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Film Appreciation... Willing Suspension of Disbelief



Willing suspension of disbelief is to a great film like icing is to cake, you can have a movie without it, but it just won't taste as good. Willing suspension of disbelief is, in its simplest form, the ability to make an audience forget that it is only a movie. When a film is working well people become so engaged in it that they forget everything around them and are effectively caught up in the action. How do you know when this is happening? Well one sure sign is when people start talking back to the screen. If you have ever been in a horror film where people start shouting at the performers on screen - telling them not to go down into that darkened basement for example - then you know what I mean. Conversely, if you find yourself checking your watch repeatedly, wondering how it was you were convinced to shuck out the bucks to watch this turkey, or simply contemplating any of a zillion other examples of life's little mysteries, you know the film has not pulled off willing suspension of disbelief . Ultimately if a film does not manage to attain willing suspension of disbelief it does not work.


1999 Debbie Twyman. All rights reserved. TERMS OF USE