I totally agree with Jason Silva’s wise words ‘I always loved watching movies because I loved what certain moments inside of films did to me.’ Film; it has the power to cross generations, cross language boundaries, and provoke us to deal with issues in our culture and personal belief systems. After experiencing the emotionally traumatic passing of my 20 year old son Jacob watching certain movies that I’ve already seen before tugs even harder at the heart strings. Emotions and feelings lay just beneath the surface just waiting for that emotional trigger to erupt the tears. We all have our favourite genres to watch – comedy, horror, action, Sci-fi, romance, thriller, adventure, documentary, animation, family, film-noir, musical, sport, war, biography, crime, fantasy, history, music, epic, mystery, western and many more that I may have forgotten to mention. Watching movies has the ability to take you away from your current life and existence and offers you an opportunity to switch off and zone out. It can give us a distraction of the mind by watching something that doesn’t require any physical concentration.
There are four movies in particular that speak to me more now than ever before because of what has happened in my life. I have always loved these movies but they now take on a whole different meaning within the story lines, words spoken and the final scenes. In the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ the Tin man meets the Wizard to ask him for a heart. The wise Wizard tells the Tin man ‘you don’t know how lucky you are to not have a heart – hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.’ The tagline that got the audience intrigued about what the movie ‘Frequency’ starring Dennis Quaid was all about. What if you had the chance to travel back in time and change one event in your life? What would it be? I know what I would change. Another movie which dealt with time travel and changing the past is ‘About time’ – What if every moment in life came with a second chance?’ P. S. I love you is about a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to ease her pain and start a new life. There are many phrases from that movie that sting my face with salty tears ~ We haven’t lost everything, if we haven’t lost our hope. Am I OK? I’m lots of things. I’m lonely, I’m tired, I’m sad. I’m happy, I’m lucky, I’m unlucky. I’m a million different things every day of the week. But I suppose OK is one of them. She felt relieved to have known him, to love him and to be loved by him, and the relief that the last thing he saw was her face smiling down on him, encouraging him and assuring him it was OK to let go. Just from these movies alone I now wish I had an unbreakable heart and I could go back to a time when cancer is only a zodiac sign, so I wouldn’t have to see Jacob suffer and succumb to a horrible disease.
Our family does have a love of movies with ‘horror’ being our favourite genre. So many memories of us all together watching the latest scary movie together with fingers and covering our faces as we anticipate a fright going to happen in the scene and we’d end up all asleep with the movie replaying the menu screen. Jacob had inherited his dad’s love of movies which inspired his career choice of becoming a cinematographer. You never know what you feel like watching when you get a chance to stop and relax in this busy world of ours. But as I do chose one to watch I can’t help but think ‘what would Jacob like about this movie.’ I’m using his camera now, the very one he created his clever and funny clips on his YouTube channels. You can find his creativity at CobbyFilms and JDScreens. He would have had his name in lights had he had more time on earth. His name proudly scrolls down along the credits from an Australian film he was a camera assistant for called ‘Forbidden grounds.’ He went to the black tie premier party for the release of the movie for Anzac Day and was proud, honoured and a bit crushed that they had spelt his surname wrong. As I use his camera I’m seeing the world through his eyes, the lens of his camera, keeping us connected as he helps guide me to what I capture.
One of the photographs that accompanies this story about the power of films and the hidden messages within them shows Jacob and Cate Blanchette. Jacob was given a dream from a wonderful Australian charity called ‘Dream2Live4,’ an organisation that grants dreams to adults living with metastatic cancer. He worked on set for 2 days for the movie ‘Truth’ starring Cate, Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace while they filmed in Sydney. This photo of the two of them can be seen in the movie on Mary Mapes notice board in several scenes. We have the movie on DVD now and pause it when we see it and proudly say ‘found you’ everytime. People have commented that Jacob looked a little bit like Heath Ledger and Jason Segel as he was growing up. We won’t get anymore photos of Jacob just like the world won’t get any more of Heath, but as Jason continues to age and mature over the years in the public eye I may get an idea of what Jacob could have looked like in the future.
I will leave you with another quote from the movie ‘About time’ ~ No one can ever prepare you for what happens when you have a child. When you see the baby in your arms and you know that it’s your job now. No one can prepare you for the love and the fear. No one can prepare you for the love, people you love, can feel for them. As I listen to the soundtrack from ‘About time’ my favourite song plays from my iPod shuffle ~ ‘How long will I love you’ by Ben Coleman, Jon Boden and Sam Sweeney. How long will I love Jacob? Forver, till we meet again.