By Meaghan Couture
Films, movies, videos, motion pictures ... whatever you happen to call them, the most wonderful thing about films is that we all have had an experience with them. Movies are such a part of the normal human experience now. Whether you are in New York City, Seoul, Sydney, New Delhi, Paris or even a small town that is known to a handful of locals - every one of us has seen a film and chances are one of those films changed you once you had seen it, even in a subtle way. Humming a tune, quoting your favorite line, being named after your mother's favorite actor, that sort of thing.
Looking back on my childhood, I remember being captivated by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I watched those with such admiration and awe. The music, the dancing, the tempo, the movement and sway. I grew up with these people from the 1940s, never knowing those actors had made their movies 50 years before me. All I knew was I wanted to be like them, to sing, to dance, to be joyful. Those, to me, were pure films full of real performing. They move me, make me feel like a little girl again sitting on the edge of my mothers bed in pajamas and pig tails just glued to watching their every movement with childlike wonder and admiration.
I spent years in my youth singing, twirling, and dancing. I think we all have one of those films from our past. That one movie that stuck with you, moved you, changed you, shaped you in some way. The horror movie your babysitter let you stay up to watch that kept you awake for two years with your batman flashlight clutched in hand, making your dad check twice under the bed and in the closets for boogey monsters. The first movie you watched with the opposite sex, the sweaty palms and nervous giggles when your mom asks if you want a soda. The first time you see a kiss on screen and fall totally, hopelessly in love with that actor, begging your mom to buy you his poster and doodling little hearts around his name in your notebook.
Movies have a special place in all of our hearts. We hope that one day a moment in our lives will be like a scene from our favorite movie: a big romance, an awesome "I quit" speech to your boss, a time where all of your friends get together at your favorite spot, a crazy weekend in Vegas where a tiger ends up in your bathroom, a day when, perhaps, aliens come to our planet and we blow them away. These films are a reflection of ourselves, of our imaginations and we all dream a little more than we had the day before them.
A more recent memory I’ll share was when I had gone to see "It's Complicated" with my family on Christmas and the whole place was packed, everyone in a jolly and festive mood. Sitting next to my mother, sharing popcorn with my sister, fighting over the Goobers box with my father, all of us about to watch a film we had agreed upon on the car ride over...it was an experience that made me feel like the past wasn't such a faraway place after all. The people around us were enjoying themselves and when the movie started, the energy in the room was so interconnected it felt like we were all in it together. Have you ever had those moments? When the whole room is so focused on enjoying the movie that it's like you all aren't strangers at all, but old friends that hadn't seen each other in a while. Everyone was laughing at the same parts, turning to the people beside them and pointing at the screen, repeating parts to those who had missed something because the whole room was rolling with laughter. These, these are the memories we all share, the parts of us that are most the same. We are all, deep down and underneath, just Kids In The Front Row.
You can read more of Meaghan's writing at her blog, by clicking here.