#31 (Aug 2012)

Going to the movies should be a happy event. It’s a great way to unwind after a hard day’s work. But a clear line needs to be drawn between unwinding and venting of one’s frustrations.

In view of the recent tragedy in which a crazed gunman opened fire at audiences of a packed U.S. theatre, and several past cases of copy-cat acts, we see it fitting as members of the media to send out the correct message.

Films are merely artistic interpretations and they serve as another platform for storytelling. No matter how entertaining or painfully realistic they may be, they are not real. Even biopics are condensed 120-min versions of what would naturally take a lifetime of living, and they are acted out by actors.

Yes, we have all had our fair share of trying or intending to mimic our favourite movie characters in our younger and immature days. They could be nice innocent stuff like wanting the same hairstyle to dangerous stuff like believing we could have their ‘powers’. Even movie stars the likes of Sylvester Stallone, who loved Superman comics, said he once jumped off a roof as a child thinking he could fly, breaking his collar bone. Proof on page XX.

Such is the influence of movies on impressionable minds, regardless of age. We can’t justify enough just how unpredictable things can get out of hand. We have lived through it, and we should be mindful of it to remind ourselves; our reclusive friends; the younger generation that “this is not real, it only happens at the movies”.

Let’s all live a rounded life. No matter how tempting it may be, we should not revolve our lives around only movies and video games. Interact with the senior folk, their grounded-in-reality life stories can make for great entertainment too.

Our hearts go out to those killed and wounded in this recent tragedy.

P/S: Our interview with Sylvester Stallone took place a while ago, before he lost his beloved son, Sage. We would like to send our deepest sympathies to Mr. Stallone and his family.

Royston Loh

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