Hansen: Filming ourselves in Technicolor

February 13, 2013|By David Hansen
  • A movie still from the 1946 film, "he Best Years of Our Lives," which is being presented by the Laguna Beach Film Society. Pictured are actors Dana Andrews and Virginia Mayo.
A movie still from the 1946 film, "he Best Years of…

From the beginning, movies were always mesmerizing but now they have become permanently imprinted onto our personalities and culture.

Movies saturate our lives with golden hues and perfect prose. They have turned us into pixilated extras who privately measure — at least in part — our success or failure by the standards of film and the heroes we keep.

The reason we identify so closely with the characters is that everything has become so real, so intimate and raw. There is no more veneer, no flickering celluloid, no thin red line between truth and fiction.

In this year's Oscar lineup for best picture, for example, the diverse plot summaries include love, determination, environmentalism, justice, family, survival, history, illness and war.

So here's a pop movie quiz: Where else can you watch these same issues come to life?

The Laguna Beach Film Society. Every month, the group screens interesting films that touch on a variety of topics close to home.


"We want to do some classic films, documentaries and some indie films as well," chairman George Weiss said. "So all of those make it an eclectic mix that reaches our membership's desire to see films that are new and interesting, have a story and are also relevant to the larger issues of the community."

With the alignment to the Laguna Art Museum, the group showcases films that have a California angle.

"We're also wanting to inform the public on issues that are relevant to us," Weiss said. "We want to raise issues. We're doing an environmental series this year with three documentaries on the environment and the ocean."

There also will be a series of short films done by students on Feb. 21 from schools including Laguna College of Art + Design, Saddleback College, and Chapman University, among others. Details can be found at

This diversity in film is a byproduct of the current state of movie making, which is a global phenomenon that relies on foreign success.

"There is an explosion of film production and I think a large part of that is due over the last 20 years to the international market," Weiss said. "When we opened Rob Hedden's film ['You May Not Kiss the Bride' in October] he remarked that, 'Gee, it opened in 10 theaters in the L.A.-Burbank area, but it opened in 200 theaters in Russia.'"

This summer when people expect lighter fare, the film group will turn to proven, thoughtful movies.

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