On deciding what to watch

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bunuelian
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:49 am
Location: San Diego

Re: On deciding what to watch

#101 Post by bunuelian » Thu May 26, 2011 9:03 pm

Last night I took some flak for the size of my kevyip, after I added the Oshima Eclipse set to it. "Do you really need more DVDs?" she asked me. "You hardly ever watch them." *sigh*

My other money sink is modular synthesizers. At least with that, she's got no clue what she's looking at. I need to get more sophisticated in how I structure my kevyip...

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knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#102 Post by knives » Thu May 26, 2011 9:08 pm

bunuelian wrote:I need to get more sophisticated in how I structure my kevyip...
I structure mine around the music sheet for Peaches en Regalia.

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bugsy_pal
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 1:28 am

Re: On deciding what to watch

#103 Post by bugsy_pal » Thu May 26, 2011 11:27 pm

knives wrote:I structure mine around the music sheet for Peaches en Regalia.
Now that would be interesting :shock:

My kevyip is taking over my bookshelves.... I now have an an entire 7 foot shelf unit and almost half of another stacked with DVDs and blurays, probably about a third of which I have watched. This last year I have probably almost doubled the collection, starting with the out-of-print Criterions and then getting numerous super-cheap box sets of various classics from Amazon and assorted other places. It doesn't help things that, being busy people, when my wife and I sit down to watch a movie, invariably one or the other of us falls asleep part way through a film. But where we live, streaming or downloading movies is not a viable option, and rental stores are disappearing fast - so silver discs are it for us. Nice to have a 'library' to pore over when I'm not sure what to watch.

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ArchCarrier
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:08 pm
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#104 Post by ArchCarrier » Fri May 27, 2011 4:37 am

When we can't decide on what to watch, my wife and me sometimes play this game:
One of us selects three - usually wildly different - movies, and gives the other three more-or-less cryptic descriptions for every movie to choose. (For example, 60s, 70s or 90s? Grace Kelly, Julia Roberts or Audrey Hepburn? Lawyer, housewife or princess?) The one with the most votes gets played.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#105 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon May 30, 2011 2:35 am

My own kevyip issue is that it tends to remain largely untouched just because I know it's not going anywhere. These days it feels like a race to rent all the DVDs I haven't seen before Netflix banishes them or they go out of print, and to watch streaming titles before they vanish without explanation, and to see everything rare at the local revival houses. The kevyip turns into a reserve stash that I never have time for ... which is getting to be a minor problem, since I'd like to resell or trade a lot of it.

As for the article Domino posted, I've actually gotten so efficient at curating my movie viewing that I could reach "peak oil" by the age of 45. I won't have seen everything by then, but conceivably I may have seen enough that I start to lose interest in the scraps that remain. I'm already starting to think about what art form I'll shift my attention to for the second half of my life. I think lapdancing, but I'm not sure.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#106 Post by zedz » Mon May 30, 2011 4:44 pm

Perkins Cobb wrote:As for the article Domino posted, I've actually gotten so efficient at curating my movie viewing that I could reach "peak oil" by the age of 45. I won't have seen everything by then, but conceivably I may have seen enough that I start to lose interest in the scraps that remain. I'm already starting to think about what art form I'll shift my attention to for the second half of my life. I think lapdancing, but I'm not sure.
The irony will be when you hit 45 and no longer have a lap.

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#107 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue May 31, 2011 6:36 am

zedz wrote:The irony will be when you hit 45 and no longer have a lap.
Surely the ladies in that profession must have devised a workaround for that by now.

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domino harvey
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#108 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 31, 2011 7:31 am

They have at the very least devised a reach-around

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manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: On deciding what to watch

#109 Post by manicsounds » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:29 am

Finally realized that my current watching habits are all wrong... my appreciation for films and in context has been getting lower over recent times, and I thought it was just because I watched so many films over the years now that I've been losing some interest.

With the kevyip pile so high, I've been doing a "watch 1 movie by X director a month", or "watch 1 X genre movie a month", etc. Why? To savor boxsets that I have, I don't want to run out of Kurosawa movies to watch, so keep a few in the future over time.

Guess I figured, this is why I'm not appreciating the craft of the filmmakers/actors etc recently. Criterion putting together a BBS box was to appreciate all those films watching them back-to-back, along with the extras.

Watching 1 RW Fassbinder movie might be meh, but 3 of his movies from 1970 in succession might give a better view on the director at the time in his career...

