Stranger Than Fiction might be my favorite movie. It is so existentially satisfying to me. It’s funny, it’s profound, it’s inspiring. It contains jokes about dramatic irony and third person omniscient and lines like “I may already be dead, just not typed.” It’s about story and what makes a good one, and raises the question of whether you are willing to die for a story to exist in the world.
I tend to play this movie in my English classes at some point. Most kids enjoy it. One student said this week “This is one of my favorite movies. I have never experienced anything like it before.” And this is all I’m trying to do as a teacher, really. Some kids get mad at the movie because it is extremely meta. Anyway, great movie. It feels like a very close simulation to reading.
Movies are a storytelling conduit that have a deep cultural resonance that may have long ago replaced other ones. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and the revival of Star Wars helps show what a powerful hold stories and myth hold on our psyche. I recently heard the story of the first time I went to see a movie in a theater.
I was three. I went to see E.T. The movie is ending, and I begin to cry. He’s crying, people comment, because E.T. is going home. Nope. I am crying because the movie is ending, and I have to go home. I didn’t want the story to end.
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