Beyond cinematic

Alt. title “Subcinematic“.

In my subconscious self-vision that life is gradually revealing, cinema has seemed to become a part of my passion, or, what I think is a cool line of work to spend one’s life. It would be a far stretch to call me a movie junkie, yes, but I did find myself occasionally opting for an afternoon at the local movie theatre rather than doing normal tourist stuff while travelling, and of course, I do have a Youtube channel onto which I occasionally dump unfinished storyboards.

Since my teenage years, where I spent countless hours with tools like the Trackmania Mediatracker, and eventually Blender 3D and real (still) cameras, I’ve sometimes fancied my life a movie itself. Maybe not so biographical (if my physics XOR romance XOR fitness initiative works out), in the worst case scenario, a director’s cut, with bonus behind the scenes content.

I fantasised, in particular, about the powers the creative production teams had to shape their imaginary worlds: to give life to entire fictional universes, to sneak in hidden references, and (flipside of the first point) to build a world containing countless stories and then choose not to tell them… In short, I appreciated cinema a high art, a standard by which my life could be organised and portrayed, for a broad “the world” to notice, see, and enjoy.

What I should have realised, then, is that such a philosophy under which I lead my life can be lossy.

Visual storytelling is an amplification game. In it, one group’s creative vision is made for millions to glance at, hopefully leading to emotional and financial resonance. Attention is valuable, collective attention more so, and not all moments and emotions are commercially or logistically fit for this format.

To always be projecting the things I see and things I do onto an imagined silver-screen subjects myself to the same kind of bias. Albeit way less strong and off-putting than a meeting with a Hollywood producer, it does produces a similar effect that I start to notice.

I suppose that an imagined observer, if I, an atheist, must call it that, is a good mental construct to keep in the background of thought, in that it keeps me moral and upstanding. Still, I don’t recommend acting in your own life, and don’t do things for imaginary camera crews and audience who probably will never be there.

I concede, that being able to notice cinematic and aesthetic scenes in life might be a skill I am blessed with as a photographer, but I do my night walks without any cameras now.

If the movie allegory must persist for me to end this essay, I guess, life is a movie, but with the majority of time collected into a 2-minute-long montage. The enjoyability of your life’s story isn’t the best way to measure your life, surely. So much of the ultimate joy about being alive this world are solitary enjoyments offered far from gallery alleys and movie theatre seats.

To exchange chatter with old friends.

To forget about time reading a random book off the shelf.

To sink nights of calculations into the edges of a theory.

To drive out of town beyond the hills, wearing shorts in winter breeze.

And to watch the night sky, as frozen still and with everything distant as is meant to be.

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