areej23

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Should movies exist solely for escapism purposes?

Watching movies has always been a favourite pastime for many people around the world. However, many people do tend to criticize the fantasy and surrealism of films as they tend to askew audience’s expectations of life. Discuss whether or not movies need to be more self-aware of this surrealism and whether or not there should be a balance between fantasy and reality.

  • Mean-world syndrome can be explored as a part of this topic. – Aaron 4 years ago
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  • In my view yes! I have enough reality in my life. But I know so many who are interested in documentaries about tense issues for those who disavow escapism. – Munjeera 4 years ago
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  • I think even fictional films shouldn't always be used for escapism. There's plenty of great films that hit close to home. Even Miyazaki films or other Studio Ghibli films don't always allow an escape for me, because they challenge me to engage with certain social issues. – chekhovsraygun 4 years ago
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  • This is an essential, complex question to debate. I would recommend erring on the side of "no," due to considering the problematic associations attached to consuming uncritical, na├»ve cinematic portrayals of "reality." This is particularly relevant to the complex art medium of film. – Lucas 4 years ago
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  • Re Munjeera's point, I wonder how age and socioeconomics affect viewing habits. I wonder if younger viewers watch more documentaries while older viewers watch more escapist programs. The same might also be true of wealthy or healthy viewers vis-a-vis poor or unhealthy viewers. There just has to be some reason explaining why my otherwise intelligent great-uncle, in his 80's, willingly watched "Walker, Texas Ranger."This is a rich topic. – Tigey 4 years ago
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  • No. Escapism is a feature of entertainment -- in the blood of entertainment lies the ruin of art. – Brandon T. Gass 4 years ago
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  • Escapism is important for entertainment especially to cater to someone's mood. – Mal415 4 years ago
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  • It depends on the content and the theme. Some films carry heavy content or have a message to be relayed and require critical awareness for delivery. Some films are all about imagination, playfulness and the absurd. It's okay for there to be different types. Some films are hybrid. Everything has its place. – bluishcatbag 4 years ago
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  • Perhaps one could include the effects/inspirations that films have on people, especially in dealing with contemporary/topical themes. Films are often used as social commentary, and it could be interesting to explore that side of the industry. – SuzannahRL 3 years ago
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  • "I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls? The world outside has not become less real because the prisoner cannot see it."--Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories – C8lin 3 years ago
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  • In my opinion, it depends on the movie and the audience. Disney movies, for instance, are aimed at families--mostly children--even though millions of adults enjoy them. Because the primary audience is children, they can and should be primarily escapism. But other genres, aimed at other audience types, can and should make us think. Making us think also doesn't mean impugning a genre's integrity. For instance, Chocolat is a chick flick, and it has a lot of romantic comedy/chick flick conventions. But I watch it partially because it makes me think about issues like the dichotomy between grace and truth, freedom and legalism, the church and the secular world.Even movies that are not escapism can still provide some escape as well. For instance, I don't think anyone really wants to watch the Titanic sink--again. Nobody wants to watch the atrocities committed in Schindler's List. The reason we do is because these movies contain a hope element. They speak, however briefly or imperfectly, to the triumph of the human spirit. Even though they are not meant as classical escapism, like say a Disney movie would be, that hope element does provide some form of escape. – Stephanie M. 3 years ago
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Latest Comments

I’ve loved this show for so long but now my perspective has completely shifted ever since I read this article. I always thought the show was more than just an adventure show for kids but to see all these philosophical concepts being applied so well to the show just proves how this show is meant for absolutely anyone! Thank you!

Doctor Who? Why the Question is More Important than the Answer

Have you ever tried watching a movie muted? It’s a much different experience than watching it with sound because you can interpret scenes in so many ways. Great article!!

Importance of Diegetic and Non-Diegetic Sounds in Film

Wow this was a really well-put article! I especially liked the point you made about how some villains are so intellectual yet psycho/sociopathic. Do you think that this may be one of the reasons why the audience may be led to feel alienated from the villain because it is simply not humanly possible to be both intellectually focused and psycho/sociopathic?

Superhero Villains and their Struggle with Morality