Films vs. Movies

I haven’t spoken to anyone who thought that Twilight was a quality film.  Unless you’re twelve or retarded, you know that watching Twilight is like eating a fried Snickers bar at the fair: it seems like a good idea, and it’s pretty good while you’re eating it, but afterward you feel awful and ashamed and you realize that it’s not like you’ve sampled any fine culinary genius, and in fact have wasted a billion calories and 154 fat grams on, well, nothing.  All the V8 in the world can’t wash the taste away.

Calm down, tweens and mid-forty overweight chicks.  I’m just using Twilight as filler.  My point is, there’s certainly a difference between a “movie” and a “film”, am I right?  What’s the difference?  It’s not budget, it’s not acting chops, it’s not even whether the film gets an Academy nod or not.  The difference is QUALITY.  And quality is not equal to budget.  The two are independent of each other.  Quality is attention to detail.  The desire to express oneself regardless of income potential.  Which is why most independent films are, you guessed it, “films” and not just “movies”.

So am I saying that movies are bad?  Of course not!  Who doesn’t love Terminator and Batman?  But the fact is that these movies were made because somebody somewhere said, “Hmm.  This would make money.”  Go watch all the strife George Lucas went through to make Star Wars.  You’ll appreciate it even more.  He would have made that movie if it would have killed him.  He spent every penny he had and every second of every day making it.  He had a story to tell and he’d give anything to tell it in his medium of choice.  Star Wars is a great film.  But Attack of the Clones?  Just another movie.  A great movie, but still just a movie.

Is there a middle ground?  Maybe.  When in doubt, I call it a movie.  A movie has to EARN the pleasure of being called a film.

I’m such a nerd.

-T. Ham


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