One of the most effective ways to create magic is passion; to truly love something (or someone). That alone, to dive deep down into an interest without hesitation, is such a powerful way to change the reality and for one hour or three become a fictional character; or maybe an all-seeing being looking down at the characters like without the power to control their faith, but with the power to ignore them or love them time after time after time.
Movies are their own realities, repeating themselves in an endless, basic loop, going nowhere except — maybe most importantly — what the spectators create in their mind. I tend to judge every film only to themselves, because each film is a unique product created for a specific purpose and to reach certain viewers and therefor only can be judged by something identical. Not all films have the purpose of being timeless masterpieces, perfect cinema or touching dramas, just like we humans have different paths to go. And the path they take will also, at some level, cross your path — and a response is born.
Let me go extra wild here and say that every film is a separate universe physically detached from our reality in shapes of celluloid, video tapes, digital files etc. It’s a reality with no time borders. A movie set in the future can always be shown in the past — but can also be shown in the future and show a different, alternative future. A film set in the past is always seen in the future. A present film will always stay present no matter when it’s screened, because the present in that reality is preserved in the movie itself.
By looking at every movie with a fresh pair of eyes and an open mindset you’ll also get more happiness out of it. There’s no reason to get upset by a movie just because the budget is low or the story takes unexpected turns. It’s just a movie, nothing else. And still is everything.
They’re interdimensional portals to whatever reality you want or need. If you’re lucky they will forever change you — and there’s the magic again. Like all artforms; text, music, painting, sculpturing etc, it’s a ritual in the shape of a physical object. A film is shot very much like a huge ritual, from writing down the spells, to preparing the necessary ingredients and occult objects and finally casting it out to those it wants and will be affected.
Magic can make you or someone else happy or it can make you sad, or just give you new ideas. Movies are doing the same things to you, with its use of sound and light and writing — and the more skilled the magician (director and producer) are, the better ingredients (crew and actors) it attracts and more powerful magic it becomes. There’s no surprise the expression “movie magic” exists; it creates wonder. Just think back to those early cinema goers, watching silent films about trains arriving at the station and workers leaving the factory, and imagine how stunned they must have been to this new thing they saw. Like the projectionist was a magician opening a portal to another place.
It’s always been magic and will always be.
Charged objects are always a beautiful way to experience films with. I own several original props from films I like, “screenused” (as it’s called) in the actual productions, which makes the viewing experience extra powerful. But what’s even better is a well-made replica of an important and famous movie object. In my case I own the Lament Box, the puzzle box from Hellraiser. Of course it’s static, it’s impossible to use as a puzzle like in the film. But it’s so realistic it gives me a slight reality shift, not like I’m in the film; more like I’m in the same universe. It’s not far from kids and their toys, it’s a form of transportation to another dimension or reality.
This is of course more of a special mindset than actually being transported to another reality (or is it? I guess it depends on how we see reality…), but it’s one way to embrace magical thinking and get more out of life than most other people. I would even say it’s excellent training to think magically. Use a film you’ve seen many times and love a lot as meditation. It doesn’t matter if you miss parts of it by closing your eyes, as long it’s there and gives you comfort.
One film I’ve experienced time after time and always find something new in is Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and for each I’ve seen it the more I see it as an occult, magical ritual/ceremony. Or a multidimensional spell, where music, words, images and acting together creates a magical, life-transforming experience.
I bet most of you have at least one film like that, a film which works as a tarot card and triggers your intuition and speaks to you. What’s your favorite movie?
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats. Join him on Twitter and Instagram.