I’m no movie buff. I can’t quote my favorite lines off the top of my head and recount plots with excruciating detail. I’ve never participated in a movie marathon, like watching all the Star Wars movies or Lord of the Rings films in a row (ehhh, now that I think about it, I did watch the Evil Dead trilogy on one of those decadent late nights). I do, however, really enjoy watching movies, and I try not to discriminate when it comes to genres because I might miss out on some little gem that I would have otherwise avoided.
I wasn’t really blessed with the kind of right or left brain -whichever one it is- that allows one to emboss details in the mind, such as quotes from movies or sometimes even names of movies (embarrassing!) I contend that not being able to do those things does not make me any less of a film fanatic than the person who can. Less of a film geek, perhaps, but not less of a fan. Ironically, IMDB is my best friend on the internet because he has all the answers that I feverishly search for upon watching a movie I enjoy. Sometimes just watching the movie is not enough- I have to know everything about it- why certain actors were cast, the motivation of the filmmaker, etc. Sometimes a jaunt over to the Netflix site turns into nothing less than a movie binge, because it should have taken me only about an hour and a half to watch, for example, Dogtooth, but it ended up taking three hours because I had to keep pausing to consult with IMDB on what in the heck was up with this weird movie. Then once I finished the only-for-strong-stomachs Dogtooth, Netflix did me a solid by recommending other bizarre independent films which are only suitable for solo personal viewing because it feels awkward to watch them with anyone else.
And watching movies while alone is the best way to do it. If viewing on Netflix, I can pause to read the subtitles (my blasted cone dystrophy), re-view scenes that I find particularly compelling, and select from a variety of oddball indie movies that probably never saw the darkness of a multiplex theater. I do like the mainstream movies too, so when I go to a multiplex, I don’t have to worry that the person I’m with will talk through the movie or develop a distracting coughing fit. Being a solo viewer affords me the ability to truly feel the movie- whatever emotions or guffaw-inducing humor it evokes.
My current fascination is Irish movies. A lot of people cannot even name one Irish movie, but I have already viewed several and am intent on viewing more. The problem is that watching Irish movies made me interested in the beautifully melodic Gaelic and Irish languages and the difference between the two, so now I’m having to watch YouTube videos on the subject to gain a better understanding. I even flirted with the idea of learning some simple Gaelic words, but abandoned the idea because Gaelic would only do me any good if I were to move to a remote Irish countryside populated by very old people who hadn’t yet found out the language is virtually dead.
I find that movies affect me to the core. My propensity for psychological thrillers and twisted tales from the likes of director David Lynch can sometimes make me hyper sensitive to the intricacies and enigmatic nature of life itself. I am magnetized to movies that make me think. They are a welcome respite from the never-ending chain of comic-book superhero and disaster flicks that inundate the multiplex with their big-budget sameness (yawn).
There’s a reason why the question,”Have you seen any good movies lately?” is a staple of light conversation. Most people enjoy good movies now and then, and discussing them makes for a pleasant chat, but some of us, like myself, are drawn to the feelings of strangeness or catharsis that can be offered by cinema. Maybe I wouldn’t win at a round of obscure movie trivia, but I will still keep watching for enjoyment for as long as I have eyes that can see.