While watching the Oscars, it became far too evident to me how obscure most good films have become.
The number of people around me that night who hadn’t seen or, better yet, hadn’t even heard of the film “Moonrise Kingdom” was appalling.
I had a hard time believing so many people could be missing out on a movie that supplies two hours of free childhood innocence.
These thoughts stayed with me for days, and I soon realized that, along with motion pictures, documentaries and short films have almost completely fallen off “mainstream” viewing radars as well.
For example, “Inocente,” winner in the documentary short category, probably would have gone unnoticed around campus if it weren’t discovered that the film’s editor, Jeff Consiglio, was a Virginia Tech alumnus.
The documentary captures the development of Inocente, a young girl who aspires to become an artist and manages to push toward her dreams despite her desolate surroundings.
It seems to me that, unlike Inocente, we have begun to fall from invention and style into the conformity of our desolate surroundings.
More gunfights and explosions supposedly make our films better. Cleavage and sexual embraces measure our films’ effectiveness on screen.
The minds of our generation, as a whole, have been poisoned with false measures of success, and the fallout of this has had undesirable effects on the vast majority of our communities.
We have become rapidly consumed with the ideal of convenience and, above all, this mindset has become detrimental to any small-scale production.
Why buy from the farmer’s market when there’s a Wal-Mart up the road?
If I can just download MP3s online, there isn’t much point in taking a trip downtown to the record store.
Just as an exploding car seems to receive more appreciation on screen than an artistically-developed production design, the convenience of large-scale business smothers our local production and jobs.
Particularly in our current state of unemployment, small notions can play huge factors in economic growth.
Not only are we constantly and collectively missing out on some of the best art — both cinematic and musical — of our lifetimes, we are passing up an opportunity to make a difference through our everyday decisions.
The movies we watch, the music we listen to, the food we buy and everything we do has a monetary and artistic impact on our community.
So, the next time you want to catch a movie, read some reviews and find something worthwhile that truly interests you. When you’re looking for some new tunes, head to the closest record store and see what they recommend.
If we can stop demanding convenience and start appreciating the underlying beauty that surrounds us, maybe we can leave a respectable print on our existence.