Standing Up For the Collector and the Fan in All of Us
I buy and watch a lot of movies.
About 60% of those are movies I want to own because I've seen them previously and enjoyed them, or they're movies I'm upgrading from DVD, or never got round to buying on DVD.
About another 30% is recommendations from other people (mainly from the brilliant After movie Diner and Dr.Action Facebook group). These are usually films I've not seen before but have piqued my interest in someway. I usually ask for opinions on them and, if the general feedback is good, I buy it. If I don't like the movie once I've watched it, I sell it on ebay. This is the risk you run with blind buying but, in reality, it's just the same as a buying cinema ticket. You pay your money, you take a chance. If I don't like a movie, it's down to my personal preferences and tastes. Which brings me on to the final 10%.
This is strange category. These are movies I feel like I should watch. The all time classics. The number one film of a certain genre. The Awards contenders and winners (you know the ones with a third of the cover design taken up by the words usually reading "nominated for 15 Academy Awards" and all the twaddle).
It's a strange category as I put pressure on myself to watch these. Sometimes it's pressure from other people who say "you have to see this" or "it's a classic" and immediately I feel pressure that I have to like it, otherwise I'm some sort of lesser fan of cinema that's not willing to broaden his horizons.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
Over the Christmas holidays I watched Psycho for the first time in over 15 years. I remembered really enjoying back then so I thought I'd give my newly purchased Blu-Ray a spin. This time around, I found it a bit of a struggle to be honest. Anthony Perkins' performance is great and genuinely makes you feel uneasy but I found it quite slow moving and, apart from the well renowned scenes, I didn't really engage.
Ultimately I came out of this viewing appreciating the film for how ground-breaking it was but also coming to the conclusion that I'm never going to love it and probably won't watch it again anytime soon.
I also watched Blow Out. This was a first time viewing for me and I didn't like it. I enjoyed Travolta's performance but found De Palma's direction all a bit tricksy and showy. I really didn't like Nancy Allen's character and so wasn't that bothered when she was in peril at the films finale.
Again, I appreciate why people are a fan of his film, but its not for me.
Now here is where we get to the root of my somewhat self induced pressure. When I voiced my opinion on our Facebook group not once was I made to feel bad for not liking the film. Not once was I made to feel like a Cinematic dunce for not loving two perceived classics, because it isn't that type of group.
Whereas, in the past, I have listened to other film podcasts and read articles virtually proposing the fact that if you didn't like, for example, Blow Out, you were basically a moron. The presentation of an opinion as fact is becoming a lot more common and I find it incredibly off putting. It's just your opinion. I'm glad that people are passionate about certain films, as am I but that's all it is: an opinion. There's no right or wrong when you're discussing your favourite movies. If I would've expressed my view of the film to any of these particular groups, I'm pretty sure I would've been given a hard time over it.
That's when I came to the realisation that I like what I like. There is a world of difference between appreciate and love.
When Indiana Jones is lowered in to the map room in Raiders and that music starts, I still get goosebumps, when Doc Brown is sliding down the conductor cable and Marty is hurtling down the street, I still feel tense and when Rey walks those steps and we see a man standing there in a robe and he turns round and lowers his hood, tears are rolling down my cheeks. These are the moments that strike a chord within me, these are the movies that matter to me, these are the movies I am passionate about and never will I be made to feel guilty, stupid, or any lesser of a film fan for that!