By Darian Scalamoni
Autumn is my favorite time of the year for many reasons, which includes preparing for the holidays and celebrating my birthday. But the biggest reason I enjoy fall is because it is also Oscar season, a period of time in which Hollywood studios releases their most critically-acclaimed films of the year.
One of the most prestigious filmmakers of our time, Guillermo del Toro — most famous for being at the helm of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy” — had something to say to the audience at the Venice Film Festival. Within the closing moments of the festival, del Toro won the Golden Lion award, which is Italy’s equivalent to the Academy Awards for Best Picture.
“I believe in life. I believe in love. And I believe in cinema,” del Toro said as he accepted the award.
When I first read this quote on my Twitter timeline, I thought that it was such a nice thing to say. As the days went by, I began to think of the impact and importance of del Toro’s quote. I realized that his quote not only applies to young filmmakers, but to everyone.
We currently live in a society where tragedy and natural disasters can take over our lives. In times of trouble, it’s important to remember that love and happiness are the building blocks of society. Every now and again we must separate ourselves from real life through creative outlets and storytelling.
Through my own personal experiences with depression and anxiety, as well as my eight years of education as a film student, I can honestly say that art is a blessing. Whether art is expressed through music, painting, drawing, photography, poetry, movies or television, all forms of art serve the same purpose — to inspire millions of people.
The simple three sentence quote by del Toro has truly summed up the importance of cinema in our lives. Cinema can educate us on ourselves and others, teach us about love and happiness and give us a deeper understanding of life itself. Cinema is a reflection of what we have achieved, wish to achieve and will achieve in the future.
Depending on how you look at it, cinema can be a thriving business or a dying business. While ticket prices for movie theaters go up, and more streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu begin to build ground, the once normal theater watching experience is beginning to diminish rather quickly. Binging television shows has become a national pastime that many thought was only done by college students. However, a poll conducted in March 2016 revealed that 70 percent of Americans binge-watch television shows, averaging five episodes per marathon session, according to Variety.
Whether we’re watching a movie in theaters or streaming it on our laptops, there is always a lesson that viewers can learn. Film is a form of expression that helps us open our own eyes to what we are passionate about, as well as what is hurting us in our personal lives. Film is an easy way for us to connect and relate to other people who come from different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings. Film helps us piece together our lives in ways that we never thought would be imaginable.
When we’re feeling down about things that might be going on in the world around us, or in our personal lives, we must think about the three things that del Toro believes in: life — the thing that keeps us breathing, motivated and fighting for what we’re passionate about; love — the burning sensation in our gut that we can truly get for only a handful of people; cinema — stories that make us laugh, cry and feel certain emotions that will stick with us forever.