Should I care more about films?

Several people have asked me if I’ve been or am going to see the new Avengers film. I haven’t seen any of the MCU films, aside from Iron Man 1/2 back before the MCU was A Thing, and I have to say I feel blissfully little interest in doing so. I generally go to the cinema about two times a year, and only when a trusted person has given me a specific recommendation.

The only films I’ve been Cinema Excited (as in, glad I saw them on the big screen) about in the past few years are Frozen and Moana, which is… kind of sad? Because I don’t want to be known as a basic Disney gay. And with cultural milestones like Black Panther, Get Out, and Mad Max I always tell myself I can watch them on my laptop, but that’s even less appealing than seeing them in the cinema, and these days many films are made for the cinema, so that if you try to watch them on a laptop you spend half the time squinting at a cludgy purple mess of darkness.

It’s not like I’ve never been interested in cinema. There are lots of artsy and experimental films which I really loved. I went through a phrase of watching nouvelle vague films because I studied it during my French A-level. And I’m rarely disappointed with seeing a film, because I do enough research before to make sure it’s going to interest me.

Previously, in the throes of depression, anxiety, and fatigue-fuelled ADHD, the idea of sitting down and concentrating for two hours was horrific. Now, that’s no longer an issue, but I have arguably an even greater one: my time is too precious! I want to read and write and work on projects, and two hours is just too much!

The ideal movie-watching experience is when you’re with a friend who’s on the same discourse/meme frequency as you, and you spend an hour or two after the film just hashing out everything that worked, didn’t, that you liked and hated, that fascinated and terrified you. Unfortunately, this experience is difficult and rare to coordinate, but without it watching a film feels hollow and frustrating, a thrill without denouement. Novels are much more introspective, and I’m happy writing my thoughts down somewhere, and TV series allow a continuity that prevents this disappointment, but films simply necessitate this final satiation.

I used to think of all the films and shows I didn’t watch and despair that I would never catch up on the cultural zeitgeist. Now, as an adult, I’m aware that many people face the same plight as me, but also I just… care less. I know the multitudes within myself well enough now that I don’t feel the pressure to be Up To Date. I also worried that my writing would suffer from this latency, but I’m confident in my skills enough now to know that’s not true.

So: should I care more about films? Should I cave and marathon the MCU? Should I get an Odean card and dom myself into becoming a cinephile? Probably, almost certainly, not. But just writing this post has made me realise I need to try and replicate the post-film-hashing experience as much as possible, and so I’ve messaged a friend with this purpose exactly in mind. Thanks, blog!

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