Welcome to Forged in Film, a blog for the epic in all of us!
I’m Sarah, and I wear movie t-shirts 75% of the time because I’m a movie nerd, although I feel like that term doesn’t seem to quite fit how I feel about movies. While I do know an awful lot about movies, I wouldn’t call myself an expert necessarily. I finally came up with the term “movie idiot”, because that pretty much encompasses how I feel about movies in general – I get VERY excited about them, and sometimes no one can understand just why. As a friend told me once, she may not be excited by a particular movie, but when she sees and hears me getting excited about it, she gets excited too, just because MY excitement is so infectious.
That’s what I want for this blog…for you to share in my excitement about movies. Sure, I can be excited about them all by myself, but it’s more fun to do it with other people. It’s like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000…you can watch it by yourself, and it’s still very enjoyable, but I enjoy it far more when me and a gang of my friends are laughing so hard we can’t breathe versus my laughing like a loon alone in my room. (BTW, if you don’t know what Mystery Science Theater is, go check it out here…I’ll wait. https://www.youtube.com/c/mst3k)
I’ve experienced a variety of reactions when I bring up movies in conversations. Sometimes it has led to comments from people who can be all, “Oh, you like THAT movie?” in a tone of either confusion or dripping with disdain. Yes, I do. Doesn’t mean you have to. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on movies, and love the same things I do…God loves wondrous variety, and it’s reflected in the world around us. If you disagree with me and my take on a movie, that’s cool. I could go on and on and ON about which movies are my favorites and why, but I try not to tell people they HAVE to see this or that movie. I just share what I love, and if that sounds intriguing to you, then yay! If not, moving on.
Other times, people will hear me talking about a movie and they will have one of two reactions, both which I adore. In one case, they’ve seen the movie, but after talking with me about it they want to go back and watch it again, because I’ve pointed out things they never even noticed. The other is when they’ve never seen the movie in question, and ask me to STOP talking about it, because they want to go and watch it because now I’ve got them all curious about it.
(Which reminds me of another important thing…spoilers will abound on this blog. I will say this a lot, because I don’t WANT you to be spoiled, because I hate it when that happens to me, so I will try to post it very clearly when there are spoilers happening, which will be a lot).
I wanted to share a little bit about myself and my love for movies, although I plan to share more as I go. I grew up in the 80s, steeping in a fine brew of Lucas, Spielberg, Hughes, and Donner, and I believe many of their creative efforts have helped make me into the person I am today.
My first movie memory of any kind is seeing Star Wars at the drive-in. It was a double feature with Oh Heavenly Dog, so I know it was 1980 and must have been a re-release to promote The
Empire Strikes Back. I was five years old and my family had an orange Volvo wagon, and we had the back seat down and my brother and I were in our footsie pajamas sprawled out with blankets and pillows as we traveled to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars and its influence were just a part of my life growing up, I literally can’t remember a time before Star Wars. Princess Leia was my first hero, and I wanted to be her so badly…a fighter, strong, brave, beautiful, desired, a leader. When Carrie Fisher died I was sad for a week. I just couldn’t believe the woman I had looked up to my entire childhood was gone. My love for Star Wars has manifested itself in many ways over the years: merchandise collecting, cosplay, midnight movie premieres, trivia tournaments, and seeing John Williams conduct his own compositions at Symphony Hall. Star Wars was a movie foundation in my life.
The most powerful movie experience I’ve ever had was seeing Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. Now, I had read The Hobbit many times growing up and loved it. I had also tried many times to read the Lord of the Rings, but could never make it past Bilbo’s birthday party, because, let’s face it. Lord of the Rings is a big (and I don’t just mean lots of pages) book, and you have to WANT to read it. I went to see the movie, and…wow. I’ve never had a movie throw me back against the theater seat and pin me there for 3 and half hours. I was immediately immersed in the movie, and everything else around me faded away, my friends, the other movie goers, my popcorn, the theater itself. I was IN the movie. The Nazgul’s screech tore through me as if it chased me itself. I felt the blade pierce Frodo’s shoulder on Weathertop like it was my own. I felt the heat of the fiery blast of breath from the Balrog on my own face. I felt the weight of the One Ring around my own neck. And, most of all, I STRONGLY identified with the character of Sam, so much so that a week later when I received the book trilogy for Christmas, I read it in four days. FOUR. I loved the movie so much I saw it about 24 times IN THE THEATER. (Remember, this was in the days before online streaming services, and there was about a six month wait before movies were released on DVD.) I had many other amazing adventures involving Lord of the Rings, but those are other blog posts that will be told another time. Suffice it to say, God has and continues to use those movies to speak to my heart messages of truth, love, and inspiration, and every day I aspire to be just a little more like Sam.
I don’t have a “top ten” list of favorite movies, because well, I like more than ten and it’s too difficult to narrow down. Also, my list shifts around a lot depending on the mood I’m in, but the top three are pretty consistently Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Terminator. Others on the list are: Back to the Future, The Goodbye Girl, Superman: The Movie, Life is Beautiful, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Braveheart, Jaws, Fletch, Clue, and The Goonies. There’s a bunch more that rotate in and out, and that’s not even counting the many times someone will bring up a movie and I’ll go, “Oh, I LOVE that movie!” And then there are the movies I love that no one’s ever heard of except me, like Westender, or Mio in the Land of Faraway, or Something Wicked This Way Comes.
So while this blog is mainly going to be me getting excited about movies, some of the things you can expect to see are stories about my adventures with movies (such as attending Oscar parties out in Hollywood with the cast of Lord of the Rings), me sharing movie trivia I think is cool, movie memories, and my reactions to movies I’ve seen. I don’t want to call them movie
reviews, because when I think of movie reviews, I think of people telling you all the reasons why you should or shouldn’t go see a movie. While I certainly think those kinds of things can be useful, that’s not what I’m trying to accomplish here. I’m simply going to share how I feel about a movie, whether I liked it, why or why not, and what, if anything, God showed me or spoke to me through the movie.
Yes, I believe God speaks through movies. I mean, He spoke through the mouth of a donkey, so why not? He’s an incredibly creative God who is kind enough to meet us where we’re at, and some people who would never set foot in a church would certainly sit happily in front of a movie or TV screen for a couple of hours. I’m also fairly sure that many filmmakers when they made their movies had no intention or idea that God would use them as such. For example, one of my favorite movies of all time is The Terminator. God revealed SO much to me about love, life, fighting for what we believe in, character, transformation…I could go on and on (and will in another post), but I’m almost positive James Cameron wasn’t crafting that story to bring people closer to God. And yet God used it! At least, he did for me. And I believe He can do it for you, too. Not necessarily with The Terminator, but perhaps with another movie. I actually have movie nights at my church once a month where we watch movies and then afterwards have a jam session where we talk about what God showed us in the movie. Next time you watch a movie, I encourage you to take a second before and ask God to open your eyes to His heart and your ears to his truth, and that He would speak to you in a way that you would understand. You might be surprised by what you hear. I pray that He will do this for you.
That’s about all for now, but I’ll be back soon with a story about that time I was the first woman on a podcast called “Men at the Movies”, where I shared my love for a movie called The Terminator, which features a heroine also called Sarah.
Until then, may the blessings of men, elves, and all free folk go with you.