People often ask me how I rate movies. To be honest, it’s one of the less formulaic and more arbitrary things that I do. But I think a big determinant of my experience with a film is the strength of its cathartic effect.
The concept of catharsis derives from Aristotle’s Poetics and it refers to emotional purification or purgation that takes place as a result of a story. This is a phenomenon that is really hard to explain but observable just about any time you watch an epic movie. It leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Catharsis and what brings is about is definitely going to be a subject of inquiry for me in the coming years because at this point, my understanding of the concept is somewhat incomplete.