Directors Why do you watch movies?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JohnRice, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    It's not that simple a question. When it comes down to it, movies are at least the premise of why we are all at this forum in the first place, but have you ever really considered why you watch movies? The main reasons probably change from one day to another and certainly from one year to another. I know there have been very difficult times in my life where my primary reason was because it made it easier for time to pass. I knew that when I put in a movie, once it was over I would have survived another couple hours. I know people who want nothing but "reality" and people who want anything but reality. Some want to turn their minds off and others want to turn their minds on. Some seem to have fewer limitations or expectations. It's all good. There are no right or wrong answers, so long as they are what actually motivate you to expend a couple hours or more of your life watching a plastic box.

    Anyone?
     
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm am absolutely certain that any answer I gave would be vehemently attacked as wrong. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] It certainly has been in certain other threads lately.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Anyway, I think it would be intersting to get feedback from anyone who cares to give it.

    Brook, what draws you to Foreign films?

    Justin, why does horror appeal to you so much?


    Let it rip everyone.
     
  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    5,832
    Likes Received:
    627
    I've been thinking about this, on and off again since this morning. I'll try to post something later today or tonight. There are a lot of factors that go into this, and I'd like to address them.

    - Walter.
     
  6. Marc Fedderman

    Marc Fedderman Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is something that I ponder from time to time. As John stated, there is no one rationale, but I'll try to mention some of the myriad reasons that I love film.

    First, from an aesthetic standpoint, there is something unique and wonderful that delineates film from other media. Its creators are afforded an opportunity to impart personal visions and emotions that are no more valid, but somehow more immediate than the work of their artistic brethren. Paraphrasing the director John Cocteau, "film is the only art form that allows [one] to dominate both time and space." This control is key I think to understanding its allure in general, as well as to me personally. Ostensibly, the work has been done for me. A film can be enjoyed in a rather passive state. Many films reach me on a purely visceral level, with no need to consult deeper cognitive faculties. This, however, is merely its superficial (not in a pejorative sense) appeal. Film does not require active engagement from the viewer, as books do from their readers. Now this initial impression may be ephemeral, but the best films obviously leave me with something more. Such work keeps me thinking about it for days, weeks, months, or even years after the fact. This is edification and education at its most potent. Why live if not to learn and experience? Film satisfies me on both counts.

    On a less abstract level, film can be a wonderful salve, a retreat from life's vicissitudes, acting as the proverbial spoonful of sugar. I can not imagine ever getting tired of Mary Poppins or Annie Hall or Dumbo or Amélie. No matter how many times I see them, they never fail to make me a little bit happier than I was before I started watching them. There aren't many other things that have such an uplifting effect on me.

    Film can also offer sober reminders that the world is a messy place. This is a good thing, as such serious or realistic fare forces me to consider man's inhumanity to man from various and sundry perspectives. I try not to avoid a work lest it might upset me. As mood dictates, I aim to at least sample from all points of the filmic spectrum. Ideally, a solemn film will offer hope, humor, and the potential for better and brighter things (like The Seventh Seal or American Beauty) but this isn't a requirement.

    Another attraction is film’s galvanic effect. Regardless of how disparate a group of people may be, they can always find a movie to watch or discuss together. The HTF is a perfect example of this phenomenon. I prefer to watch alone, but watching with another (or others) always proves enlightening. Different people see different things and even when I vehemently disagree with a fellow viewer or poster, I am exposed to alternate and equally valid viewpoints. Case in point: I really want to see Mulholland Drive after the big to-do in the David Lynch thread. [​IMG]
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    That's good stuff, Marc. I think the final paragraph brings up one of film's greatest strengths, and ironically, the aspect which is most often not appreciated. I often regret when I meet people who refuse to watch, or try to appreciate, films where "I don't relate to the characters" or something along those lines. Film is such a great opportunity to be exposed to different thoughts and visions. Of course, that applies to literature as well, but with literature there is a greater opportunity for interpretation since any visualization is going on in the reader's head. The ability of film to create its own world more completely than literature is both good and bad. On one hand it can do spectacular things, or it can simply spoon-feed the audience.

    I guess in this post I'll point out one reason I watch movies, which is simply to see an actor I admire in one way or another do his (OK, usually her) stuff. My fondness of Reese Witherspoon is no secret and sometimes it just makes my day to watch her on screen for a couple hours. It might be a movie I think is great, like The Man in the Moon or one which has its problems like Vanity Fair or one that is simply too cute not to enjoy, like The Importance of Being Earnest. It may be another actress such as Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, which is definitely a problematic movie, but shhe is so amazing to watch, I don't really care. With all the crap and rotten people in the world, it is a joy to know there are people who can do what they do, and we all get to see it basically whenever we want.
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    12,251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Why do I watch movies? For most of the reasons already stated. (Ha! I let you guys do all the work!)
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    You forgot to add..."plus a few others." You really are getting lazy Steve.
     
  10. Marie McC

    Marie McC Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I watch movies mostly for entertainment, sometimes for intellectual stimulation. Actually, I like to do both simultaneously. [​IMG] I like movies because they can be appreciated on so many levels: an interesting, unexpected plot and well written dialogue are the most important for me. “Believable” is not a requirement, as a gifted screenwriter can make reality irrelevant.

