1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Why I almost never watch films May 30, 2007

We like something because we can identify ourselves with it.

I remember some years ago the hype about “Star wars” – I could not understand why I did not really like the film until I realised I could not actually identify myself with any character in there. Strangely enough, as in “Matrix” (similar stuff) I could identify myself even with two characters!

I go to see a movie once in 2 years. I have a TV at home, but I watch it once in a month (information and news Ii get – of course! – from Internet).

Yesterday I had some time and decided to see a film – why not, after all? Actually I saw even two and finally realised why I do it so seldom.

Film is a drama. Film is based on a conflict of qualities and deeds. What are the main themes of a film conflict?

  • jealousy, envy
  • revenge
  • unfaithfulness, betray
  • anger
  • guilt
  • ego-trips

A nice package of so called sins, right?

I understand, it is all human and natural. But if we are watching every day only such kind of things, how anything is going to get better???

Constant brainwashing does its job: even good people learn fast and start doing same things saying “what`s wrong?”.

I understand that a conflict should always be there, but there are other levels of problems, just to name a few:

  • fighting for common good
  • learning to forgive
  • making choices
  • facing own ego

A Film should be entertaining but still educating/elevating/encouraging. After all, everything teaches us in our life…

The point I want to make here is that most of the films are extremely boring to me – feelings like revenge, envy, lack of forgiveness I can never understand.

There are, of course feature films that I enjoy! Some exellent Hollywood movies like “The Green mile”, “A beautiful mind”, “Roman Holiday”, “Artificial Intelligence”  and some others.

I love movies for kids, especially Russian ones 🙂

I enjoy watching some Bollywood movies– for the sake of aesthetically beauty mostly. My last pleasure was the Chinese “Curse of the golden flower” – simply delicious shots! Though the story was really stupid.

So that is the situation. I am happy I found it out.

I only hope a day will come when most of the feature films will expose some different conflicts and highlight some other values…

And what about movies in YOUR life?

LOVE, axinia

 

20 Responses to “Why I almost never watch films”

  1. Hmmm…you’ve certainly got me thinking. Some valid points here but I’m a film studies student and an avid film fan and if you don’t mind I’m going to argue the case for movies 🙂 just for fun. Firstly, I’d agree Star Wars and The Matrix are really quite poor films in many ways. But science fiction has never been the genre for identifying with characters – I’m sure there are exceptions…”Children of Men”, “Brazil”, “Solaris” (recently remade with George Cloooney)…those are all, I’d say pretty “identifyable” sci-fi films, if not particularly happy ones, I’ll get on to that.

    As for the positive values thing, I don’t take up the view that cinema is brainwashing, I think its more the other way round – it reflects the the audience and…well…it’s a two-way thing. I know we’re living in quite a scary time atm, movies are getting scarier and scarier in that respect. But, about your listed “positive values” – the “common” good is the one i have trouble with, all the most evil guys in cinema and indeed history probably think they’re acting out of “Common Good” – so that indefinable term is not exactly condusive to good behaviour. I have seen all the other good values you list in various movies, I can’t think of any specific ones right now, but Id recommend “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Wings of Desire”, “Amelie” maybe (i don’t like it as much as some do) “A Matter of Life and Death” – all intensely life affirming films, 3 of them about angels, I think that’s a coincidence, or a product of my particular thing for angel films. “Singin’ in the Rain”? Overcoming own ego is weirdly served by “Little Miss Sunshine” which is also life-affirming in a weird way but takes a strange route to it. “Edward Scissorhands”, “Big Fish”, these are films, on the whole, about love.

    And as for the negatives, if it’s skillfully done, with subtlety and grace, then it tells us who we are, as you said. “Caberet” does this nicely – it’s about history, it’s about nazis also, but it says something that needs to be said, and understood as much as we can understand it.

  2. hey ther..
    you think there should be some logic in movies..
    but movies could be for the solee purpose of entertainment..
    i mean we see the Reality everyday in our life.. so why dont go and watch something that just cant happen, like Yashraj romantic movies..
    movies(esp.Indian) take us away from our day today life.. just go watch a movie and have fun..
    ceeaa

  3. axinia Says:

    Peterandthehare,
    thanks for that wonderful lecture! There are some good tips in there and you also mention some really great films I forgot to mention.
    br />
    Cinema does reflect our life but I still feel it is more about impact than reflection (or may be the impact is the product of merchandising?).
    Thanks God, quality films are always there, but the general movement is – what I can see and feel – basically negative. I am not a follower of “positive thinking” stream, but there are certain limits that should be felt…
    Interestingly, all the films you mentioned have “teaching” effect. I am glad you share my opinion that films are not pure entertainment.

  4. axinia Says:

    Hunny Suchdeva,

    I do not say that movies should reflect reality; I myself love fairy tales and happy-end stories. But any story whoever entertaining it is has s certain message.
    May be only the films with a strong message live a trace in our hearts?
    Sure, funny or romantic films are great and people enjoy them…

    But, in the end of the day: if you see the beauty, the fun, the romance in your daily life ( it is always there, it is only the point of seeing it!) – Then how many films do your really need???

  5. hey..
    you are more than a hundred percent correct when you say there is beauty, fun and romance in our life..
    a movie can never make us so much happy as doing pranks with friends on last seat in class room while the lecture is going on..and so many other things..
    one useful use of movies may be there is always happy endings and watching the-guy-gets-the-girl and good-overshadows-the-evil surely raises our optimism..
    ceeaa

  6. Diogenes Says:

    Awesome color galore.

