...[F]ilms get their hooks in you by propping up memory, or perhaps more accurately by substituting for memory. You can trace each image back to an original encounter; various rooms, theatres, even nations exist primarily as the place where a particular image first emerged.
There were movies endured during all-night sieges of insomnia, movies left on while making love, movies clung to in the wake of disaster as a substitute for grieving.
It gets so bad you end up searching for an unchanging celluloid surface for a clue to vanished worlds, as if by starting up the movie the people who once watched it together would start up too. Ghosts summoned by ghosts. How often you've wished that memory could be as sharp, solid, and mechanical as a movie, that the mind could give way to remembering as effortlessly as the eye submits to the ritual glide of the camera on its tracks, accompanied by the off screen adult voice of a superannuated child...
from Geoffrey O'Brien's The Phantom Empire: Movies in the Mind of the 20th Century, a book that changed my life.