Years ago, I had no problem watching 4 Kurosawa movies or 4 Roger Corman movies in a week. I think that's what I need to be doing again...

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#110 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:38 am

I've just started work that forces me to be up very early in the morning, and it's wreaking havoc on my viewing habits- I can only watching when it's dark, because I use a projector, but on days when I'm up at 4:30 it's difficult to maintain interest in anything difficult in the evenings. Tonight, I may stay up all night and watch things, but that's limited as well- I don't have much focus when I'm tired, and it's terrible for work.

My alternative is watching movies on my laptop, but that just seems like a crime for something like Apocalypse Now. I wind up watching endless low-impact things, episode after episode of The Twilight Zone and commentaries I've heard before and that sort of thing. It's a terrible strategy, but I don't have better ideas.

Perkins Cobb
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#111 Post by Perkins Cobb » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:05 am

Blackout curtains? Afternoon naps?

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matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#112 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:21 am

Haha, yeah, probably. It's hard to adjust, though. I wish I could watch movies while I drive.

Perkins Cobb
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#113 Post by Perkins Cobb » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:05 am

Well, back when I had a regular job, I basically wrote off weeknight viewing for anything except episodes of undemanding TV shows. Just couldn't concentrate well enough to enjoy a movie when I was facing a "school day" the next morning. All of my movie watching was marathonned during the weekends.

Grand Illusion
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:56 am

Re: On deciding what to watch

#114 Post by Grand Illusion » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:45 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:I wish I could watch movies while I drive.
You could get all meta and try to watch Cronenberg's Crash while driving.
SpoilerShow
Please don't.

richard_t
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How to get the most from your film watching time?

#115 Post by richard_t » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:14 am

One of my New Years Resolutions for 2014 is to get more out of my film watching time I have, putting aside the fact that due to my work, commuting and other family commitments I just don't have enough of it, at least when I don't feel too tired.

At the moment I feel like I'm just pulling DVD / Blu-rays off my shelves based on what I've either not yet watched or fancy watching that day. Sometimes they provoke reactions from me and other times they don't and that's that. For instance I think I've seen all of Ozu's available output over the years but I think I'd struggle to remember much about half of them if I was asked. There must be a better way of watching films?

I've of course thought about making the effort to go through a directors films one at a time chronologically to gain more of an understanding but that of course means ignoring (or least not watching immediately) the outside influences on them at each stage of their life / career. However if you start trying to watch and understand their influences it then soon spirals off in a million different directions, which is in my opinion one of the great thing about cinema and you're effectively back to square one.

Does anyone else feel they have had or have this problem? Got any tips for formalising my viewing in an achievable and worthwhile way.

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swo17
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Re: How to get the most from your film watching time?

#116 Post by swo17 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:28 am

richard_t wrote:Got any tips for formalising my viewing in an achievable and worthwhile way.
Divide it up into manageable portions and tackle each one along with others so that you can benefit from their discussion and recommendations, i.e. the lists project or film club.

Zot!
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am

Re: On deciding what to watch

#117 Post by Zot! » Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:49 pm

I wonder why you feel you're not getting the most out of watching films as you already are. Contextualising everything to death seems a mistake if you're hoping to actually enjoy yourself. If watching one Ozu makes you want to see more, do it. If it turns you off, then what's the point in slogging through it, unless you're taking a University course?

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: On deciding what to watch

#118 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:28 am

When I have a viewing project (like the 'all the Ozus' idea), I try to break it up with either random viewings or a completely contrasting viewing project (or three simultaneously!).

Another kevyip clearing strategy I use is to come up with viewing 'projects' which are pre-randomized, like ones based on running time or how long they've been sitting around unwatched. The trick is to feel like you're working through your films in a somewhat structured way without feeling totally regimented.

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MichaelB
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#119 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:03 am

I watched all of Jean-Pierre Melville's films in chronological order last Easter, but not in a single clump and never more than one a day (it was more like two or three a week). And of course his output was only just into double figures, making it even more manageable.

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repeat
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#120 Post by repeat » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:03 am

I too find myself periodically setting up various types of constraints and projects for myself - it just seems like a good idea when you have an unmanageably large kevyip (mine is somewhere around 500). I've tried everything - going by year, director, genre, randomized, alphabetical - but I always get bored after about one week and go back to just watching intuitively whatever I feel like. Somehow those projects always end up feeling like a chore: my only problem is that without them I just never ever seem to find myself in the mood to watch certain films, especially long/demanding ones (hello, Turin Horse), or ones that I have particularly low expectations for - and of course some of the greatest finds are hiding away in exactly that corner of the kevyip...

