On deciding what to watch

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GaryC
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#151 Post by GaryC » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:14 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Is it a podcast about Australian film GaryC? If so I would highly recommend checking out The Long Weekend!
It is, being recorded on Thursday in time for Australia Day. Thanks - I've seen Long Weekend a few times and reviewed Umbrella's DVD way back in (good God) October 2004. I haven't seen the 2008 remake.

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domino harvey
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Re: On deciding what to watch

#152 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:12 pm

Does anyone else struggle with the dilemma of rewatching a known favorite or film of interest versus making your way through the unwatched pile at all costs? I'm starting to reevaluate my freewheeling days of too much disposable income and too many interests, which has left me single-handedly filling the hole left by Blockbuster Video's demise. At what point does a film become good enough (or of enough interest) to merit revisits? I mean, I own well over a couple thousand Blu-rays and DVDs of films I enjoyed, but I will never have time to revisit all of these-- where do others draw the line for their own collections? I guess what I'm saying is, I am starting to see the grim prophecies of kevyip come to fruition...

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#153 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:24 pm

How many are currently in your unwatched pile?..... I've come to the point where I don't buy everything that I think I want. I'm more selective than I would've been, say twenty years ago, when it comes to buying media. Even now I'll resell stuff I don't think I'll watch again with intent. Currently I don't stream, so I'll keep films that have very little chance of being played on TV. I do still get DVD/blurays from Netflix. And when I get DVD screeners I discard them after watching them.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#154 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:27 pm

I have two constant struggles- one, whether to watch something new or rewatch something, and two, whether to watch something that will require my full attention or to put something I can mostly watch while occasionally puttering on my phone or computer. The temptation of the latter is pretty strong when I am, as now, trying to watch at least one movie every day, which means I'm often dead tired and starting at 10 or 11- and obviously, it's much easier to say of movies I've seen before whether or not they'll require my full attention. That said, quite a lot of the time I'll just get absorbed in the movie anyway, and any intention of multitasking or splitting my attention fades, but I think the habit has been rather to the detriment of movies I've rewatched and decided weren't quite so good based on a degree of laziness.

As much as I have more than I'll ever be able to revisit, though, I keep buying for a few reasons- 1.) it's not like there's a good alternative for a lot of these; I loathe streaming for a few different reasons, and I hate bootlegging even more, which means that if I'm going to watch something, I need to buy it or borrow it, and the options for the latter are limited (and anxiety inducing- when I own something there's no deadline on watching it.) 2.) There's a curatorial aspect, both in the sense that I can lend them out to people (though that theory is pretty strained for Region B locked blus) but also in that nobody can take them away from me, so I have visions of working my way through my collection over fifty years. 3.) There's a tremendous flexibility to owning thousands of movies- though sometimes that breadth of options is overwhelming and kind anxiety inducing, and I wish someone would force me to watch something.

Of course, I also often revisit stuff because right now I watch roughly four times as many movies as my girlfriend, and anything that's really important to me is something I want to share with her- so it goes on the 'we have to watch this together sometime' list.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#155 Post by Drucker » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:33 pm

My kevyip is probably only 40-50 deep, plus four or five box sets. But I get the impression that at maybe 1-2 BDs a week, I watch far fewer films than most of you.

I'm nearly full on two book shelves. I've definitely been flirting with the idea of selling films I don't imagine I'd revisit much, but in all likelihood, I will stick with what I have and be more selective in the future. I'm also trying to only buy films that are either 1) from favorite directors or 2) harder/more unique to see (WCP for example). I think, for example, I have a good film noir collection. A bunch of blind buys, established classics, etc. I certainly probably own less than 100, and am probably missing some "essentials," but I am happy with what I own. Eventually you have to be okay with what you have, because...I guess you can't own every film.

