Old home videos command a unique power over me. They’re one of the few times I feel nostalgia’s benefits the strongest, especially the unmistakable feeling that life was simpler when I was younger. Halfway through a night of reminiscing with my family I wondered out loud, “Do old videos ever fail to warm our hearts and give our lives a sense of meaning? Is it just an illusion that only some memories have the potential to be nostalgic and beneficial?”
I found part of the answer in a scene fromWaking Life where filmmaker Caveh Zahedi and poet David Jewell discuss the nature of film. Zahedi explains that film has the exquisite ability to reproduce reality better than photos or stories. As with music, film is alive only in the present moment and it brings us into the moment when it resonates with us.
He goes a step further and notes that film frames the present moment and helps us experience it as holy thing. What was the last film that helped you feel that?
The most recent film that brought me into the moment came later that night when I watched myself come into this world. The experience dumbfounded me. "I'm sure a video of my death would be equally profound," I thought to myself. I think Steve Jobs would agree: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow," he said affectionately to his family as he passed two years ago.