"...and the novelty was quite simply the notion that in a movie you are looking at a real world, palpable, with people thinking of what to say, breathing, and sucking you in. And if you never actually go all the way in, why, that's because of the 'real' physical barrier (the screen existing in a different physics from the auditorium), and that is your safety too.

For it was the condition that promises you--the voyeur, the peeping tom, the dreamer--that you would never be identified or accused. And that was necessary and proper, because if you are going to imagine you are James Dean or Loretta Young, then your own identity needs to be put away, set aside, to make room for the dream. So you will not be lonely any longer."

- David Thomson

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