Friday, March 24, 2006

Solitary viewings

My job, such as it is, revolves around watching movies. As such, as there are numerous regions and releases of certain titles, and modifactions to each versions that require repeated full length viewings, I have been inudated with watching the same shit over and over again, and it makes me think. I say this after I read this excellent piece on the movie site Collider, to which points out the Syssiphean strugle among my generation's cineastes, all of which I blame on cable.

For past generations, the power and privledge of watching a movie, and watching it repeatedly was something earned. Or that is to say, you had to go to the god damned theater. Or catch it on TV. Like all deviants, cineastes then fetishized these viewings, these brief encounters with the films they loved or affected them so deeply for good or bad reasons (think Spielberg and the car accident in The Greatest Show on Earth). For my generation, were I to speak for them, we grew up with HBO. Showtime. The Movie Channel. Cinemax. And as pre-adolescents, we fetishized the R rated movies we got away with watching. We also had video stores. There is no good reason I should have seen Wildcats once. The fact that I have seen the film over ten times doesn't exactly make me feel good about myself. And yet, we have become slaves to these bad movies. I bought DC Cab and Doctor Detroit. They both... sucked. Yeah, they sucked. So did Moving Violations. Etc. Etc. I have yet to purchase Wildcats, but I think I wouldn't mind watching it again. And, as was noted, I don't know if I'm totally done with these films. In ten or twenty year, I might have to scratch those itches again.

And we (side note: That MTV commercial about the guy who cheated death by watching MTV until it was over. He got grabbed, what, 1991? I loved that ad, and now even MTV2 can't make that claim. What happened to the art of music videoing? I have no idea, I don't watch videos, nor have I had cable in over ten years. Seriously.) are now driven by new release Tuesday. With sales the first week, I find myself buying things that I don't need because it's cheaper. I liked Good Night and Good Luck, it was my third favorite Best Picture nominee, but is it really worth owning? Will I ever throw on the audio commentary just cause? No, and yet it's in the collection (while The Wedding Crashers isn't. Who knows what I'll feel like chucking). And speaking of chucking I will probably grab The Weather Man at some point. I've seen the film over five times, and yet, I will probably grab it.

As such, I was thinking about Eyes Wide Shut, a film I've owned on DVD three times (though currently don't, somewhat in anticipation of the upcoming reissues) and the fact that I've only seen it once. And I was thinking I should just keep it that way. I'm thinking there are more and more films I should just watch once and let them simmer in my memory bank. I'm thinking it's better to do this. Granted, I still get piles of free DVDs, but just the same. I mean, shit, I used to own all the Harry Potter films. Why? I love the Pixar movies. How often do I throw them on? Never (though The incredibles is cold kicking it regardless, as are most of them, it's just). You see my point. In an era were overconsumption is more the rule than the exception, I'm going to make a concentrated effort to let certain memories of films linger.