2 hours. 120 minutes. 7,200 seconds. I can do a lot in two hours, but the problem I always face in college is how I should use my free time.
Through my years at college I’ve come to realize the great importance of spending time with people. We are relational beings needing other people in order to be secured, loved, and challenged. But I also love movies. I love finding films that tackle big issues in simple ways or that take a simple fact about life and stretch out its fibers and inspect its every element. Lately I’ve been wondering how using two hours of my day to watch a film fits into the idea of intentionally investing in other people, which lead me to wonder if movies are worth all the time?
Films take us places that few other mediums can. Films take us to Alaskan frontiers, battlefield raids, alien planets, and grief-stricken homes. The creators of films from producers, directors, writers, designers, and technicians put in countless hours to tell one story in a specific way as best as they can. Every element in a well done movie is there to push the story along. Film takes the aesthetics of imagery, adds layers of humanity and philosophy, and creates powerful projects. Of course many movies coming to a theater near you are rubbish designed only to make a profit, but there are plenty of quality movies worth two or even three hours of your life.
College is one of the best times to throw around weird ideas that might even be called blasphemies back home, so use this time to view some films that present weird, existential ideas and talk about it with some friends. Or watch a documentary on a subject you know nothing about. The world is a big place and I’ll bet you know very little of what’s happening to people across the globe. Educate yourself about issues people are devoting their entire lives to. Documentaries are no longer boring things for the preppy elite; they’re quirky, dramatic, and even fun. The line between fiction and documentaries is blurring, and so are their styles. Docs are looking like Blockbusters and vice versa. Check out a film called “Bombay Beach” to see what I mean.
Movies are beautiful things but also a great way to bond with people over a shared experience. Sharing life together from a coffee date with your roommate to playing basketball with your wing mates to watching a movie in a musty, cramped dorm room brings people together. Being physically close to someone who is laughing at the same scene or inspired by the same line as you is a magical thing. Every now and then watching a film by yourself is refreshing, but I challenge you to find a group of friends and watch a movie together that you normally wouldn’t give a second look at. If you’re stuck for ideas, try something by Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, or Darren Aronofsky.
What films have touched your life or inspired you to take a new perspective on the world or a new look at your career path? Drop some ideas below.