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Keim Time: Movie Watching is More than a Hobby

Opinion Editor Brian Keim ’26 discusses how watching movies has changed his life. Photo by the author.

With unacceptable working conditions, corporate greed, an addiction to cinematic universes and an immeasurable variety of other factors, many people have, quite reasonably, lost faith in the movie industry. Some see movies as nothing more than cheap distractions that, at best, are a decent way to spend an hour.

While I will not defend any of the aspects of movies that I have listed, I will wholeheartedly defend the artform of cinema and detail some of the ways it has enhanced my life.

Movies are a truly beautiful thing when done properly and they can tell impactful stories in ways that other forms of media simply can’t. With that being said, I will spend the next several hundred words rambling about movies and how my life would not be the same without them.

About two years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the social media platform Letterboxd, forever changing both the way I see films and the way I waste my free time. For those who are unfamiliar, Letterboxd is a platform that allows users to review movies and to share those reviews with other users.

While the concept is simple, the mere fact that I was given the opportunity to write reviews of the movies I saw changed the way I watched them. Instead of just mindlessly consuming media, I was beginning to actually think critically about what I was watching. I could point things out that I liked or disliked, things that I would want to incorporate into my own writing. Even the worst movies I’ve seen serve as a decent lesson of how not to write a story.

Another key factor in my appreciation of film was my digital film production class in high school, which I started taking around the same time that I discovered Letterboxd. It was a rudimentary high school course, but the respect it gave me for the art of filmmaking left an impact on me that remains to this day. I learned that interesting camera angles were a delicate art, color grading was a conscious choice, that even the simplest scenes require careful editing and that an immeasurable amount of work goes into every finished piece of film.

The medium of film combines countless artforms to create one cohesive piece of cinema. Even if the film itself doesn’t turn out great, it’s more than likely that it was made with the passion of somebody; be it a director, actor, editor, writer, set designer, makeup artist, cinematographer, extra or any one of countless individuals who worked on it.

Now that I’ve formally established my appreciation for movies as a general art, I request that you indulge me as I briefly discuss some of the films that have legitimately changed my life and formed me into the man I am today.

  • “Everything Everywhere all at Once”: this bizarre multiverse story not only swept the 2023 Oscars, but also taught me that kindness is stronger than any weapon.
  • “Before Sunrise”: this film tracks two people who just met, almost in real time, as they spend an unforgettable day together and learn that the value of a relationship is not measured by its permanence.
  • “Encanto”: a recent Disney movie that restored both my own self-worth as well as my faith in the Walt Disney Corporation (somewhat).
  • “The LEGO Movie”: after seeing this surprisingly clever and emotional toy commercial as a child, my sense of humor and worldview was established in countless ways, some of which will probably never fade.
  • “tick, tick… BOOM!”: my single favorite movie of all time. I could gush about it for hours on end, but for now I’ll leave it at saying that it taught me how I want to spend this short life of mine.

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About the Contributor
Brian Keim
Brian Keim, Campus Editor
Brian Keim is the Campus Editor for The Carroll News, hailing from Medina, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in communications with a concentration in digital media.
Often referred to as a “person” who “exists,” Brian is also involved in the JCU Improv Troupe and Blue Streaks on the Run. In his free time he allegedly considers film-watching and book-reading to be two activities that are enjoyable as well as life-changing, if you know where to look.
To request biased film opinions, haphazard Academy Award predictions, or otherwise contact Brian Keim, he can be reached at [email protected]

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