Firstly, stories activate parts of the brain that allow a receiver to turn parts of the story in to their own ideas and experiences, this is called neural coupling. It doesn't mean that you'll have delusions and believe that some sci-fi story actually happened to you, but it does expand your neural activity to form empathy pathways or understandings around the storytelling material that didn't exist before, which can make people more emotionally evolved and intelligent. Some listeners or viewers will even be able to mirror emotions and experiences and this can also create new pathways in brain activity, which is of course highly stimulating.
Secondly, the brain releases dopamine into your system when you experience an emotionally charged event, even if you just witness it. The effect of viewing material that elicits an emotional response within you can be just as powerful as a real life experience and that dopamine release is highly addictive, which is why your brain will want to repeat the experience, hence the desire to find original and varied viewing experiences.
And lastly, when you are processing new ideas or facts, two main areas of your brain are activated, the Broca's and the Wernicke's areas. The Broca's area links to your speech, language and understanding of movement. The Wernicke's region of the brain is where your comprehension and understanding of language usage comes from. Those two parts of your brain light up like a Christmas tree when you see or hear something new, forming new pathways, expanding your vocabulary and strengthening your understanding of the world.
Pretty clear to see why we all long to find the next new thing isn't it? Our brains and bodies are actually addicted to it. We all long for more stimulation, and for me that comes in the form of something fresh and original. It can be a TV program, a podcast or a book, but my ultimate passion and deepest longing will always be for a movie that ignites my senses.
And in my search for cinematic gold, I have a few handy tricks up my sleeve which may also help you to locate more quality and compatible viewing materials easily in the future.
- Before you watch anything, check the reviews IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Anything that gets less than 70% or 7 out of 10 is probably going to be a waste of your precious time and more than likely unoriginal, so don't bother.
- Find an online reviewer that you agree with 70% of the time. It could be a YouTuber or a blogger - Spicywatch is an excellent reviewer (LOL), but find someone that you know has similar and consistent taste with you. For me that person is Chris Stuckmann on YouTube.
- Download the taste app, it will give you movie and TV recommendations based on the things that you have previously loved and it will also tell you where you can stream them, this app is a godsend for me. (Try the Goodreads app if you are looking for new reading material - it works in the same way).
- Don't get sucked in by the feature films that appear when you go on to your streaming services. Just because a streaming service has been promoting something heavily that doesn't necessarily make it good or high quality, try not to be taken in by the flashy shorts and previews, learn to be discerning.
- Read reputable movie and TV magazines like Empire, Total Film or Film Comment to stay ahead of what is coming out. This will help you to keep your eye out for things that you are interested in and that are worthy of your time.
- Watch movie previews on IMDb and scan lists like 'best movies of 2019' to make sure that you haven't missed anything amazing.
- Keep a list of movies that you want to see somewhere so that you can refer back to it when you need something good to watch.
- Record recommendations straight onto your phone as soon as you get them so that you don't forget the name of something that someone told you was excellent.
- Don't be afraid to watch old or classic material. Some of the best things you'll ever watch or read will not be found on the new release list.
- Share your amazing viewings with others, because as I said, we all hunger for quality storytelling.
Release Date: 1941
Running Time: 119 mins
Cited by more directors than you can poke a stick at as one of their 'all time favourite' movies, Citizen Kane has been inspiring filmmakers and intriguing audiences for decades with it's mysterious plot line and noir film styling. Directed and written by, as well as starring in the lead role, Orson Welles who absolutely shines before and behind the camera in this masterpiece of classic cinema.
Publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane's extraordinary, unusual and turbulent life becomes a source of great fascination after he passes away. A journalist is sent to investigate Kane's perplexing final utterance as he lay on his deathbed through a series of interviews and speculations from the people that were closest to him in life.
This film is not only visually well ahead of it's time, it also sparks great debate and discussion, which is probably why so many schools still choose to study it in media and art. It's deeply esoteric and totally ambitious, but it delivers in all respects and will always be a movie that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.
FINAL SAY: Rosebud.
4.5 Chilli Peppers