I have the added advantage of NYC in my backyard, and I'll be making more of an effort to see things in theaters and then not needing to purchase them. I think I'm also done buying boxsets and films over 4 hours unless I am 100% certain I will love it. I just never get around to them.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#156 Post by artfilmfan » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:31 pm

Congratulation on reaching Re-evaluation Day, Domino. I was at the same point (where you're at now) several years ago. I found myself realizing that out of the piles of DVDs/Blu-rays that I had (and still have), there were/are fewer than 100 films that I revisit often and maybe another 100 that I might have interest in revisiting. And within those piles, there are many which I have not watched and probably will never have time to watch. Since that realization, I've become extremely more selective in buying new items/films and only upgrade to Blu-ray the films that I know I will likely revisit often.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#157 Post by movielocke » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:Does anyone else struggle with the dilemma of rewatching a known favorite or film of interest versus making your way through the unwatched pile at all costs? I'm starting to reevaluate my freewheeling days of too much disposable income and too many interests, which has left me single-handedly filling the hole left by Blockbuster Video's demise. At what point does a film become good enough (or of enough interest) to merit revisits? I mean, I own well over a couple thousand Blu-rays and DVDs of films I enjoyed, but I will never have time to revisit all of these-- where do others draw the line for their own collections? I guess what I'm saying is, I am starting to see the grim prophecies of kevyip come to fruition...
yes I hit this point about four years ago and proceeded ruthlessly through the kevyip pile while rewatching very few favorites, only about twenty five a year. This was actually massively rewarding because it gave me the impetus to not skip the less appealing entries. and taking on the task was only thing that checked my behavior--that is to say,trying to watch the kevyip pile made me less likely to buy more that would add to the pile. It also helped that I fairly ruthlessly sold anything I did not want to watch again, for about two years I was fairly extreme on this point, but I've now sold enough that I am less motivated to sell titles.

I'm actually really looking forward to going on a rewatching project this year, for instance my mother in law got me the Indiana Jones bluray set for Christmas and I'm looking forward to that rewatch, the sort of thing I didn't allow myself while purging the kevyip pile. This is actually the next project I have for myself after Bergman.

And we recently got an Apple TV, the hardwire internet connection makes FilmStruck pretty amazing, and I've worked through all the 2017 criterion releases available on filmstruck already, so that means the July sale will result in me buying extremely few titles, which is exciting.

For where I draw the line for rewatches, my rule is "will I want to watch this again within the next ten years?" And if the answer is decidedly no it goes on sale. And if I'm unsure I'll ask the question again in a few weeks or months.

I've gotten to the point where I am fairly happy with how expansive my films seen status is and I want to return to rewatching more of the films that made me love film in the first place.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#158 Post by Morbii » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:45 pm

I've been thinking about this too, lately. I expect my kevyip itself will go on for years (probably in the 500-1000 film range - hard to gauge as there are numerous boxsets in there), even though I've been trying to watch at least one film a night (not always successful). Yes, kevyip was bitching about people like me.

I am mostly dedicated to kevyip neutering, though. Watching lots and lots of new content! As to the thread title, I think the hardest thing is always WHAT to watch.

I did recently break a barrier by signing up to Netflix. I realized that I should not spend so much money on Netflix-produced content (i.e. Tv shows) that I'll likely never rewatch. I imagine I could have Netflix for the next several years for what I've spent on it. Yeah, streaming isn't as nice, but it's often not HORRIBLE.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#159 Post by John Shade » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:59 pm

I'm sort of a mix between movielocke and matrixschmatrix. Actually, I recently had the experience where I saw the Indiana Jones blu ray box on the shelf and thought, have I ever even watched these on blu ray? It met the criteria for being able to sort of search the internet while watching; I actually watched the fourth movie because I hadn't seen it since the theatrical run. Somehow it was all better now, just a silly and fun romp that has some missteps and a few absurd scenes.

