I think it would be safe for me to say that movies have become a big part of our lives. They have, I think, gone way beyond being simply a form of entertainment to being a very powerful force that is able to shape our thinking, our minds, our attitudes and the very essence of our being. It is no secret that the more we read, watch, listen to and experience the world around us, new synaptic connections are being forged in our brains. Each connection holds a certain amount of knowledge, and as more similar connections are made, that particular body of knowledge is verified and becomes truth to us. Our minds work in a similar manner to how rain running down the slopes of high ground carves out streams, gorges, rivers and the like. The more water flows down a stream, the deeper the stream gets. If the course of a rapidly-flowing, deep mountain stream were to be changed, much effort would need to be invested. I wonder what would happen if movies go on to become the “feelies” that Aldous Huxley spoke about in Brave New World. I suppose it would almost be like living another life.
Consider movies as they are today. They have been that way for a pretty long time. Although cinematography, special effects, 3-D, animation and the like have improved viewer experience, movies have largely remained the same. As they are and have been, do movies influence life, or is it the other way round? My take is that it is both. Movies do reflect social mores, values and attitudes, but they have been, and will continue to be used to shape those same mores, values and attitudes. Just to give a quick example, one of my former colleagues was so taken by how Deputy Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) tried to recapture Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) in “The Fugitive“ that he actually advocated the use of similar techniques in some of our work! Nothing wrong with that, we just have to remain conscious about where those ideas came from! We need to be careful when we use ideas from movies, to sift out what is real and what is not.
So, for my answer to the question “Do you learn from movies?” I would say largely no. However, I do get lots of ideas from them, and I maintain my perspectives on what reality is in relation to aspiration. Go well!