet anyone and experience everything.

The film that you watch in the theater or your living room the result of an amazing collaboration between people with widely divergent views and abilities, but somehow, it all comes together. Every moment in a film is purposeful, and every frame represents the creativity of at least one individual. Watching a movie – even a bad one – is like getting inside someone’s mind and looking at the world through his eyes.

When I was growing up, my father was a movie projectionist. These were the days when the projectionist was a trained specialist, before the days of automation when the popcorn guy can also be the projector guy by just pressing a button. My father spent years in the projection booth, loading reels, perfecting focus and getting picture and sound into perfect sync. When the film broke he took pride in careful splicing so as to minimize any distraction for the future audiences.

There were three really cool things about having a dad that was a projectionist. One was hanging out in the projection booth, a tiny room with a deafening noise that eventually would affect his hearing, but that I found exciting. The second was getting tiny pieces of film that had been cut out during the splicing process; over the years I filled an album with .35 mm images of everything from “Bongo” to “Jaws.” The best thing was getting into movies for free (something I took for granted at the time). We could see any film we wanted, and if we liked it, we could see it again.

Probably my earliest memory of a movie is watching the first few minutes of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” released in 1968 when I was four years old. I remember something about monkeys and a stick and a big stone thing, and then I remember curling up on the seat and going to sleep. I found out only recently that my mother had seen the film numerous times, trying to “figure it out,” and bringing me with her each time.

Today, I still watch certain films repeatedly, and enjoy finding new things with each viewing. I'll enjoy contributing to this blog, and writing about old favorites as well as films I've just seen.


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