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Monday Move Review #2

Actually, there will be no Monday Movie Review this week. See, that’s how undisciplined I am, I couldn’t even keep it up for one week. The problem is that I didn’t see a movie this week. So I will instead write about why I skipped the theater. I’ve been doing it ever since I finished grad school–nothing like a Master’s Degree in film studies to burn you out on movie-watching. But it goes deeper than that; I suppose any intense study of a particular art form ultimately leads you to ponder the art form itself rather than the specific works of said art form…the whole meta concept…what I think of Bubba Ho-Tep is not as interesting to me, any more, as is the motivation to see the film in the first place.

Films are escape. This is why we see them. We escape into the world of other people, characters, and we relate or we don’t relate, we like or we don’t like, we are moved or are unmoved. But the fact that we desire to give up two hours of our own life in exchange for experiencing two hours of someone else’s means something. In my most depressed states, and I think many people feel the same, I see lots of movies. I want to get far away from my own world, my own head, so I go to the movies hoping to be swept away. I want to lose those two hours. I want to be implanted with someone else’s two hours.

But I don’t want that any more. I want those two hours for myself. I want my own story, my own life.  I can’t sit still in a theater any more. No matter how good the movie is, I find myself counting the minutes until it’s over. If a friend calls me and wants to hang out, I groan if they suggest a movie. That’s not hanging out. Two people sitting silently in the dark for two hours experiencing collectively the story of someone else’s life is not connecting. Not to each other, at least. I want to talk to my friends, laugh with them, touch them, connect to them. Not sit silently next to them in an out-of-body experience. Sure, there’s always the after-movie discussion but I’d rather skip the movie and have all the after-stuff. Talk to me about your life, not about some piece of celluloid.

And Mike Price if you’re reading this…damn that Grundmann for forcing the Peter Berger down our throats, and damn if it wasn’t all true. Say it with me: movie-watching is not sublated into the praxis of life.

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