Lights out, screen on

Jump through a rabbit hole and let the adventure begin.


Lights out, there is only darkness. You and the screen surrounded by dimming light. Lack of brightness gives you a feeling of undisturbed intimacy that covers you immediately after the last lamp turns off. Thin trickle lights up dust dancing in the air. You are just about to enter another realm, living the life of heroes in parallel dimension, escaping from the reality you know.

One jump through the rabbit hole and you are in the land of stories where everything and nothing is possible. Cinema -a place with a soul. Before brothers Lumière people had religion and magic, they always tried to create an illusion, early beginnings of theatre, camera obscura, kaleidoscope, zoopraxiscopetill the very first screening. Afterwards they discovered cinema and nothing was as it used to be. Screenings opened a portal to a new unknown world. Cinematography became a new religion of XX century.

Even though we seem to need more and more stimulus; flooded by 3D and 4D multiplexwe stay unimpressed while the train arrives to the station, the film can still trick our brain. The wonder goes hand in hand with empathy, emotional carousel spins. Nothing that happens in the screen is real; despite that awareness we still jump, scream, laugh and cry. Are we that naive? Rather confused by our brain, particularly mirror neurons that cannot distinguish the reality from the fiction.


Cinema doesn’t serve only as an amusement to people; it can also be used as a therapeutic tool. Films became fairy tales of XXI century and as every good story they allow to revise hidden suppressed issues. They seem to take over the role assigned to story-tellingdescribed in The Uses of Enchantment by B.Bettelheim, the author points out well how subconsciously the stories we hear can help us to analyze what we prefer to leave untouched, by keeping distanced perspective we can relive the troubling situations with which we relate, helping us to deal with remaining issues.

Not only a story but the ambience plays a role in the process. The charm of old-school cinema always attracted me, for me to experience fully the film there is a need of soothing darkness slowly wrapping you up while the lights go down and the whisper fades away when the screening starts. I always treat going out for movies as a little celebration of mine where the cross of domestic coziness and the felling of sacred place mix up. For me cinema is like going through the looking-glass where I can jump straight into the story where I don’t belong only to experience another lifetime. While watching human drama, murderer following a victim or danger lurking from the darkness I can safely cuddle up in my chair.Entering theatre doesn’t feel like cinema but a temple of a kind:red plush tapestry, dimmed light, silence, hushed conversations, you can feel in the air the ambience of festivity and wonder that is about to happen.Famous countdown starts the journey, sit down and relax.

Aleksandra Grzyb

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