Recently, I heard the gripping tale of the Angulo family. The six  Angulo brothers had spent a good portion of their lives pent up indoors unable to communicate with the outside world. Their saving grace? Watching movies. Utterly enamored by the movies they had seen (over 2000 of them), they turned to filmmaking in order to gain knowledge, offering them a gateway "into another world" where they and not their father held the keys. Now the subject of new documentary, The Wolfpack, the brothers and their mother have been liberated from their prison home and are each navigating modern society and leaving a mark on this world  on me. Not simply because they were trapped in their tiny New York apartment until most of them were well in their teens, but because they are a living testament to all of the inspiration that a single motion picture can provide.

The cinema has the power to create emotions, and an unwavering ability to bring people together in the most wondrous ways. All it takes is one thing. One short but expertly delivered line can stick in your mind forever. One scene can open doors that you never knew existed. One song, can implant a dream in your heart that will change your life forever.

I can assure you that there is no greater pleasure in my heart than the thought of watching a new movie. From a young age I've been exposed to the work of the greats, and the many masterpieces within different genres and countries of the world. Watching movies quickly became a part of my diet. For breakfast, an old black and white Elvis musical (preferably Viva Las Vegas). For lunch (and before soccer practice), an action-thriller like The Italian Job. And if I was lucky, I could sneak in a Disney classic for dessert (usually The Lion King). The trip to the theatre not only offered me a chance to indulge in unhealthy amounts of popcorn and play in the arcade (bumper cars and mini bowling were the best), it was an opportunity to visit another place. To explore worlds unknown to my young self, gain precious insight into the adult world (that now that I'm older prove to be mostly false -- *cough cough cough* High School Musical ), and the ability to start the all important task of making my own future. The experience is similar to that of little orphan Annie's (the 1982 version, not the newest one) except instead of falling asleep, I'm enlightened and awakened.



As a result, from the moment I see the glossy poster on the side of a bus, it's love at first sight and I am instantly reeled in (pun intended). Like any other fanatic, my heart begins to race and a high-pitched squeal rises in my throat as I wave my arms around like a real life inflatable wacky waving inflatable tube person. Before the film's characters get a chance to capture my attention, the title of the feature itself has managed to tug on my heartstrings. I applaud its handiwork, its unfailing ability to make me feel giddy with joy, but fraught with anticipation from the moment I hear the release date.

Through films I have learned patience, a skill earned after many bouts of waiting for a movie to premiere. A talent I have honed as I've distracted myself with reruns of other released flicks. A skill I've mastered after watching trailers over and over again in hopes of catching a detail I might have missed before. Unsatisfied, I watch character interviews to bide the time until the big day.

Flash forward a few months. Exams have been written, the snow has melted away, and the era of summertime blockbusters begins. Suddenly, there is no time between me and my chosen motion picture. With ticket in hand I rush with wide eyes and smiles into the cinema. A place where art in all of its forms comes to life. A place where emotions and imaginations are set free with every special effect, orchestrated suspenseful moment and twist and turn.

Swept by the flow of the crowd, I walk float with building anticipation towards the appropriate viewing room. With every step taken and with every sound of the undercooked (overpriced) popcorn, stomping and popping to the beat of the move goers hearts, I draw closer and closer to my goal. The lights go out, a hush falls over the crowd and I settle into a place where reality is left behind and a new world is mine for the taking. Handing the reigns over to the creator of the film, I allow myself to be taken on a journey. Entrusting my time and hard earned dollars is a task for the most devoted of souls. Faithfully, I surrender to the magic of the story playing out before me, all the while praying that bits and pieces of it will stay with me long after the theatre lights have turned on again.

A few hours later I emerge from the premises filled with a renewed sense of hope, restored faith in humanity, a new friend, and heartbroken at the thought of never being able to experience the film with fresh set of eyes again. Torn between the value of my sanity and the amount of cash in my wallet, I contemplate watching it once more (in 3D). Happily, I  try and fail to recount the adventure I've had the pleasure to partake in and the people I've met. Resigned, I return home, with hope that this spell it has cast will last me until the following summer. Until then the cycle continues, and I wait patiently for news of its return to the big screen.

P.S. For more on The Wolfpack click here