If you really need to wade through your unwatched stuff in a systematic way, I'd recommend keeping a stack of old favourites or stuff that you just know you will like and throw one of those in after every two or three films. And permit yourself to take long detours off the planned path if you suddenly get inspired by something else. I find it's always better to go by intuition because you'll be more receptive when you're watching something in an inspired state of mind. Having said that, I find watching films I don't like very inspiring - for example I just finally watched Super 8 because of my "high time to clear out this 2011 stuff" project, and the problems I had with that made me very excited to rewatch certain other films, maybe in a more fruitful state of mind than the first time around I watched them. Etc etc.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#121 Post by Lemmy Caution » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:15 am

Turin Horse is a pretty easy watch.
The gloom zooms right by.

One thing I've done a few times is take something I wanted to work through (first early Hitchcocks, then a more broad heap of Japanese films, later Satyajit Ray, etc.) and I put them aside in a pile. Then anytime I couldn't decide what to watch that was my default option. It was a nice way to space out the Hitchcocks and later the Rays, and gave me something comfortable to jump into when stymied on what I wanted to watch. Of course I also went to the default pile when I was in the mood for whatever was there.

My kevyip is immense -- I'll never get it down to 500! -- and sometimes the overwhelming choice of DVDs is oddly paralyzing.
I do like to watch a director's films in order when possible, or at least the first few films, as you can trace influences and development, etc. One problem I have is that I often put on a dvd late at night which makes it difficult to watch long films and sometimes I'm too tired for subtitles.

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domino harvey
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#122 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:34 pm

repeat wrote:And permit yourself to take long detours off the planned path if you suddenly get inspired by something else. I find it's always better to go by intuition because you'll be more receptive when you're watching something in an inspired state of mind.
Co-sign. There's nothing worse than sitting through a film in a sour mood just because you feel you "should" watch it. Once I finished the Alt Oscars project a month ago, I can't even tell you the freedom I felt to finally watch whatever I wanted, regardless of whether it was for any specific viewing task I'd assigned myself. Look, sometimes a guy just wants to finally see Aeon Flux. That said, the lists projects do often push me to watch a film or two more than I would already so I can have at least a couple thumbnail responses in each new post, so it's a good methodology towards forcing yourself to watch something, but again, be careful that it doesn't feel like a chore.

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colinr0380
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#123 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:03 pm

Aeon Flux the movie or the TV series? I haven't seen the movie yet, though it is yet another thing in my pile, but the TV series, especially the ten minute shorts, is fantastic.

I agree too. I love having a goal to work towards and I have my entire to watch pile in some sort of order of ones that I'd like to get out of the way first before I get to the ostensibly more exciting stuff. Yet you should never feel constrained by those kind of goals or it becomes a horrible chore. I always find it great to take a break from the BBC Shakespeare box after a few of their productions and throw something else on as a kind of palate cleanser in between (The Fury and Night of the Comet in the last couple of weeks! And I always have my 'already seen' pile to choose from for something that I can rewatch when I'm not sure I'm up to focusing entirely on a 'new' film at a particular time).

I know I should really be powering through the Shakespeare set some more not least so that I can finally start pulling my weight in the Film Club and List Discussion projects again. But in the end I don't think that would do anyone any good, or provide much enjoyment, which has to be the main reason for watching anything!

By the way repeat, I haven't seen Super 8 myself yet but your mention of spinning off into 'clearing out 2011 stuff' and finally seeing it making you excited to watch certain other films got me wondering if you have seen Beyond The Black Rainbow? That seems very early 80s sci-fi inspired.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#124 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:30 pm

Since I don't get paid to watch movies, I NEVER watch anything out of a sense of duty. ;~}

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dustybooks
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#125 Post by dustybooks » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:07 pm

Wondering if I'm the only one who has more fun watching movies when I set a specific regimen or go through a list of some sort in a specific order. However, that is always broken up with other projects, watching movies with my girlfriend (though she's happy to participate in the various projects as well), and seeing new stuff. I dunno. When I had cable and just watched whatever happened to be on every night, it never really worked for me for some reason. I have no idea what this says about me, honestly.

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