Moneyball and the power of cinema
Those who know me well know I love talking about three things: Religion, Movies, and The Muppets.
Movies are a passion of mine. My Masters is in Film Theory. Which means I can’t make a film. But I can tell you why yours sucks.
Movies give us the power to live vicariously through other people and characters. Movies are metaphors and reminders of what we are going through and have been through. And a good movie can be a place of restoration when life beats us up.
One such film for me recently is Moneyball. The 2011 best picture nominee staring a brilliant Brad Pitt and a subtle Jonah Hill as Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane and a combo of operations mangers. Roger Ebert wrote in his review a fantastic analysis of their acting styles. Take a look at this inspirational trailer:
The film is about being undervalued and being unappreciated for revolutionary thinking in a tight spot. After the A’s made it to the World Series their best players fled to greener checks and Pitt and Hill’s characters use data analysis to put together a team that lost their first 11 games, won a record breaking 20 consecutive games, and tied for the best record in baseball.
When I was a wrestling coach, my best friend in wrestling Terry and I beat a lot of coaches playing “moneyball” — using our stats to create lineups that upset much better more talented teams. Forfeiting dual matches at weight classes to not give up takedowns and near falls that would hurt us if a tie score came down to criteria or to stop a snowball effect if we were losing too many in a row. It worked. A lot. Other coaches hated it. But 8 league titles and over 10 CIF Section titles later, we made our statements.
Right now in my my life I was recently put in charge of a massive project and I was overwhelmed. Until I watched two great movie scenes. One from The Martian about taking it one step at a time and one from Moneyball about remembering that the math can set you free. Here are both of them:
Whenever I got overwhelmed or panicked...these were the clips that reminded me of what I already knew. That if I just do the math I can solve impossible paths. Art is powerful. It’s a reminder that not all of life is natural. Somehow fake images of flickering light can inspire and move these natural bodies.
I truly believe that’s why God made the movies.
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Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.