MUELLER: Confessions of a college movie nerd

I’m quite upset with myself right now.

I’m not mad because I’ve done poorly on a recent test or quiz. And my anger has nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t do my daily work out — mainly because I’ve never gone to the gym or any other facility that houses a treadmill. In fact, the closest I’ve come to exercising in the past three years is running up the 294 stairs of the Bunker Hill monument in Boston, a decision that easily tops my list of worst ideas ever. Second place goes to paying to see “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” in 3-D on opening day.

No, I’m upset because it’s been a week since I last saw a movie.

There’s a good chance many of you just read that last sentence and scoffed loudly. We gain a lot of things when we head off to college – knowledge, privileges, 15 pounds – but one of the things that often disappears is our love of movie-watching. Yeah, we can take film classes, but even for a massive movie nerd like myself, those screenings can feel like a chore after days of long lectures and nights of minimal sleep.

Hollywood certainly doesn’t help its cause. Even if college students wanted to see a movie, the cost of a ticket, plus soda and a bucket of popcorn, is almost enough to require a loan application. I’d say the experience costs even more if you want to see a 3-D movie, but I’m pretty sure no one wants to see 3-D movies anymore, except for James Cameron.

Adding to audiences’ woes is the film industry’s idea that consumers are just walking ATMs, easily distracted by flashy stars and even flashier explosions. How else do you explain “Battleship,” the upcoming summer blockbuster starring Rihanna and Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker? Hollywood doesn’t love me; it loves my checking account and my ability to ignore how fast I’m draining it.

Despite all of these reasons, however, I still love the movies. I’m like Bella Swan, except if she had an unhealthy relationship with money-sucking studio executives instead with blood-sucking vampires. And if she was less annoying. And male.

One of the reasons for my adoration of cinema is that it provides a healthy source of conversation and debate in a time when other arenas of discussion, mainly politics, have become poisonous and vicious. Film discussions seem to be one of the few places where words like “agreement” and “compromise” aren’t considered bad.

There’s more to movies, though. For every “Battleship,” “Transformers” or other equally empty Hollywood creation, there are films that speak to the characters, lives and emotions of the people watching. You may see some horrible abominations of cinema, but you may also see films that move your soul and change the way you walk through the world.

“High Fidelity,” my favorite movie of all time (so stop asking), is, on a basic level, just a comedy, but the way the characters interact with one another and the honesty of their relationships strike a chord in me every time I watch it.

That’s the beauty of movies — and art, for that matter. They give you the opportunity to make a connection with your fellow citizens of the world.

And that’s why the Marquee section exists. We’re here to build the roads that bring art to Marquette, Milwaukee and (not to get too dramatic), the world. My particular road of choice is cinema, and I’m very excited to see where that road leads.

I hope you’ll come with. In the meantime, I’m going to go see “The Raven.”

Comments are closed