Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reflections: What Do I Feel For?

I’ve subscribed to for about two years now. Once or twice a week, a red and white envelope arrives in my mailbox. I open it, make sure the DVD inside isn’t scratched or cracked, slip it in its sleeve and stack it on top of the rest, next to the TV.

I subscribe for two reasons only: First, Zip’s library of classic films far exceeds that of any video store I’ve been to—and my wallet is thick with rental cards. Second, it lets you keep a movie for as long as you want. This is important, because I rent a lot of silent movies and most of the time, I don’t feel like watching them.

That’s my big admission. And maybe a contradiction, given the text that appears at right. Read the grey font: Does it not say I enjoy silent films? In fact, that’s why my blog is worthwhile, according to me. So why wouldn’t I want to watch one whenever I could?

Time’s not the issue, because I haven’t got any to begin with. Nor is it a matter of mood. Like many people, I watch a lot of movies when I’m tired—mentally tuckered out—and at times like these, I’m not sliding an Ozu or Bergman film into the PlayStation 2. Predator, more likely.

I won’t watch a bad film; I never do that intentionally. It’s just that sometimes my viewing habits boil down to the need to be entertained, rather than challenged. It’s no different than needing to laugh, rather than cry. Predator may not be as complex as Citizen Kane, but it’s a much better action movie, with a lot more gunfights in the jungle.

But what’s that got to do with silent movies? Silent movies aren’t a genre; they’re a variation of the medium, which can itself be split into genres. To say you don’t ‘feel like’ watching a silent movie is not like choosing a comedy ’cause you feel for something light. It is to admit—if only implicitly—that watching silent movies can be taxing, especially if they’re long, and extra-especially when you’re watching them at home, where distractions are plentiful.

It’s rare for me to complete a silent movie without my mind wandering at least once, though the journeys are brief. At least I can be proud of that. And while I wish it were otherwise, I also accept it and save my viewings for times when I will be most appreciative. The results are rewarding, obviously. If they weren’t, how could I write this blog?

There’s a lot more to write about this topic, so I will. However, I’m learning that 1,000 words, twice a week, is a tough pace to keep up. This 500-word length is easier to manage and lets me hold the reviews at 1,000. As a bonus, it postpones the day when I run out of things to say. May we never reach it, at least together.

No comments:

Post a Comment