  7. I also watch films rarely (partially due to the fact that I do not watch TV at all and partially because there are not many really inspiring movies). But once in three months I feel that I strongly desire to watch some good film. The day before yesterday my husband and I madу the decision to watch The Pirates of the Carribean: at the End of the World. And you know what? We enjoyed the movie immensily. The scenario is great, the shooting is marvellous and there is so much dynamism in the film. But what is more important is that after the film you have a very light feeling, a feeling that there are no such problems in life that cannot be solved (as the characters have so many problems but they even doi not think that these are problems, they face them and act, mostly spontaneously). The film also depicts the idea that there are so many illusions created by Mahamaya in life. One should try to see the reality and “do not betray his inner self”.

  8. axinia Says:

    Great input, eternalvalues!
    sure there are good inspiring films, but still not that many…
    Thaks for the tip, may be i will also go to see this film 🙂 – if YOU recommend 🙂

  9. leelajesus Says:

    If good or bad, films are very powerfull medias. I personally love to go to cinema, jump into stories. But only sometimes the film really inspires or amuses me. Like for exemple: “Like in Heaven” or a documantary: “Rythym is it!” In most of the cases there is some vision behind good films, some urge to tell a story, some inspiration or love. On the other hand there are soo many films just made to get money. So boring! One like the other – following some formulas. I think money is the worst motivation to make a film…

  10. Nita Says:

    I simply love movies, but I like those with happy endings. I cannot stand to see a movie which has a sad ending. I enjoy seeing the bad guys lose, envy defeated, love winning. Its a fantasy but in real life this does not always happen.
    Movies make me very happy. If I am unable to see a movie, I’ll write one. I can see 3 movies in a day, maybe four! Guess I am joking, but honestly there have been times when I have seen 2-3 movies in one day!
    Its not just because they show good things that I want to see, but because they take me into a different world. I loved Star Wars. Just thinking of it makes my pulse race, my blood boil, my heart to thump. Its my favorite movie of all time…in this movie too good triumphs over evil. Even more fascinating, the movie shows how good turns into evil and how then this evil is defeated. Its sad, but so true…that all evil has a core of good inside…its complicated. But they are beautiful movies, all of them.
    I can go on an on, about so many other movies. This last week-end I saw two, Pirates 3 and Shrek 3. Loved the first, but Shrek, well, I preferred 1 and 2. And its such a pleasure watching Johnyy Depp act. The man is brilliant. I better stop now because I can go on and on!

  11. hehe I didn’t mean to lecture…:) I should have said also that I know very little about Bollywood, I think it’s sad that there’s still very little awareness of that type of film outside its obvious audience. Where should I start with Bollywood cinema? I’m quite a big fan of japanese cinema – like the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki – I think you’d like them, because they’re brilliant films, some are aimed at adults, some at kids, but anyone can enjoy them…they have a very positive backbone. “Princess Mononoke”, “Spirited Away”, “Porco Rosso”, they’re all great.

    I think generally anyone tired of Hollywood should look into world cinema…

  12. axinia Says:

    Nita, I have to admit I love your film-reviews and I am fascinated by your passion for this kind of arts. Please keep on informing us about it!

    Peterandthehare, your idea on switching from Holliwood to Bolliwood or Japanes is a good piece of advise! I see you have a good taste, I will try to see all the films you recommended. thanks!

  13. Valusha Says:

    Axinia,
    after reading your opinion (I agree with some of your points), I would like to know: what’s your favourite film???? I’m sure, it should be someting that’s really worthy of attention.

  14. axinia Says:

    Valusha, nice question 🙂
    I dont really have one favorite film. There are several ones that impressed me much, like Martix 1, A beautiful mind, Patch Adams, It`s a wonderful world…I realise I like films where some deep transformation takes place.

    Since last year my favorite film I think is “Rang de Basanti” – “A generation awakens” – political Bolliwood film from 2006, very powerful message.It is the only film I recommend everyone since last year – might be a sign that it is my favorite film 🙂

  15. Goldmare Says:

    Very good points! I like watching movies and being entertained, I admit. Probably a bit more than I should, really. ^^;

    I do agree, however, that most Hollywood movies are very negative, even glamourizing sin/crime. For instance, Ocean’s 11 (and its sequels). Hardly ideal role models. I am also a fan of Japanese animation, especially Miyazaki. I don’t know what it is about anime exactly that I like so much better than Western animation (usually), but I do find it easier to identify with the characters, despite the very different culture they live in.

    I can also testify personally to the fact that the media can and does have influence on us. My own language has gotten noticably worse in the past few years. I don’t generally watch movies or shows with significant amounts of swearing, but even so, I’m using the “milder” curse words (damn, for instance) more often now than I did in high school.

    Besides which, there are so many more wholesome ways to have fun that people often forget about in this technology age. I am no exception… I spend 90% of my time most days in front of the computer instead of out enjoying the summer weather, a very sad situation, to be sure. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get a job, which will help me rectify that.

    Ever since I saw it advertised I have wanted to watch The Pursuit of Happiness. Now THAT is the kind of film worth watching, don’t you think?

  16. axinia Says:

    Goldmare, I have not seen The Pursuit of Happiness but if you recommend, I will definetly have a look!

  17. Goldmare Says:

    Heh, well, I’ve never seen it, unfortunately, but I mentioned that I wanted to when chatting with a friend. She said she had and that it made her brother cry. Ha! That’s gotta be a good sign, eh? XD

    One of these days I’ll see it. *nods determinedly*

  18. […] Why I almost never watch films […]

  19. radha Says:

    Recently iam enjoying some japanise movies based on stories of teenagers, kids stuff, young couples. i find them lighter and joyful, even more than the westerns-in-general kind of stories.
    Few titles: Swing Girls, Hero…

  20. axinia Says:

    intresting tip, radh! – i will try to find soemthing here…


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