Sharon is an Asian-American creative based in Austin.






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In the Movies

2015
Usually in a conversation with friends on the topic of movies, the realization always surfaces that I hardly ever watch them.

I occasionally joke that I only watch one movie in theaters a year. The last one was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I thoroughly enjoyed: the cat bit was successful in making me laugh, then feel terrible for laughing, then feel sick. Might I point out that anyone can say something true in a joking way, and the comedic relief can easily distract from the truth. The joke, and the truth, is that I only watch one movie a year.

Usually the movie is at a party or gathering not of my own initiative, and as of yet, my quota has not been fulfilled for 2015, something that I haven’t exactly hurried to change.

"Movies aren't for everyone," someone told me recently, but it was more than a good-natured, glossy excuse on my behalf, and it was more than sitting in a movie chair in a dark room for two hours straight, emerging to be blinded by hot pavement. It was a personal reminder to me of a unique kind of ignorance, an overprotection of emotions, and logistically, the equivalent in price of two to three coffees or espressos.

“I watch movies to escape from reality,” my movie buff of a friend introspectively revealed in conversation on a recent car trip. We discussed the unraveling and predictability (or unpredictability) of plots, the character development, and the admiration of good cinematography. We touched a bit on what makes a movie good, and finally, the emotions that a movie drags us through and leaves us with.

I've heard friends talk about movies they couldn't stand, and found it humorous that often times, it was in the context of their personality. After all, I made one of my most valued friends when we built a house out of cards, retreating while the boys watched a scary movie in the living room.

As much as I enjoy vicariously living through another's story, I admit that watching dramas also meant emotional journeys on which I had no choice but to accompany. I like finding the loopholes in the plots. I enjoy seeing the depth in the characters, and the layers of dreams within dreams. But in addition to trying to predict too much during movies (since every scene usually serves some sort of purpose), I confess that avoiding movies was my form of escaping reality: a visual reality that, when executed well, painted pictures that were much too real.

Are movies so unlike dreams? Some movies leave me exhausted, the emotions following me far past the end of the movie, but considering that I've exited most dreams with little emotional trauma, I may be able to handle more than I thought. Perhaps I should try to watch more than one movie this year.

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