May 16, 2010

#080: "Movie" vs "Film"

Does the word "movie" carry a different meaning to you than the word "film"? I have thought about that and I can say that right now, no, those two words mean the same thing.  However, I did feel at one point that "film" carried along with it a certain air of prestige.  A film was a work of art; a movie, a mindless spewing of moving pictures.  The meaning lies in our interpretation, and the usage is determined by our intention.

When I first created my blog it was named "Movies With Deric".  Wow! Lame!  I quickly changed it to "Pretend Film Critic".  Much better.  I discovered over those first few months of writing about movies, that I stopped differentiating between "movie" and "film". When you write, you don't want to use the same word over and over again, so you try to mix it up a bit.  They became interchangeable.  When the name was adapted to include "film critic" I didn't intend to add any pomp or formality.

Still, I find myself falling into the same habits when I discuss, or write about films.  I am likely to refer to Transformers as a movie,  Inglourious Basterds could go either way, and Schindler's List as a film.  Is Transformers not worthy of the title of film?  This could be, but Transformers is a film nonetheless. It almost seems like subject matter could determine our choice of terminology.  I find it odd how we might say "I am going to the cinema to watch a film." and "I am going to the theater to watch a movie."  For some reason we refer to them as "foreign films" and not "foreign movies".  Maybe it is cultural thing; maybe "film" is the more global expression. Regardless, it is all semantics and vocabulary.  The true meaning is only contained in the interpretation.

I wanted to make it clear that I use the terms "movie" and "film" interchangeably.  I pretend to be a movie critic just as much as I pretend to be a film critic.  Either way you look at it, there is an over-abundance of both, and I will just continue to dream my little dream.  When I created this site I was cognizant of the wording.  Therefore the address is, and my twitter name is @pretendcritic. Either word, "film" or "movie" is noticeably absent.  Now, if you have only ever used the term "movie" to refer to these fabulous mind-stimulating pictures that enter our brains in rapid succession, I would encourage you to give "film" a try.  I think you may quite like it. 

While I am writing this somewhat random post I wanted to mention that if you are using Internet Explorer to view this site, which I don't know why anybody would be, the header and some other random bits are not being displayed 100% correctly on this site.  There are some inconsistencies with how IE interprets the code, and I cannot figure out how to fix it.  I realize that some people may still use IE as their web browser. I would encourage you to try out another browser for a week or two.  You will have a much more enjoyable experience on the entire web with either Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.

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