A cinema is like a cave. The bright screen is the light of the world outside, and its images the many and diverse vistas seen through its mouth.
There is something civilising (one could say the essential character of all art) for a group of Neanderthals staring out.
* * *
Caves and underground passages of any kind can be used in films not just as an impressive setting or as a claustrophobic space to ratchet tensions but as a metaphor for, and exposer of, the hidden fears of characters, their insidious subterranean thoughts (with sewers and catacombs as the corridors of the subconscious). Perhaps we too, in this darkened room, have our (collective) troubles (and joys) projected before us.
The Descent -
Mourning the loss of a daughter and a husband
* * *
"If you make yourself more than just a man,
if you devote yourself to an ideal,
then you become something else entirely"
"Legend, Mr Wayne"
It is well known that the person and the idea of Batman is born in a cave.
In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne decides that he doesn't want to be a spectator any longer. He doesn't want to watch corrupt and criminal elements bring down Gotham.
We see him pass his hand through the waterfall that guards the Batcave's mouth:
This wall of water acts as a silver screen and by going through it Bruce Wayne becomes a "legend". At first he is tentative. Later he launches the 'tumbler' punching through it, becoming an actor, a changer of things and not a bystander, no longer hiding:
His butler Alfred is far more circumspect. He declines to go up to the waterfall:
"Alfred, come up here!"
"I can see everything all right from down here, Sir,
He's happy to watch from the cave. When we are sitting in a cinema, watching things we wish we could see in real life, watching others do what we wish we had done, how happy are we to stay hidden? How happy are we to let the fiction calm our restlessness, to inspire us without consequence? How often do we, like Wayne, step out of the protection of the cave and see and do and create in the world beyond?