Looking for Something to Do? A Defense of the Movie Night

Haley Huett, A&E Editor

On Saturday nights, my best friends and I gather in my room for our self-described “Girls’ Night.” As night falls across campus, our double-feature begins. Armed with a $2.99 loaf of French bread from Drug Mart, whose quality and taste is frankly unparalleled, we are ready for our weekly ritual to begin. 

Our usual selections are eclectic and varied between genre and style. From “Dune” and “Jennifer’s Body,” “Black Swan” and “Interstellar,”  “The Witch” and “American Psycho” to romantic movies I will not even deign to mention, our girls nights always feel fun and different, even if we are always doing the same thing. Most recently, we sat down together to watch Apple TV’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” 

The movie night is a lost art. Spending quality time with one another, by means of this structured gathering, is underappreciated and often ignored in favor of other activities. There is nothing wrong with typical weeknight activities – partying with friends and going out on the town. I would be one to talk if I condemned them. However, there is something to be said about the simplicity of a movie night, engrossed in a story with the people around you. 

I believe wholeheartedly in movie-watching as a meditative experience. Often, visual art forms like film or television are given a derisive treatment. They are not high-brow forms of art like painting or photography and one rarely finds these mediums in museums. Yet, does not the same level of thought and precision go into the design of a set or the layout of a scene? Does a director not think critically about the message they are sending through the visual composition of their work? Critical analysis of the things we see, in an age of social media and incessant visual stimulation, is more necessary than it ever has been.

As we watch our movies, my friends and I have the opportunity to simply be together. Existing in silence in each other’s company, I cherish the time we spend together huddled around the television in my dorm. 

More to the point, films are a type of art. Our most recent viewing, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” speaks precisely to this point. Filmed in black and white, this movie is a stunning testament to the power of a movie’s visual force. Throughout the film, we gasped out loud at the beautiful, artful composition of the stills on screen. Afterwards, we could discuss the way certain images made us feel and how the director’s choices completely revitalized Shakespeare’s 416-year-old play.

Our movie nights give us something to relate with and bond over. For weeks after we watched “The Witch,” our every conversation included some reference to the quintessential “wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” And live deliciously we do, with our white bread, our warmest blankets, and our dearest friends gathered together.  

So, the point of this piece is to encourage you to find a place in your life for stillness – for a movie night. Alone or with your closest pals, with whatever snacks and treats your heart desires, pick something to watch and watch it! If you don’t have any fun, I think you’re lying.

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