Every now and then I get the “Why do you watch so many movies?” or “Why do you go to the cinema all the time?” or any other version of the same question, and my entire existence is put under a microscope while its purpose is being investigated. I never fail to answer these questions but I usually go for the simplest of answers “I love movies” to justify this huge part of my life, so I figured it was about time to go deeper into the mind of a movie lover and explain the force that keeps me going.
In many of these occasions where I get the question of “Why”, part of me wants to punch those people in the face and I mean this in the nicest way possible. The thing is, watching movies is my hobby, it’s an activity that I do outside my regular employment/student-related-things and I get all-kinds of pleasure out of it!, but so many people don’t seem to get it. Playing basketball – hobby, knitting – hobby, horseback riding – hobby, writing poetry – hobby, dancing – hobby, watching movies – waste of time… Now, I’m not saying this is a wide spread opinion, I’m not even saying this is something I encounter a lot, this is just a summary of these few extreme cases I’ve come across over the years. Some are strangers, some friends, some have been simply random people I haven’t even bothered remembering but all of these incidents together have helped me to develop an understanding of movie people.
Though my never ending love affair with movies was initiated by my parents, I can’t help to wonder whether it was an accidental process of creating an actual movie monster. Both my parents, especially my mother, watch movies for their entertainment factor while being pretty much unaware of everything else happening behind the camera, I turned out completely different. Somewhere in the middle of all these family movie nights I discovered I wanted to know more, I wanted to be more aware and I wanted to view movies differently than my parents who I call regular movie watchers. Hereby, I’m making the assumption that we should be separated as different people based on our level of movie passion. Regular movie watchers are all around us, they are the people who will sit behind the TV and watch a movie without ever knowing who David Fincher is or what his filmography looks like. These regular movie watchers have extreme cases of being complete idiots as well because they are those annoying people talking and playing with their phones in the cinema, who probably came simply for the popcorn.
To understand my predicament with this matter of separating movie people from regular people, one has to understand that I have spent most of my teenage years debating this with my mother. Though she isn’t necessarily the person who judges my choice of hobby, she certainly is the person closest to me who sometimes fails to understand my passion. I recall her going to the cinema twice in my life, both times with me and my father, to watch Titanic and an Estonian war movie which broke our national box office record – therefore explaining my inner need to watch movies or sharing my enjoyment of sitting in the cinema has sometimes become a topic of discussion. The difficulty probably lies in the fact that she is not able to read my blog, she probably hasn’t even visited it since I showed it to her years ago and when one’s hobby doesn’t seem to have a practical outcome, people tend to dismiss it as something less important. Then again, my mother and many of these regular people don’t know the extent of the movie blogger community that I have witnessed over the years and within that closed-minded perception of movie people they fail to understand us.
This is probably going to be a waste of wise words, or simply words, but I wanted to explain myself today to those regular people. They will most likely never read this post but they are a nice excuse to justify my action of sticking it to my own little bug growing inside of me that sometimes likes to question my life choices. Like I said in the beginning, for me, the simplest of answers to the questions of “Why?” is to state my love for the cinema but the longer version of that short story is much more complicated. When I watch a great movie, no, a movie so exquisite that I can’t stop staring at each frame, there’s this unexplainable feeling growing inside of me. The best way to express this feeling is almost wanting to pause the movie to think about it and replay it in your head, to revel in that scene once more or even better, to experience the entire movie in your head again and again. It’s like your favorite football team scoring a goal, the rush of excitement and for movie people it’s the same kind of thrill while witnessing a scene where every element comes together and makes cinematic magic.
Now comes the simple part, the reason I watch so many movies is because I’m chasing that thrill, which isn’t what I always get but somehow even the process of looking for it makes me happy. There’s even moments in bad movies that make me happy because whilst the big element combo that makes particularly great magic doesn’t come together, usually at least something hits the mark. The enjoyment that follows watching movies is continued in the act of writing about them, tearing them apart in a good way or ripping them apart in the bad way – all of that is just a cherry on top of a pile of pancakes and I love pancakes! Clearly I’ve developed a knack for metaphors in this post but I hope you all get the point because whilst I find my love for movies to be an essential part of my everyday life, explaining it is a lot more complicated than I was expecting. But now you might be wondering why did I get the need to explain myself in the first place?
Briefly mentioning my self-doubt earlier was actually the foundation of this post because I’ve been doubting myself lately and it’s nothing to do with regular people but more to do with the fact that I sometimes fail to live up to my movie person persona. It’s hard to find a place for yourself in this world filled with movie people, while so many are far more talented than I am and in the midst of finishing my thesis and trying to figure out my future, I’ve been feeling uncertain about so many things. Saying that, despite my uncertainties, I’m still a thrill seeker when it comes to movies and I won’t stop, even if I fail miserably at life itself because that’s how much I fucking love movies. And that force, that passion for movies that comes from looking for that magic cinematic moment in order to have that indescribable feeling, keeps me doing what I love to do: watching and writing about movies.
Let me know in the comments how do you explain your passion for movies and share your thoughts on movie people vs. regular people.