I’ve decided to start a new habit beginning this week. Every Sunday I will be renting a movie to watch sometime during the week. This will be an exercise in culture for me among other things.
As a kid I was never really interested in TV. When I was younger, my free time was spent outside and later in life I would read to relax.
During my teenage years I watched Japanese TV on my computer to study but I didn’t bother buying a television for the dorm room.
When the reality TV boom was in full force in the US I felt TV was so incredibly fake that I couldn’t stand to watch. I guess it was reality TV that put me off of watching TV for most of my adult life.
I brought the same attitude to movies. As I watched I would spot all the mistakes. The things I couldn’t accept happening in real life. I would scoff. What’s the point in watching something so fake?, I thought.
My best friend was into movies though. I sometimes sat down and watched a movie with my friends. It must have been annoying to have someone so critical around. “There’s no way that guy didn’t see him!” But I liked some of the movies we watched. Movies like Memento, Snatch and Inception. Comedies ad thrillers held my attention and made me laugh.
I watched movies with my friends later in life but when I was younger I watched them with my dad. He took me to the theater where we watched movies like Harry Potter and The Golden Compass together. Fantasy movies weren’t bad since they didn’t attempt to hide that they were fake.
Recently I’ve been watching some movies with my girlfriend. She seems to use them as a way to communicate with me. When she’s mad at me she might pick out a movie like How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and when she’s thinking about kids she might want to watch What to Expect when you are Expecting.
Recently I watched the romantic comedy (in case you can’t tell, this is the only genre she’ll watch) About Time with her. In it, the main character’s family has a tradition of watching an outdoor movie every Friday night rain or shine.
This inspired me to want to do the same thing. Being older and a little wiser now I can see that movies have plenty of good points no matter how fake the acting can get at times.
Movies act as social commentary for the times. Documentaries can educate us and force us to look at an issue from a different perspective while the classics allow us a glimpse of the past and foreign films can show us another culture; can transport us to another land without having to leave our bedroom.
Movies give us an escape at the end of a long day and they can cheer us up when we’re down or calm us down when we’re angry. They act as therapy and help us keep an even keel. And after watching a movie we have some new conversation material.
There are still a few hurdles for me to overcome though. It turns out that two hours is a little long for me to stay concentrated when there are so many other things I feel like I should be doing.
I watched The Departed this week and though it was interesting I still found myself on my cell phone sometimes during the movie.
Still looking forward to the new habit and maybe I’ll try to throw up a review on this blog sometimes.