Another method for rewatching favorites is the ten to fifteen minute rule. I notice sometimes that I put on a movie and about ten to fifteen minutes I am not feeling it at all. Sometimes this might just be a mood thing: certain tough, long art-house epics often require a certain mood. But otherwise it goes in the trade/sell consideration pile. It also can be a dangerous habit to think that you need every film your favorite directors have made, even the films you really don't like at all. Wonder if anyone else struggles with this.

I'm also a heavy rewatcher and re-reader, so favorite movies and favorite books, many of them will just never leave the house. I like matrixschmatrix's notion of "curation" which also sometimes translates into my head as: one day when my kids are older I want them to have access to these. That was actually my thought when I saw the Indiana Jones box, I mean I can't just sell that.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#160 Post by Rayon Vert » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:24 pm

I don't buy too much in advance so my keyvip is never huge and so I'm not experiencing domino's dilemma right now. When I go through a film director's oeuvre, or a "series" (say, Universal horror films from the 1930s) (which I usually all blind-buy) - and I usually have about ten or such projects going on at the same time - I divide them between keepers (what I rate B or higher - very occasionally a B- or lower if I find it of peculiar interest), which I lovingly store, and the rest (except if it's someone like Hitchcock where I want to own everything they've done irrespective of quality), which I put in a fairly big closet mini-room, with the intention of eventually getting rid of them.

So among what I've kept, it's all stuff I like-to-love and never regret having for rewatches. The problem is having enough time to devote to rewatches and going through new films. My rewatching usually occurs when upgrades come out, which I usually do as soon as I purchase them.

My other, bigger problem is that I'm too lazy and short of time to have actually started on getting rid of the non-keeper pile (maybe 35% of my purchases??), so it's a damn expensive hobby (5 to 10 G's a year? I've never calculated). Luckily it's the only such one I have.

However, as I've indicated elsewhere, since the Hitchcock project I've decided to spend a year or year and a half mostly just rewatching and re-evaluating my top rated 500 or so, which is a really fun experience, and one for which my credit card is absolutely thrilled!!

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#161 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:51 pm

Lots of great discussion so far, thanks everyone! I am in the middle of a culling pass through my watched Blu-rays and DVDs, but there's roughly ~2000 discs in the mix there. That's a lot, but the bigger problem was the Unwatched piles, which contained at least as many discs if not more. At some point this all moved from impressive to oppressive and I actually started just selling about half of my Unwatched, trashing those worth nothing. It's depressing to think how much I spent on things I still haven't gotten to in years, and already I can breathe again when I walk into my movie room. But like some of you, I've drastically reduced my Unwatched purchases this year and it's for the best, no matter how much you enjoy hearing about me suffering through blind purchased dreck like Krippendorf's Tribe. I look forward to getting to a place where I'm able to rewatch a film without guilt! I know, I know, first world problems, but here we are

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#162 Post by swo17 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:32 pm

I like to think I'm voting with my money, so when I decide to buy and/or keep a title I feel like I'm saying "Yes (label), I want to see more of this." Not too worried about how often I'll revisit them, I just like having them around. As for prioritizing what to watch, I think the lists projects are a good orderly way to approach this. Between that and keeping up with new releases, I never run out of things to watch. Falling behind actually.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#163 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:35 pm

For the past few months, I've been seeing more films screened theatrically than at home (and even so, only averaging 1 or 2 films a week).

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#164 Post by John Shade » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:37 pm

Rayon Vert, do you keep the Hitchcocks you don't like out of a completionist goal? This was kind of the dilemma I mentioned in my post. Should I keep these movies I don't like from my favorite directors, or should they stay because years from now my opinion might change?

An example of this is the following: I recently rewatched Woody Allen'sWhatever Works and while the first half of it wasn't bad (I'm an Allen fan and think most of his works have something worth offering) the second half fell apart so badly for me that I thought, will I watch again? Should I keep it out of love for one of my favorite directors? I mean it was used and cost me a few bucks, so it's a toss up.

