Low Audience


I’ve learned something about myself- I think. I don’t much care for challenging movies. It’s a dreadfully low brow thing to say as a filmmaker: I’d like to say that I enjoy all the great classic and award winning movies on their artistic merits alone and that I don’t shy away from difficult subject matter or sophisticated subtlety of theme or character, but when I get right down to the business of choosing a movie to watch, I just want it to be fun and easy. As an audience member I’m basically a movie pickup artist.

I’m not sure this attitude is wrong. Unenlightened, yes, but certainly not uncommon. I want to be entertained. This is probably why I have such difficulty mustering up the attention span for documentaries. I find that I don’t connect with a movie because it presents new ideas, but rather because it sheds some light on ideas that are already inside my head. Confirmation Bias- the movie! Unenlightened, but probably not uncommon.

A part of me wonders whether this attitude towards movies makes me a  better filmmaker or a worse filmmaker. Do I give into tropes too easily for the sake of entertainment or do I have a good sense of mass appeal? Am I being lazy for not being more nuanced in my tastes? There are certainly limits to my ability to tolerate films for the mass audience: “Transformers” has all the hallmarks of mass appeal but doesn’t entertain me. Alas, I may never become the next Michael Bay, but I likewise struggle to be entertained by award winners like “Birdman” ( which I should have enjoyed thematically as someone who once did theatre and technically for all the virtuoso camera movement and performance elements involved, but still spent a significant portion of the third and fourth acts surfing Facebook and Imdb).

Why do I have to be so picky? Who am I anyway? Part of me wishes that I had a film buff friend who could sit next to me and murmer a running commentary about the film and its context and the production and the inside jokes etc in my ear so that I could really appreciate what I’ looking at. The other part of me thinks that if it wasn’t clear enough for me to pick up on my own just by watching the movie that it was a lost opportunity.

At any rate, I’ve learned something about myself.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 24, 2015.

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