I hate to be defeated by a film when I know it isn’t a bad one. I avoid bad ones, obviously. I have known people in the past who love cinema so much that they’ll go out of curiosity or interest in film generally. Sounds insane to me, but there’s no accounting for the ways of folk and how they consume culture, eh?
I knew a girl (well, didn’t know, just worked with her...actually, not with her, but for the same company and she was alright, you know, in the way that some people at work are alright meaning they are among the least boring people in the place) – anyway, she had some cheap deal at a cinema and would go just for that reason. When she told me this, my amazing powers of perception suggested that she was not the greatest connoisseur of film. She loved ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. After she told me that I still talked to her. That’s how boring most of the people in that place were.
I’ve known someone who walked out of ‘Blue Velvet’; well, she was a sensitive girl and I could understand it. After all, Frank was a superior screen psycho, wasn’t he?
Now, watching films in the bunker, as I always do, the ease with which I can do so combined with the low cost of many DVDs equates to an easy-come-easy go scenario whereby I stop watching some. And I used to think of myself as a dedicated, ie determined film fan. After all, I bought the damn thing, didn’t I? The curiosity factor which made that girl go on her cheap cinema ticket has now entered my life. When films are £3 or £5 in Fopp, how can you resist making like a cat?
Buy a ticket at the cinema and you’re committed. Buy a cheap DVD and – huh – so what if you don’t finish it. I worry that as with music the easy availability is cheapening the film-watching experience. I have DVDs stacked up that I’ve yet to watch. Some have been there months. Is there a doctor of Easy Consumerism on the ‘net? I’ll have a look. I may need help. The admirable idea of perhaps limiting oneself to purchases and being very selective is a good one, but I’ve yet to make myself do it.
‘Synecdoche’ was so depressing I had to stop. It may be brilliant, but it was seriously getting me down. Now it sits there, taunting me, daring me to have another go, to prove my staying power, my ability to absorb that which is in no way uplifting. I speak as someone who loves ‘Stalker’ and recently enjoyed ‘Five Easy Pieces’, neither being feel-good in any way shape or form.
Now I’m over halfway through ‘Serpico’. Of course I’m a Pacino fan, who isn’t? But you know what’s weird about my reaction to the film? I started sympathising with the bent cops. No lie, GI. I began to see Serpico as a naive idiot and found the scene when he arrest the ‘made’ guy quite excruciating. I felt for the cops in the room as he beat up the criminal and had a tantrum with the office furniture. I felt as they did – what a jerk this Serpico is! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone a cosy relationship between cops and the Mafia, but we’re supposed to sympathise with Frank on his lonely mission in the name of honesty, aren’t we? Frank, c’mon, they’re not bad cops, just guys looking to put their kids through good schools and have a decent retirement.
Meanwhile, ‘Gainsbourg’ is going to entice me into the cinema for the first time in years. No chance of quitting on that. I’m sure I won’t want to either.