As for rewatching I tend to be with others that a new transfer usually means I watch again. For a film I love I try to give it two viewings within a half year. In the special cases like Paterson which I absolutely loved I imagine I'll see it three or four times this year then hope criterion puts it out like four to five years from now. And in regards to budgeting I sometimes say to myself, okay maybe just four movies to be purchased this month...

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#165 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:46 pm

That's a really good dilemma JohnShade, because while going through my collection I discovered which directors I prioritize to the extent of keeping everything. Some were obvious for me, but I found myself realizing I cared less about Ford than Mankiewicz, for example. There are still only maybe a handful of directors I'll keep everything by because I know I'm likely to revisit from an auteurist standpoint, but for those directors, yes, I'd hold onto everything (while not necessarily seeking out the lesser titles I have already seen but don't own)

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#166 Post by domino harvey » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:53 pm

Also we may be getting into this thread's territory, though it's my own fault and it's hard to not talk about one aspect without considering the other, so carry on for now I guess

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#167 Post by Ribs » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:10 pm

The vast majority of my kevyip is films I like, have seen, but haven't watched in the edition I've bought them. Mine isn't that crazy; it's usually around 60-70, it's a little high right now at 79 but there was just Arrow and Criterion sales so I've not quite caught up with where I was. Which basically leaves me in the position that if I were to watch something to erase one from the list it'd be increasing my already very high ratio of rewatches:watches for the year (Letterboxd keeps track of this on the year in review page, and mine's double what it's been in any other year). But I'm not concerned about it, and I would literally never get rid of something I've purchased because I'm a crazy person, so I just buy what I can to support what I'm interested in, and don't get too upset if I can't imagine watching something again in the near future (who knows how I'll feel 1, 2, 10 years from ow?)

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#168 Post by Rayon Vert » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:33 pm

JohnShade wrote:Rayon Vert, do you keep the Hitchcocks you don't like out of a completionist goal? This was kind of the dilemma I mentioned in my post.
I guess the answer is yes. Given that about 85% of his stuff I would rate at least B, I decided to do that with him. I think he's the only one I've done this with. With some other top favorites, like Godard or Ford, I don't, but then I may keep some of their slightly lesser ones (according to my tastes of course) because I find them somewhat endearing or interesting enough (e.g. Vladimir et Rosa, Détective; The Wings of Eagles, Sgt. Rutledge) but don't keep the others (e.g. Soigne that droite, Band of Outsiders - yes, that one; The Last Hurrah, What Price Glory). If I rate anything below a B-, there's pretty much no chance I'll regret my decision.

Thinking forward to the Lang project, actually one film that I rated just under the cutoff and got "rid of" (actually most are still in that huge closet! except quite a few that I gave away to a few friends), Hangmen Also Die, I might actually buy again to test out. I saw it on the Kino DVD, but now that it's on blu it might benefit in my appreciation from the higher picture quality. But I'm still thinking about that.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#169 Post by dustybooks » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:16 pm

I don't really blind buy much and I really only collect films I love, but I do get a lot of free DVDs through my job. My kevyip is relatively small but I try not to buy any more -- unless there's an incredible deal or sale, which is why it's as high as it is -- while I have a larger stack of things I want to get through (which is generally just extras I want to watch of films I've seen but also sometimes boxed sets of shorts or features, like I have the Treasures from American Film Archives sets waiting for my attention now and I'm still slowly working through the BBS box which I got ages ago). Having a cap on the kevyip just gives me an excuse to spend my modest disposable income on records so it's not like I'm becoming mature in my thirties or anything.

As for the completist mindset, I mostly got away from that. Completist for Hitchcock and the animation work from the Walt Disney studio during his lifetime, but that's it.

