Super 8 Kids

 

Eight years ago today, a wrote about a movie that I loved. So it was that on August 20th, 2007, The Matinee was born.

Since then it’s been a virtually daily habit that brought together my changing world view, exposure to new voices, a greater understanding of what I was watching, and above all a hunger for more of it. That, in a nutshell, is probably the best way I can articulate what keeping up this site and its shoddy predecessor has been about.

This year especially, getting to the anniversary feels like quite an accomplishment seeing as how the last twelve months have felt like such a state of flux. There have been personal and professional challenges, there has been a wondering if my approach to the love of film still has a place in the world that hungers for scoops and spoilers, and there’s even been a slight wane in output as the summer has worn on.

But getting here – getting to make this eighth notch in the fence post means a great deal to me – and if you’re reading this, I’d like to thank you for getting me here.

We live in a world where everybody wants to add in their two cents on every given topic, and after a while it can seem like a ridiculous amount of noise. What’s more, there also seems to be a hunger for opinions in short, sharp bits. So being a fan of the long form sometimes makes me feel like the chaperone at the school dance.

But people keep dropping by…so I keep writing.

Not only do they drop by to read, but they make a point to raise a glass with me when I’m in their home cities. Or better yet, they plan special trips to my city, and find the time to hang around with me like we are friends and neighbours who just happen to love film.

It’s for those people – and for the perspective on life that they and film have given me together – that I am most thankful that I wrote that first review eight years ago today. Had I not, these people would remain strangers to me; curious faces on subway cars, or unknown voices from other parts of the world. But thanks to them, and to the films we have shared together, I have gained a greater grasp of the world around me…and now and then, even my place within it.

Who knew that watching film could do that? Well, a hero of mine did. I quote the prophet Ebert and wish to you on this wonderful day, the following:

 

We all are born with a certain package; we are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised…we’re kind of stuck inside that person. The purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize with other people. For me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears.
It helps us to identify with these people who are sharing this journey with us.

 

Thanks for sticking around…