top of page

How Film Shapes Our Lives... for Better or Worse!

Al Pacino as a troubled idealist in "Serpico"

We all know how powerful films can be, don’t we? Even those who aren’t prone to a great deal of reflection have occasionally felt the force of the silver screen leaving the cinema doing karate kicks or thinking they can dodge bullets. I remember seeing the 2005 rendition of King Kong and coming out climbing lampposts, so inspired was I by the big fella’s moves.

However, what we don’t always understand so well is how films can shape us quite profoundly, in the long-term. Of course, as a society we put age restrictions on films and apply a great deal of very careful censorship to the industry. But that only goes so far, and the effects that films have can be highly unpredictable.

For example, when I first saw Full Metal Jacket (1987), a classic Vietnam War film and one of Stanley Kubrick’s best works, the part that really stayed with me wasn’t the depiction of the punishing military training or the horrors of the war itself. No, what really made an impact was the scene in which the overweight and much-bullied recruit, Private Pyle, receives severe abuse from the drill instructor for not being able to manage even one pull-up....

Read the full article in Fourth Floor magazine.

bottom of page