In this blog I will address why movies and films should screen in theaters and why it's better to watch them there. I will talk about the psychological and physical aspect of cinema.
The second level is the scopophilia aspect of the film medium; pleasure derived chiefly from watching others. The film is being shown, but is there to be seen as well. Since films show lives of other human beings in various situations, the audience sees the characters in the films as objects and their gaze becomes one of a spectator. The voyeur consciously establishes a division between the object looked at and his eye and therefore establishes a boundary between the object and his body. The darkness of the theater establishes this relationship. Thus the dark theater is the only venue where these scopophilia tendencies can be met and the film experience can be full.
The cinema satisfies a primordial wish for pleasurable looking, but it also goes further, developing the narcissistic aspect of scopophilia. The conventions of mainstream film focus attention on the human form. Scale, space, and stories are all anthropomorphic. Here, curiosity and the wish to look intermingle with a fascination for likeness and recognition of: the human face, the human body, and the relationship between the human form and its surroundings. In other words, the visible presence of the person in the world.
Hence it is the birth of the long love affair/despair between image and self-image which has found such intensity of expression in film and such joyous recognition in the cinema audience. Quite apart from the extraneous similarities between screen and mirror (the framing of the human form in its surroundings, for instance), the cinema has structures of fascination strong enough to allow temporary loss of ego while simultaneously reinforcing the ego. The sense of forgetting the world as the ego has subsequently come to perceive it (I forget who I am and where I am) is nostalgically reminiscent of that pre-subjective moment of image recognition. At the same time the cinema has distinguished itself in the production of ego ideals as expressed in the star system. The stars are centered both as screen presence and screen story as they act out a complex process of likeness and difference (the glamorous impersonates the ordinary).
Thus there are two scopophilia effects: The first, arises from pleasure in using another person as an object of sexual stimulation through sight. The second, developed through narcissism and the constitution of the ego, comes from identification with the image seen.
But the mass of mainstream film, and the conventions within which it has consciously evolved, portray a hermetically sealed world which unwinds magically. It's indifferent to the presence of the audience, producing for them a sense of separation and feeding their voyeuristic fantasy. Moreover, the extreme contrast between the darkness in the auditorium (which also isolates the spectators from one another) and the brilliance of the shifting patterns of light and shade on the screen, helps to promote the illusion of voyeuristic separation.
The conditions of screening and narrative conventions give the spectator an illusion of looking into a private world. Among other things, the position of the spectators in the cinema creates a repression of their exhibitionism and one projects this repressed desire on to the performer. What I'm referring to is the position of "looking up" at the actors. The big screen makes the characters and their stories "bigger than life" and thus we feel the full power of the story; the character's emotions, dilemmas, and struggles. The big screen has another benefit - it magnifies details and nuances of the mise-en-scene that are vital to understanding the story and helps to distinguish the degree of craftsmanship of the filmmaker. Furthermore the sound system in the theaters are light years better than any surround sound home system. Thus in the dark theater, "looking up" to the entertaining stars, surrounded by strangers which share the same taste and are engulfed in the overpowering sound, we share a group voyeuristic experience.
The opposite - watching movies or films on your phone - is a plain waste of time. Watching them on your computer or TV is somewhat better, but you still cannot achieve the full experience.
Imagine being surrounded by your dog or cat, with the blu light and time counter shining from your blu-ray player, with family photos in plain site, and exterior traffic noise along with the hum of your refrigerator, then pausing the movie to get up in the middle to use the bathroom, get a snack, or answer the phone. This results in an interrupted intimacy so imperative to receiving the full artistic experience the filmmaker intended for you.The only way you can have a somewhat full experience is by having a designated media room with a huge screen (I mean one that is at least 8 feet tall). You need a sound system with at least 8 speakers and a subwoofer. Keep the appliances out, such as a refrigerator, microwave or bar, and eliminate all windows.
Why do we have movie theaters? - think of them as military uniforms. Uniforms have 2 functions. They unite the ones which are wearing them, making them all one, and they are distinct and separate from everybody else in the world.
Why do we have movie theaters? - if you want to see a masterpiece painting you're going to the museum with other enthusiasts around you all enjoying a framed perfection. Otherwise you can buy a $4.99 art magazine, cut out the photographic representation of that same painting, attach it to the wall, and try to get the same feeling as if you are in the museum.
You're going to get as much out of a piece of paper as you're going to get from watching a movie on your phone/tablet/computer or tv screen.