Introduction

Refocus is an attempt to create a positive space when it comes to discussing films. So much online discussion around film can be very negative and argumentative. There can be so much energy expended in tearing something down, something that a whole lot of people devoted years of their lives and millions of dollars to making. For you. No-one sets out to make a bad movie, and I genuinely believe everyone who gets into this business wants to leave audiences thrilled and delighted. We should be thankful for this, and celebrate more what a gift it is to be given such incredible stories by such talented individuals.

The goal here is to never say a bad thing about any film, but to only talk about the stuff we love. To break down and analyse story: the way character, plot and theme work together, along with cinematic techniques, in a way that will hopefully help more people love more films. The goal is to guide people to a place where they can see things they never saw before and be delighted again by this magical experience that it’s so easy to lose the wonder of.

I genuinely believe filmmaking is one of the greatest things human beings have ever invented. The way it combines all of our art forms into one, and the way it can bring out the best in both the people who make them, and the audiences who watch them. Something that starts with hope and belief and passion, that then turns into hundreds of people who are incredibly skilled in their individual crafts, working in collaboration with each other. All together expending time and energy and love in the hope of giving something beautiful and amazing to the world. It’s incredible, it’s beautiful, and it displays so much of man-kind’s ability to create, to love and dream, and work together.

So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about movies and stories, and all these things that delight us and captivate us. Let’s talk about why we love them and how they work. Let’s find out what these stories have to say to us and how they can make our lives richer when we engage with them as more than just distraction. Let’s learn to listen to the great filmmakers and storytellers and see what their work has to teach us. And then let’s listen to and understand each other. See our differences, how we respond to and understand things differently. How all our different cultures and contexts can help us grow deeper in empathy and a greater understanding of our world and how to live better lives.

Because for me that’s ultimately what film is about. Film is about us learning to see life and each other clearly. About learning how beautiful, terrifying, heartbreaking and amazing this life can be. That instead of being a distraction from life, it calls us deeper into life and relationship with each other. Film is not the end, it is the means to an end. And that end, that goal, is a life lived fully and deeply, shared with each other.

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