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Psychological Supremacy and How Movies Bend Our Realities

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  • On 18/01/2018

Baked good, glorious sunrays and boding hues. Bold symbolism, sullen whimpers and packets of pseudo-characterism. There's a lot that goes into film before it can be experienced by its audience. In all sterness, movies are top tier manipulation machines since their dawn, and we're mere topiary to filmmakers. How we perform and experience our personal lives now has a lot to do with the stories we've seen on-screen. We're also introduced to varying and alternate realities, and we're thus more open to the idea of the paranormal. This helps us imagine many events where we may be confronted with the likes of alien invasions, technological paranoia and human catastrophe.

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Take for instance Nocturna, an animated film about the stars above dissapearing one-by-one leaving humanity at risk of living on a completely dark planet, with the lead being terrified of the dark. While watching, the movie riddles the audience with a large and vast problem and leaves it to us to solve it. Our minds begin milling, trying to position ourselves in the world on screen; what would I do? Are our stars going out really a possibility? If it is a concept in our near future, what can I personally do to reduce the likelihood?

We take it upon ourselves to do the research upon watching films. Whether t's the meaning of an odd new word we want to learn, or to decipher the ending of the movie. We align ourselves with the overall message of the movie, and even weigh ourselves against it. With this, it would be witless to say that movies have had no particular influence on how we live our lives today. From discourse to swagger, we're our best possible impressions of pieces of our favourite movies.


The paradox that violent and explicit movies have made obscenity normative is true. We've seen blood and nude bodies on our screens enough to not even flinch at such anymore. We enact our favourite scenes from movies such as Top Gun and The Terminator. We want to be just like Jet Lee or Rocky. Guns trumpiting, bullets piercing through skin, blood splattering on to walls, we've grown an appetite for it all. The more bizarre the better. We've become desensitised. We're okay with what would've initially been startling to the human mind to witness.

Take a closer look at crime drama/gangster movies such as Casino, The Godfather and Pulp Fiction and how they've since rendered thousands malignant; violence and vulgarism is sensationalised so much that the 80s roared with real-life depictions of the characters within these movies. The line drawn between cinema and real-life thinned by day. It's liberating to take on the personalities of our favourite movie characters. It takes some responsibility off our shoulders. This is how the phrase "copy-cat crime" came to life. Movies such as Project X, Saw and Fight Club, for example, have inspired real-life crimes.

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Crime procedurals are the most influential to how human beings behave today—especially those who are curious about a life surrounded by chaos. These movies explore human behaviour at its most bizarre extremes. Movies such as Fight Club, and even Nolan's The Dark Knight, are the hypothesis to the most disturbing crimes and toxic habits today. A man shouting "I am the Joker" at the top of his lungs went on to shoot up a theater filled with Batman fans. There are various other crimes commited where the person emphasised their Joker alter-ego. As nonsensical as this may sound, filmmakers have this big an advantage on everyone who watches movies. They're puppet masters, whether we're aware of it or not. Each one of us has been drastically altered due to watching our favourite films.

You get movies targeted at children especially, that cover subtle plots around anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. In a movie such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These embeded messages are not placed there by mistake—they're machinations. The filmmaker is aware of the influence they have on human psyche, especially a mind as fragile as a child's.


In animated movies such as Inside Out where human psychology and philosophy is an intentional focal point, we're introduced to introspection. In movies like Kubrick's The Shining, we're able to introspect by pondering the extremities human beings are capable of. This is where projection takes role; where questions like "what would I do under these circumstances?" come in. This is how we study ourselves as living, breathing and thinking creatures. Movies have become highly addictive in this way. We're able to measure ourselves against the possibilites of the world and confront what we might be capable of. It's an intoxicating adventure.

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The discovery of self is propelled fleetingly by consuming film media. Some people sooner discover their hyper-selves, their innate needs and ambitions, what they dislike and can't stand. We're able to project our imagined selves through fictional characters. Whether that has created ultimate weapons out of us, or the fact has bettered our lives is up for debate. But there is no doubt that film has made a large impact on how we live our lives today, and will continue to.

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