Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Haven't watched a movie in over a week. On the newsworthy scale, this falls between "Brad Garrett has a new TV series" and "nuclear war."

Between the months of September and February, I average about three or four movies a week, a schedule which makes my waking hours indistinguishable from the fictional scenes and shots that replay in my head. Only when I sleep do I get that blessed black blank screen, the one on which "The End" has just faded. For the past year and a half, I've devoured movies in order to get the most out of my Netflix plan, but now I've downgraded from three-at-a-time to two-at-a-time. L'Avventura and King of Hearts have rested idly on my desk for seven days now. Haven't been to the theater since I saw The Painted Veil, like, a month ago. The weather's getting nice and reality -- despite the groping it requires to navigate it -- suddenly seems interesting.

So I'm disturbed by a thought that zipped in and out of my head today like an actor making an entrance onstage, realizing it's the wrong cue and stepping quickly back off:

Do I miss the movies?

Admission: I don't need movies to live. No one does, regardless of how they effuse about their unslakable passion. But I often need movies to help me think, or to re-orient my perspective on life, or to simply tranquilize doubts and worries. To capture a bit of the past. To connect with others without speaking. And so on. Do I just not need any of that now?

And am I okay with that?


Middento said...

As a fellow cinephile (indeed, one who has such a vested interest in cinephilia that I'm writing on it), this posting fascinates me. And I'd love for you to keep wrangling with this question in prose.

In some ways, I struggle with the same issues. My life right now has made the movie-watching pace you describe utterly impossible: I'm lucky if I can even watch one movie a week. On DVD. For research. My life has taken over: I have to write to save my job, I have to teach, I have to be the best partner/dad I can be because I can't make that up later. I want to watch more movies.

Do I miss the movies? You betcha. With a burning passion. But yes, I can be OK with that as well.

That said, now that my son is 2, the Movie Mom says I can start watching movies with him. (Naturally, they will all be in black and white. Or Singin' in the Rain. Or, for variety, directed by Atom Egoyan.) And when (...if?) tenure comes, Netflix better just install a pneumatic tube to my house because -- watch out, man.

J.J. said...

I could've written more. I had intended to. But life is busy. Maybe I'll post more on this topic at a later date. We'll see when I get around to my next movie.