Movies vs. Films

There is a problem that has been bothering me since I began properly taking an interest in movies (or films). The problem is which word to use, are they movies or films? Are the words interchangeable? Are some, erm, cinema(?) films, while others are movies? I have been told by multiple people multiple rules for the words.

Let’s start with my friends. I am British, and I use the British vocabluary: pavement for sidewalk, boot for trunk, queue for line, and trousers for pants. And I have been told that film is the British word for movie. According to them, movie is a ridiculous word (I mean, who shortens ‘moving picture show’?) Now, I don’t believe that this idea is upheld by many people, and I’m pretty sure that it is the wrong definition (it’s not to bad though, they are only 17).

Movies according to the NYLFF

Another way of thinking is by defining each piece of cinema by its qualities. The folks at the New York Latino Film Festival have made a series of funny posters, showing the difference between films and movies. The general consensus for this definition is that films are more artistic and cultural, while movies are more generally appealing or blockbusters.

Movies according to the NYLFF

Finally, though, there is the idea that the two words can be used interchangeably, and this is the one I have been using on this blog. To me (any many others) the two words mean the same thing, but just have different roots. Film is named after the photographic film used to record, while movies are (as I mentioned before) an abbreviation of ‘moving picture show’. It is this version of the rule that I will continue to use until I am proved wrong for sure.

But that’s okay. It’s my blog, I can do what I like.