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How Far Does Movie Inspiration Reach?

It’s difficult to imagine a cultural force as powerful as a good movie. Movies are an almost universally consumed type of media. Because of this they are able to inspire major cultural changes–from art to fashion, from language to games. Movies enable a type of cultural cross-pollination unseen in other forms of media, allowing trends to move from the movies themselves into the universal, pop culture zeitgeist. And, like all trends, sometimes it’s good… sometimes it’s bad.


Movies and Fashion


Source: Capital Couture


Surprisingly fashionable for a semi-apocalyptic future, The Hunger Games inspired a wave of fashion trends–most notably in makeup. In fact, several makeup lines released themed eye shadows, eyeliners and nail polishes specifically designed to replicate the styles seen in the game… without, perhaps, realizing that this type of decadence was exactly what the movie was speaking out against.


But, of course, this isn’t the first time a movie has had a tremendous impact on fashion. Once something hits an audience in just the right way, it’s almost impossible to slow the trend down. And this can be true even if the people displaying that fashion are hardly role models.


Movies and Lifestyle

When “Eat, Pray, Love” came out, it was a revelation to many viewers–and it inspired a minor cultural movement that moved through a mostly female, upper-middle-class demographic. Many women were inspired by this movie to travel and to enjoy life, even if they, perhaps, couldn’t afford to do it on such a extravagant level.


But, of course, they eventually had to return to their day jobs, perhaps a little weathered and wiser. Movies often inspire large lifestyle changes, especially if they have a resounding emotional impact–but whether these lifestyle changes are lasting depends completely on the audience.


Movies and Games

Even Legos gets inspired by movies!


From online slots games to adventure games, there’s hardly a movie franchise that hasn’t been converted in some form to the gaming industry. Quite a few big blockbusters have been converted to casino and video games, from Ghostbusters to Indiana Jones, as a way to further explore a fun and exciting world and franchise.


Video games let people explore the world of a movie more in-depth than they could otherwise–and allow them to see a movie from a different perspective. And some movies simply have such unique, entertaining settings that they can add value to any type of game.


Movies and Language

Some movies even influence the way we speak! Do you know what a “droid” is? Of course you do… but before Star Wars came out, you wouldn’t have; it’s not an actual word. You’d also be hard-pressed to find someone today who doesn’t know what a muggle is, even though it’s not a real thing.


And you might be interested to know that this goes back to a very grand tradition… namely, stage plays. Shakespeare himself is known to have created quite a few words throughout his tenure as a playwright, such as gloomy, lonely and laughable.


Movies and Employment

jurassic park
Jurassic Park had us all interested in paleontology


Perhaps we should be disappointed in this one; it’s impossible to say just how many children decided to get a degree in archaeology because of Indiana Jones, but they most definitely exist… and they probably haven’t raided any tombs lately. Movies naturally create role models, and many of them also inspire people to take up the occupations of their role models.


Unfortunately, Hollywood isn’t always known for its realism, and most of the occupations that seem really cool on the big screen aren’t really all that exciting. One can imagine that no one would watch Indiana Jones painstakingly brushing away at an inch-by-inch square of dust.


Of course, movies don’t get created in a vacuum. One of the reasons that movies are so highly influencing is because they are, by far, a product of their time. The Hunger Games was able to create a high-fashion look by drawing upon contemporary high-fashion. Taxi Driver became a cultural center piece, oft-imitated, because it tapped into a sense of unease and dread that had already pervaded the generation. Nevertheless, it’s very easy to see that the reach of a movie’s inspiration can be vast.



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