Is It A Film Or A Movie?

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that we seldom use the word film to describe a movie anymore? I don’t know what makes me think of things like that, but occasionally something just crosses my mind and gets me to wonderin’ and ponderin’

Movies have replaced films I guess, although argueably, they are one and the same. I suspect in “hottie-tottie”  errr…some circles, the use of the word film is still practiced, but not so much at the local sports bar and grill. It’s places like that where using the word “film” could potentially get you beat up in the parking lot.

On the other hand, let’s say, as a oh I dunno, world famous blogger,  you are at a wine and cheese party, perhaps an art opening. You’re dressed in your finest art-gallery opening-clothes, handily balancing a glass of chilled chablis and a nice piece of old cheese, making small talk with an older lady in a shimmering dress, bedazzelling you with her pearls and diamonds….when she says something like,

 “I was at the opening of The Green Mile in New York when I first met the artiste, I knew he was going far.”

You wash down your piece of dry cheese with the chablis, turn and smile at her with all the charm you can muster, look into her wealthy green eyes and reply,

“Ahh yes, The Green Mile, what a wonderful film.”

Upon hearing the word, “film” she meets your smile, and replies,

“Oh yes, it was written by Stephen King you know.”

To which you answer, “Yes, I have met Stephen, a quirky chap, but a exceptionally talented writer, an artist in his own right.” as you wave your glass of chablis around the room toward the new paintings on the walls while adding, “Many of his books have become films you know, such a talented chap.” (chap is also a good word to throw into conversations of this nature)

Your new socialite friend will smile, perhaps offer her hand, introduce herself, and, when you reciprocate, she will say,

 “I am charmed to make your aquaintance.”

Now…wasn’t that easy? Imagine the above, only replace the word “film” with “movie” such as, “Ahh yes, The Green Mile, a great movie, I saw it twice!!” Just doesn’t have the same effect does it? Let’s face it, “movie” speaks of big geezley bags of popcorn, dripping with pumped on melted artery clogging butter, washed down with a big slurp on the straw poking out of your jumbo size Coke……

Film, on the other hand, conjures visions of opening night in Paris, or London, or even better, Cannes….they don’t call it the Cannes Movie Festival do they?? Nope, it’s the Cannes Film Festival..where you wear full formal attire, not jeans and a t-shirt, and you enjoy, delightful intoxicating dinners in the finest restaurants, instead of a burger and fries and you arrive at the theaaaateeeaa in a limo as opposed to going to a movie at the 10 theater cineplex at the mall in your orange1998 Ford F150 with the white camper shell on the back missing the tailgate door….

According to Wilkipedia, “film” is widely used in Europe, while in the United States, films are usually referred to as “movies”

Oh and by the way, the lovely socialite who is now so intranced with you she is considering donating to your favorite charity, never has to know that the closest you have come to meeting Stephen King was you drove by his house in Bangor, Maine while on a Bingo Bus trip.

Every once and awhile I think of these things……

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2 thoughts on “Is It A Film Or A Movie?”

  1. Apart from the film being the material the movie is printed on, I think the term came into dis-use when it stopped being a special event. A film was something you went to the theater to see and there was no such thing as watching it on your computer or even renting it on DVD.

    Now with multiplex theatres where you can see a new movie every day of the week, or buy/rent the DVD a week after the movie was in the theatre, or download it even before it gets to the theatre…well it’s just movies these days.

  2. How true James, they are no longer the ‘events’ that they once were, given the availability.

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