TITLE: Watching Movies For The First Time, and More AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 27, 2017 3:40 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Since sometime last summer, I have been posting capsule reviews of the movies I watch on Facebook. They are reactions, really, not reviews -- three bullet points, or a couple of sentences, that express how I felt during after watching. These updates have been humorous for many of my friends, because I'm often watching movies that they watched one or five or ten years ago. As many movies I have watched, I'm still just catching up. The selections vary from old standards ("A White Christmas"), to recent classics ("American Hustle") and cult classics ("Firefly: The Series"), to guilty pleasures ("The Replacements"). A couple of months ago, Tyler Cowen blogged about choosing movies and wrote this about reading reviews before watching a movie:
I use movie criticism in the following way: I read just enough to decide if I want to see the movie, and then no more. I also try to forget what I have read. But before a second viewing of a film, I try to read as much as possible about it.
I have a similar approach on my first viewing. If I already know I want to watch a particular movie, I read nothing about it. If not, I read the bare minimum needed to make the decision. Then I do my best to forget it all. I don't want to be reminded about what I already knew about the movie or what I just read about it. I want to watch with as clean a mind as possible. Yet I can watch certain movies many, many times and enjoy them immensely every time. Sometimes I read a lot about a movie, both background and criticism, mostly because I love pop culture and I love hearing about how creators create. However many times I watch though, I try to watch each time with a beginner's mind. This used to drive my wife crazy: "You've seen this movie a dozen times; what do you mean you don't want to think about what happens next?". One of my gifts seems to be an ability to suspend memory and belief. When watching movies, that's usually how I like it best. -----