Term of the Day: Catharsis

Posted by Shay on February 5th, 2010 (1 comments)

courtesy of FilmSite.com

What it means
During a film’s climax, the audience may experience a purging or cleansing of emotional tension, providing relief or therapeutic restoration.

My Explanation
highlight spoiler to view
It’s when the main character, the one the storyteller wants us to relate to, gets the good news or when they finally have the epiphany that draws us in emotionally. We have been on this journey with them over the last 120 minutes and we too need closure. Depending on the genre, we may laugh a belly laugh or cry a river, but we leave the theater cleansed.

My cathartic movie is Imitation of Life with Lana Turner and Juanita Moore. It begins at the end when Mahalia Jackson sings and Sarah Jane runs into the procession and declares that she has killed her mother. I am all tears. If ever I need a good strong cry that will leave my eyes puffy, heart heavy, and my soul cleansed, this is the movie.

1 comment

  1. Tom Drapeau says:

    Funny you should bring up the name Turner… as What’s Love Got to Do with It has a *great* cathartic moment as well.

Add a Comment