Nature in films
I think a lot of people are inspired by the landscapes they see in films. ‘Lord of the Rings’ comes immediately to mind – New Zealand has a lot to thank those films for I think. A little hope I have about the popularity of such films is that people who don’t necessarily think about nature much or consider its importance, perhaps come away with a sense of awe and thus respect for that fundamental aspect of our lives. In a world where really you can shut yourself away from nature by living in a city (and really the only contact you have with nature, if you want it that way, is the weather – and you can probably escape from that too) having contact with nature just through cinematography could have a valuable impact on the societal mindset.
On the flip side, because it is seen on screen it could somehow be associated with ‘fiction’, and therefore is nothing to worry about.
Upon watching the new Narnia film ‘Prince Caspian’, I was struck by the profound message it contained. (If you haven’t watched it and intend to, you should probably stop reading now, although there aren’t really any major spoilers) Upon return to Narnia (1300 years later in Narnia time) the Pevensie family discover a very different world to the one they left. The Telmarines have brought many Narnian creatures to the verge of extinction, the trees no longer dance (not that they did in the first film, but apparently they did), and Aslan is gone. It is the children’s job to help fight the Telmarines and restore Narnia to its former glory. However, ultimately it is not they that wins the battle: it is the lion Aslan, and the forces of nature who fight back and help win the fight. I loved this aspect of the film – it brought another level to an otherwise entertaining yet typical fantasy family film. I believe C S Lewis projected similar messages throughout the books, as well as religious ones, but I read them when I was like 8 and really can’t remember!
The scenery in the film is also amazing, and filmed in various places throughout the world. This made me think however, about the inspiration scenery in films gives. I think an essential aspect of this inspiration is derived from the accompanying music. This can be compared with photography: it will invariably have had some sort of processing or photoshopping done to it to enhance the awe-inspiring effect. With this in mind, can the real thing ever live up to what you see in films, where there is no grand quest, you can feel the hardship rather than just see the romance of it on screen, the land is not always in a state of sunset, and there is no inspiring background music to aid your awe?