You are no longer on Earth. You are floating in an alternate reality made real by sweeping cinematic riffs and otherworldly 4K graphics. Else, you are visualizing a world on your own following carefully crafted text on a page as an escape located conveniently within your own brain.
Literature and Cinema are distinctive arts in their own rights. Both mediums possess the power to transport us from the experiences of everyday life, into fantastical worlds built purely through human thought and emotion. Cinema engages our sight and hearing as filmic refrains entangle our emotions and visual sensations keep our eyes attached to a flashing screen. Literature allows us to interpret the words of another as we digest each sentence laid before our eyes; we create the sets, smells, visuals, sounds, and emotions within our own minds.
As we watch a film or read a book, we relate to the characters. We learn to question ourselves, our actions, and humanity’s actions. We are affected by the content we see and we stop to think, and further ponder, and eventually deeply reflect upon this content.
Creative mediums have always played a major role in the evolution of the human species, sparking innovative thought and advancement. After all, da Vinci was an esteemed writer and painter just as well as he was a scientist and engineer. His many mediums bled into each other, and fed each other, allowing for the level of breakthrough as he was able to achieve.
Indeed, human beings have fostered a unique relationship with creativity. From the earliest days of homo sapiens, our species has been fond of storytelling. The Epic of Gilgamesh was one of the earliest examples of written human literature and religious beliefs. The work follows Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, as he combats villains and embarks on perilous journeys, allowing readers to take away moral lessons from his actions. Even at a time when there was no science to back up claims we now conceive of as obvious, our ancestors willed to understand the world around them, and did so creatively.
Even today, the romanticized viewpoint of wood nymphs flitting through trees and naiads bathing in streams, still draws a certain lure that we now capture in film and books. Fantasy novels contain humanity’s untold desires as we live vicariously through characters like Harry Potter and Bilbo Baggins. Science Fiction films challenge us to imagine what might be, as we hope to be able to have our own personal digital assistant like Jarvis in the coming decades. And beyond the content of these works, there’s a certain charm to the symmetry of a 20th century Wes Anderson film, just as there’s an unmistakable thrill when the first note of a Hans Zimmer score drops in Christopher Nolan’s works. The whole experiences of literature and cinema cause us to feel a spectrum of emotions and spark our minds to shoot in a plethora of directions as we attempt to understand and analyze the art we have consumed.
Each one of us has certain works in both literature and film that speak to us, that connect with us, that bring us peace, but also allow us to question the world around us. Human beings are innately curious and creative, and it’s these qualities that allow us to produce such intriguing art, that cause our peers to admire the creativity and then question the content, spurring further thought and innovation.