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On deciding what to watch

#170 Post by TMDaines » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:03 am

1) My interest in film came from my degree choice at university. I studied German and Italian, watched the recommended reading list for freshers (Ladri di biciclette, Die Ehe der Maria Braun etc.) and started from there. I remembered being shocked at how one DVD arrived with burnt in subtitles (an old release of Cinema paradiso from Arrow) and that is how I become interested in labels and quality home media. I remember thinking Masters of Cinema sounded like some dodgy crap label for a number of months – no idea why!

2) My film interest and collection has stemmed from there over the last 7-8 years. It's largely Italian- and German-language cinema, plus branches into French, Eastern European, general silent, film noir. Have about 1800 films on disc and another 600-700 digitally from backchannels, which are mainly unavailable to buy.

3) Nearly everything I buy is a blind buy. Strikes me as odd that you would only buy stuff that you have otherwise seen, given only piracy offers as wide-ranging a choice for viewing.

4) I've recently tried to adopt the 10:1 rule that Bill over at TSPDT has mentioned before. For every ten new films watched, I'll rewatch something I've seen before, whether that be something loved, or something I want to reevaluate, or something that may now be in far better condition. Adopting this approach will hopefully encourage me to enjoy my collection rather than feeling burdened to keep exploring.

5) I think I've perhaps sold (and then not upgraded) only two or three Italian or German films ever. My collection is a library for me.

6) For recent film and other watches for The Lists Project that don't fall in my interest areas, I tend to watch it at the cinema, take through backchannels (and then delete afterwards), or stream through Amazon. I don't therefore end up with items I have no interest in having curated. Feel free to condemn me for my brazen attitude to the second of these three options, but ultimately I spend most of my disposable income on film, and wouldn't be able to spend any more regardless. Ultimately downloading from backchannels over the years has lead me to inevitably developing new interests and subsequently making purchases in that direction.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#171 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:30 am

JohnShade wrote:It also can be a dangerous habit to think that you need every film your favorite directors have made, even the films you really don't like at all. Wonder if anyone else struggles with this.
Hello, friend. Nice to meet you. Let me show you my Fassbinder and Ozu shelves.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#172 Post by FrauBlucher » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:55 pm

One factor I forgot to add. I watch TCM an awful lot. I DVR many films from the channel. I have probably 20 to 30 on the DVR. And some are from several years back. Plus, I'd rather watch old films I've never seen than the new films that come out of hollywood, except for a number of current filmmakers I really like, like the Anderson boys to name a couple.

There is just not enough time to watch all the films from every which way.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#173 Post by DeprongMori » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:06 am

Though I've got subscriptions to Fandor, Hulu, Filmstruck, and Amazon Prime, I rarely stream any of them as I'm attempting to make my way through my overwhelming kevyip. I've got over 1500 films and I've well over 500 of them yet to watch. Some of the box sets are disproportionately setting me back. I've only watched 6 of the 25 Zatoichi films, five of the 24 John Ford films from the "Ford at Fox" set, and maybe three from the 17 film "Elia Kazan Collection", etc.

I do watch films multiple times as well, and if it weren't for the kevyip I'd re-watch far more often. Kevyip always gets precedent as it grows faster than kudzu. It's my major vice.

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#174 Post by Drucker » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:25 am

FrauBlucher wrote:One factor I forgot to add. I watch TCM an awful lot. I DVR many films from the channel. I have probably 20 to 30 on the DVR. And some are from several years back. Plus, I'd rather watch old films I've never seen than the new films that come out of hollywood, except for a number of current filmmakers I really like, like the Anderson boys to name a couple.

There is just not enough time to watch all the films from every which way.
.
I've watched maybe 5 films I've ever DVRed, have dozens up there

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Re: On deciding what to watch

#175 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:42 pm

I never watch anything a second time unless I have a specific reason - usually, a paid writing gig or a friend dragging me to a screening - neither of which happens much these days.

There are enough movies and TV episodes within easy reach to keep me occupied for 5-10 years - again, that's assuming I rewatch nothing - and yet still I keep adding to the kevyip.

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