    I rewatch movies for the same reasons. The best films are so multilayered that it’s impossible to fully absorb everything there is in one sitting. I’ve watched Bread and Tulips five or six times and can still get something different from each successive viewing. The first viewing was for the story. The second time I picked up story nuances that went by too quickly the first time around while I was reading the subtitles. The third time I noticed more of the cinematography, symbolism and use of color.

    So many U.S. movies follow a predictable formula that I need to look to foreign film from time to time to be surprised. I’m fluent in French and have lived overseas, so French film feeds my Francophone needs. Foreign films do not require happy endings to be successful. I like happy endings sometimes, but sometimes a bizarre twist can be entertaining as well. Sometimes I just want a different outlook.

    If a movie evokes a strong emotion, other than I simply disliked it because it wasn’t well executed or not to my taste, then I feel it was successful. Hotel Rwanda was excellent in this respect. I wanted to see it to learn more about this particularly dark chapter in human history. The horrifying story was excellently presented with a good screenplay, good directing and good acting. However, notwithstanding its quality as a film, Hotel Rwanda will not be found in my DVD collection. I only want to be horrified and depressed by it once.

    I don’t watch movies for cinematography. If I want to see pretty pictures, I’ll go to a photo exhibit at a museum. But as a serious amateur photographer, I do observe and appreciate the nuances of camera work, lighting, composition and color if they enhance the experience. In film the picture shouldn't be the story, its just the frame the story sits on. Any time I hear people exclaiming over the cinematography (Barry Lyndon springs to mind), it usually means the movie itself was terrible.

    I select movies based on plot and if there are actors in it whom I like, that's a bonus. Less often will I watch a movie just because of the cast members or the director.

    Some prefer books so that they may imagine the details as they choose. I don’t mind being spoonfed someone else’s vision. It may be far more interesting than anything I could have thought up myself.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Cinematography is an odd subject. "Good" cinematography have take many forms. It can be so beautiful that it distracts from the movie, but is that really good cinematography? On the other hand, I think truly great cinematography is creatively and technically done especially well, but also enhances telling of the story.
     
  12. Jeff D Han

    Jeff D Han Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good thread, John.[​IMG]

    I think my answers are pretty simple. The main reason
    that I watch films is escapism- forget life for a couple
    of hours. I am an avid collector of DVDs and have a decent home theater because movie watching is my #1 hobby. I've
    been collecting movies on disc since 1989 (the laserdisc
    days).

    I watch and appreciate films for writing, acting and
    cinematography. Nothing beats a well-written screenplay
    (I just watched The Godfather this afternoon- my favorite
    screenplay). It's fun to watch an actor or actress put
    on a show (Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Gloria Swanson
    in Sunset Boulevard). The main reason why I enjoy the
    Lord Of The Rings films is the film making- they are my
    favorite films to just look at.

    I try to stay away from or dislike films that get political-a writer or director ramming a message down my throat. I
    also get annoyed when a film maker obviously did a film
    for their own amusement. I don't like to be preached to,
    and I don't want to waste my time on masturbation fests.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    I think I'm with you on that one as well. I put Kevin Smith in that category.
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2000
    Messages:
    12,251
    Likes Received:
    1

    Would his initials be OS? [​IMG]
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    He isn't the one I was thinking of, but he works too. Think candy covered chocolates, of which I'm sure he has eaten plenty.
     
  16. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1998
    Messages:
    5,832
    Likes Received:
    627
    Ewww, subtle. [​IMG]

    Still thinking about the question. ( Work has been hectic. )

    - Walter.
     
  17. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    OK, some other reasons from the last few years why I watch movies.

    Chicago
    In the Bedroom
    Donnie Darko
    Talk to Her
    The Others
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Far from Heaven
    21 Grams
    25th Hour
    The Good Girl
    Heaven
    The Sweet Hereafter
    Dawn of the Dead
    (Yes, the remake)
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hey, how'd that get in there?)



    I could go on...
     
  18. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have various reasons; some of them I can express easily.

    1 - for intellectual stimulation. Some films do this: they "make you think", or what is better, they give you something to think about. Also, since I watch quite a bit of Japanese animation, I can pit my wits against the professional translators or the lack of translation.

    2 - for aesthetic pleasure. Some things are just so beautifully made that it is worthwhile to watch them. Remeber, the beautiful has value just because it is beautiful!

    3 - to excite a certain mood. I do this with music too; film and music are particularly well adapted to manipulating the emotions, because they are capable of engaging the soul through a path which bypasses consciousness entirely. A book can suck me in, but it requires that I remain engaged with it -- and if I put it down, I may be reluctant to try and pick up where I left off. It's generally safer and less troublesome than drugs would be, plus a LaserDisc or a CD is reusable!
     
  19. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2000
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    0
    To relieve boredom.

    To "get away from it all". I can almost always forget about the stress of the day and work when watching a good movie.

    For aesthetic enjoyment. I appreciate good art, and photography is one of my hobbies. Nothing beats looking at a great image....even (especially?) if it moves!

    For intellectual stimulation, or to learn about something I know little about (Hotel Rwanda is a recent example).

    To vegetate (the opposite of intellectual stimulation). A mindless action/adventure in good fun fits the bill here (such as Pirates of the Caribean).

    To laugh (although I am disappointed by comedies more often than I am satisfied with them, I tend not to watch too many comedies).

    And other reasons more articulately stated by others above! [​IMG]
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unlike Walter, I'm not working, but I have not been able to find the time to come close to answering John's simple, but complex inquiry.

    Still thinking.
     

Share This Page