My Five Best Movie Portals
User Submitted by Willie Davis,
…people want to explore, go places where they can adventure. It is the job of the artist, copywriter, or movie director to take them there.
One of the most utilized and little recognized mechanisms to move a person from one conscious state of mind to another is a “portal.” A portal is a doorway, an entrance, an opening in which you are one side looking through to another. Your subconscious mind says, “Let’s go there.”
Movie directors have been using portals since movies were in diapers. Early movie directors used portals in their movies subconsciously (raw talent) while later directors use them consciously (a learned skill).
Here are my top five movie portals and the reasons why…
Director: Victor Fleming
Release: August, 1939
Run Time: 2 hrs
Reason: It was through this movie I was introduced to movie portals. Early in the movie Dorothy and Toto skip “behind” the fence and hang on Aunt Emma’s back porch for a few seconds – two early examples of portals. The biggy though is a knocked-out Dorothy on her way to the Land of OZ. Lying on her bed, and on the other side of her portal bedroom window, Dorothy (and the movie viewer) gets a preview of what’s to come.
Director: Andy Wachowski
Release: March, 1999
Run Time: 2 hrs 16 min
Reason: How do you tell someone they are the prophesized one who will destroy an artificial intelligence system and liberate all humans? You use an eyeglass portal that bounces from soul to soul to soul to soul. This was a powerful scene that was emotionally set because of the portal.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release: December, 1985
Run Time: 2 hrs 36 min
Reason: For a few personal reasons this movie touched my heart. I walked out of the theater remembering one scene because it used a portal to help transition Albert’s repentance. Forget the fact that Spielberg used the mailbox throughout the movie to mark time, the unforgettable portal scene for me was Albert reaching into the mailbox to finally discover the immigration letter about Celie. Identifying for the audience this letter through Albert’s spectacles just bowled me over in the theatre – still does! Spielberg and that movie got hosed at the Academy Awards.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release: July, 1998
Run Time: 2 hrs 48 min
Reason: The first 3 minutes and 45 seconds of the below video is the best use of portals I have ever witnessed as a movie goer. If you want to define how powerful portals can be you need only to show Private Ryan’s mother being notified of her three son’s deaths. Mr. Spielberg has learned his trade well in making the best World War II movie ever made.
Director: John Ford
Release: March, 1956
Run Time: 2 hrs 5 min
Reason: This is pure John Wayne. John has freed 16 year old Debbie from her Indian captives and is returning her home. Sidekick Martin gets his girl and the world is safe – for a moment. This portal (well, double portal) doesn’t carry the emotional water of Private Ryan, but, hey, it’s John Wayne and that walk somehow epitomizes “The American Way.”