What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

06 June 2010

Confessions of a non-watcher

I don't watch movies. I shall now pause for all of you to finish reeling in shock.

Of all the counter-cultural things I do with my life, and I certainly have a list, this is probably the biggest. Every under-25 I know thinks there is something seriously wrong with me.

And of course, this isn't entirely accurate; I do watch some movies. We rent them from time to time, or go to someone's house who is watching, or run across something we like while channel-flipping. So I do not live my life entirely in ignorance of the silver screen. (But I am a proud member of Team I Couldn't Care Less.)

So, here you are! I no particular order, the reasons I don't watch movies:

1. I read & write for entertainment and really have no need for any other storytelling in my life.

2. Even if we go to a matinée, the movie theatre is an expensive place.

3. I work on weekdays, run on Saturdays, and go to church on Sundays. Matinées are difficult to manage.

4. The screen in a movie theatre is so large that watching any movie is likely to give me 1) a headache, 2) motion sickness, or 3) both. And I hate to leave the theatre for a break, because I would miss something & we already spent the money to be sitting there. Not kidding: After watching the 3rd Bourne movie in the theatre, I had to request that Chad drive slowly via the shortest route home so I could lie down for a couple of hours. Only then was my stomach convinced that it was safe to stop jumping around.

5. I hear of a movie, put it on my mental list to rent it once it is on DVD, then promptly forget about it for 5 or 6 years.

6. Meanwhile, Chad always has a list of action and/or scifi flicks on his mental list, few of which ever interest me. (He rents them anyway, and more often than not (Avatar) I retreat to the other room with a book after about 10 minutes.)

7. I feel like I'm wasting time to just sit & watch a movie. I want to be crocheting or cross-stitching something, so that my time is at least a bit productive. And of course, this hobbyist-ness of me leads to me not actually watching the movie.

8. If I'm going to spend $3, I'd rather get a very large drink at Sonic than rent a DVD.

9. If we must rent a DVD, I prefer to get a TV series, because it has shorter segments (see #7) that can be enjoyed over a few days. Plus, we get the added benefit of the story continuing on afterwards, instead of being 1) neatly wrapped up in 3 hours or less, or 2) waiting years for a sequel.

10. And the biggest reason: Most of the movies that interest me are based on books that I like. And there is no way to adapt a book for the big screen satisfactorily. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was probably the closest I've seen, and even it missed the mark by a large margin. Prince Caspian appeared to be written by people who'd only been told about the book. (Not that it wasn't a fantastic movie; both of the recent Narnia movies brought me much delight. But I had to like them separately from the books that I love.)

I don't expect anyone else to agree with me. I will not sit & cry when you disagree. But there is one thing that our movie-centric culture has led me to lament: your average kid doesn't really read any longer. There are some readers out there, and there are some books (good job, J.K. Rowling) that are read and loved by the masses. But most kids don't read for entertainment as a general rule, and I feel like the last couple of generations (including my own, I suppose) have really missed out on something.

I suppose my only hope here is that if we are to increasingly rely upon movies to be our culture's form of storytelling, that those who write the stories will pay more attention to creating gripping plots and interesting characters. In a world that loves our special effects-- and my goodness, can the effects artists do some crazy-amazing things-- I hope we can still see that the writers' craft is just as important. Please, please, as our modern storytellers, give us stories worth telling.


mamaphalen said...

I am lucky...I love to read, my kiddos love to read, my hubby loves to read...and we all like movies. I do almost always refuse to see the movie if I have previously read the book, b/c I like the way I imagine the stories, and don't want it ruined, which is why I have not seen the two Narnia movies...Jes said the poster for the next Narnia movie is way wrong. Holes is pretty by the book, and I am told Eat, Pray, Love is also. Go to redbox.com and see if you have any near you. You rent till 9 pm the next day, can return to any redbox (a vending machine in front of a store) and it is only a dollar!

sparquay said...

As much as I do read (which still isn't much) I struggle to read over other forms of entertainment and activities. Although, I'm easily distracted by flashy and shiny things.