I challenge you, or anyone for that matter, to find someone in this country who doesn’t like movies – aside perhaps from some 97 year-old evangelical woman with clinical cinephobia who lives in the middle of the desert. Or the Amish.
Obsessive hyperbolizing aside – anyone who prescribes to the practices and ideals of mainstream American society is bound to enjoy watching movies. We are all “fans” of movies, but what makes one a “Movie Fan” seems to be a whole different kind of crazy. There is a reason the word Fanatic starts with F-A-N. Fandom is an obsession, an insatiable daydreaming consumerism and ardor for the unattainable life of celebrity and filmic perfection. The stigma of the term “Movie Fan” is a perfect example of the ageless obsession with words that began with Adam and Epoch and continues today in our growing and evolving language, our minute differentiation, the reason women are afraid to call themselves “feminists;” words carry the baggage of their social and historical implications – a word, is never really just a word.
As with the debate over the term “feminist,” those who enjoy movies, perhaps more than most seek to validate their passion in rational and intelligent thought – from this defensive reconstruction comes the term “cinephile,” “Movie Fans” who consume consciously, actively, and for higher purpose.
When I think of a “Movie Fan,” whether in its original context or today, I think of a juvenile, squealing girl who wastes half her paycheck or allowance on fan magazines. I think of “Teen Beat” and “Bop” magazines, I think of people chasing after Justin Beiber, or The Beatles, I think of people fainting.
I admit my views on the subject come from an elevated psychological plane of superiority, I would like to pretend I’m above the hubub of fandom – and on some levels, I am, but merely because I’ve lived in LA – yes, I met Chris Pine at a birthday party right after I fell into a swimming pool. Was it awkward? Yes. Did I faint? No. Did my heart beat a little faster? Duh. Was I briefly wooed by the shimmery allure of a fantastical filmic existence? Of course.
There is a part of me that is still 13-years old, whether I want to admit it or not – we are all impressed by the life of the movies, we are all “Fans,” and we shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit it.